I am thrilled to announce that I’m going to be blogging about Student Affairs and Technology for Inside Higher Ed (IHE). As an avid reader of IHE, I am very excited to join the IHE blogging team. I think that my posts on student affairs + technology will complement Joshua Kim’s blog on Technology and Learning.
Recently, I held a contest via Twitter to name my new blog. The incentive — a $100 Amazon gift card — courtesy of Inside Higher Ed. Several folks came up with interesting/creative blog names. I think the #SAChat Community provided the majority of ideas. Student Affairs folks are uber creative.
Here are my 3 favorite submissions:
Jeff Jackson: The Stoller Strikes Back, Return of the Blogosphere, Student Affairs….I am Your Blogger
Choosing a winner from these 3 has been extremely challenging. Star Wars references, Sanford, and an entire Association…how cool is that?!! After more than a week of deliberate (intentional ;-) ) deliberating I have decided that the winner of the gift card is:
Zack Ford’s submission made me laugh. It’s subtle….and I love subtlety. The obvious nod / homage to Nevitt Sanford warms the heart. Challenge and Support is one of my all-time favorite, and oft-used, student development theories.
It should be noted that Julie Larsen was correct…the official name of my new blog is going to be: Student Affairs and Technology. The name needed to be something that would be simple enough that any IHE reader would know exactly what it was about. The blog also needed to be search engine friendly…”Students Affairs + Technology” is simple and searchable.
Stay tuned for my first official post on Inside Higher Ed!
Target Corp. will revamp its Web site to make it more accessible for the blind and pay $6 million in damages to plaintiffs who joined a class action lawsuit against the retailer, under a settlement announced yesterday with the National Federation of the Blind.
Virginia Tech has selected HiSoftware’s Compliance Sheriff to address management of its Web site accessibility. Compliance Sheriff is a browser-based service that crawls a Web site and compares pages against a user-defined set of criteria. The tool will compare the school’s site against world-wide accessibility guidelines such as the federally-defined Section 508, which addresses how technology should be designed to enable its use by people with physical impairments, and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 1.0/2.0, from the World Wide Web Consortium, which address Web content and mobile Web applications.
Screenreaders don’t like flash, and I’ve invested huge amounts of time to try and satisfy the requirements of a flash (SlideshowPro) feature spot being “cool” and compliant at the same time. It ain’t easy folks. And there are quite a few universities deploying homepage flash content that isn’t accessible. And you know who you are.
WebAnywhere provides access to the web from any machine with a modern web browser and some way to play audio. It is useful for web developers who would like to check their pages for accessibility and for blind web users using a computer where no other screen reader is available.
Kevin, a long-time blog buddy, thinks that I am a kick ass blogger. I am honored to be given this award. A lot of the bloggers that have received this award have been mainstays in my RSS reader since I started wading into the blogosphere pool.
There are some rules/regulations for the awarding of a Kick Ass Blogger award. According to Kevin, if you neglect to follow the rules, then your ass kickingness card will be subsequently revoked.
Choose 5 bloggers that you feel are “Kick Ass Bloggers”
Let ‘em know in your post or via email, twitter or blog comments that they’ve received an award
Share the love and link back to both the person who awarded you and back to MammaDawg
So without further ado, here are 5 bloggers that kick ass: Professor, What If…? A relatively new addition to my feedreader, Professor, What If…?’s posts are insightful and kick serious ass. Asking tough questions and providing critical analysis are the hallmarks of this site. Critical educational ass kickery. Add this feed to your reader. Go. Now. Do it.
Michael Faris at A Collage of Citations An ass kicking blend of rhetoric, composition, and pedagogy. Michael does not need nor want awards which is exactly why he should win them. Pretentious? Yes, in a he’s-smart-so-listen-to-him-as-he-puts-down-some-kick-ass-thoughts kind of way. Brilliant? Mostly :-) Don’t let him know about it. His head can’t take the swelling ;-)
Crip Chick Kicking ableism’s ass and putting up some amazing posts. One of my favorite bloggers. Go check out her stuff. Pronto.
Feminist Philosophers A multi-author site, Feminist Philosophers is a great read for anyone who wants to sit back, think, and learn. Learn a lot. Oh and they have cat posts on Sundays :-) Ass kicking cat posts.
Nezua at The Unapologetic Mexican He’s blogging the DNC. Redesigning his site. Shooting video for MTV. Feeding zillions of posts into our feedreaders. Tweeting from morning til night on the twittersphere. Nezua kicks ass on so many levels. Every post is like a poetic essay that forces us to think while enriching our spirits.
I remember the first time I closed my eyes, put on a pair of headphones and browsed the web using a screen reader. It was extremely challenging. Images without ALT attributes, Flash objects, and poorly coded websites left me feeling extremely frustrated and gave me even more empathy for web users with visual impairments. I think all website designers/coders should experience what it’s like to browse the web using a screen reader. This video shows Aaron Cannon, blind since birth, browsing a website using a screen reader.
Below, I will address the claims made in the above comments.
Before I do this, though, I want to make something clear about what I wrote in this column. In the above comments I read that I called people racists or that I resorted to personal attacks. This column did no such thing. I wrote, “I believe that for a white person to host a party themed “Cowboys and Indians” is racist.” No where in this sentence does it state that I believe that someone who holds this party is racist. I wrote that the ACTION of holding this party is racist. If we break down the above sentence, the subject is “to host a party,” which is an action.
This is a subtle distinction, but one that needs to be made. I don’t believe that calling someone racist does any good, as we are all affected by institutional racism and prone to racist acts when we do not think critically about our actions.
Nor was this meant to be a personal attack: I was not attacking the personhood of who hosted this party or the people who attended. I was attacking and critiquing an ACTION. It is imperative, I believe, to keep this distinction in mind.
Kevin Hampton is a sports writer for the Corvallis Gazette Times. His latest blog post is titled, “Out with the blackout?“. In the post, Kevin states that “the people complaining know very well that there is no connection to racism.” Ummm, nope. I think they know very well that there is a connection to racism. (see blackface and something called “historical context“).
See Kevin’s post and my inner monologue after the cut…
The New York Times and USA Today recently published articles regarding Muslim students at colleges and universities. Both articles are framed from the point of view that Muslim students are benefiting from “religious accommodation” or “special treatment.” The most prevalent issue seems to be the installation of foot-washing basins in university restrooms.
Having worked at an institution that consists of a large population of Muslim students (University of Illinois at Chicago) I can attest to the importance of foot-washing basins. Trying to wash your feet in a regular sink is an exercise in balance, dexterity and luck.
What is fascinating to me is that all of these discussions, articles, etc. fail to adequately address the issue of Christian privilege. Fortunately, I was able to find a terrific article regarding Christian privilege (pdf) that addresses the built-in invisibility of this issue in higher education in the US.
A couple months ago Brownfemipower posted about the Inhofe Amendment. The amendment was contained within the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act, S. 1348. (Note: S. 1639 has a similar English language amendment) This amendment would have amended title 4 of the United States Code to “declare English as the national language of the Government of the United States, and for other purposes.”
I was upset to read that Ron Wyden (D) from Oregon had supported the Inhofe Amendment. I quickly wrote Senator Wyden and I received a response this week: