WCAG 2.0 – Closed Caption, Describe Video and Transcripts

Adding (or burning) captions into raw videos will not satisfy WCAG 2.0 criteria because the text then becomes part of the image which will not be narrated by screen readers or displayed on braille device. Real Closed Caption (CC) / Describe video is actually text overlaying the video for those who are visually impaired. Moodle does not currently offer a way to include subtitles for a video. The standard compliant and best practice approach to inserting video captions requires using the HTML5 <track> element. The various attributes of the is element allow you to specify the type of content, the language … Continue reading

Camtasia alternatives and other media tools for screencasting

Camtasia is one of the best and most complete set of tools out there for capturing a recording of your screen (called screencasting) but comes at a cost of $313.99 per person (as of this writing). While you might be able to afford it for a few licenses, if you want to give access to this tool to your whole staff, the cost can really add up. Here are some recommendations for (mostly) free media related tools — for those on a limited budget: Greenshot — Simple to use, comes with an editor to annotate still screenshot (no video). Kind of like … Continue reading

Multi-language content in Moodle

So, you are have a Moodle website that runs in multiple languages. To date, you’ve been doubling up all you text doing things like “This content is in English. / Ce contenu est en français.” As a result, the site looks a mess no matter in what language you use Moodle. In addition, this results in an accessibility issue because users of screen readers get really confused when the alternate language comes through their speaker… and not even pronounced correctly. What can you do? If you haven’t come across it yet, take a look at the Multi-Language Content (v2) Moodle plugin available … Continue reading

Choosing a Moodle theme

While you may simply choose a theme based on the way it looks, smart people know that themes are more than skin deep. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a Moodle theme: Make sure that the theme is compatible with the version of Moodle you want to implement. If it is not, contact the developer/vendor to find out if that was an oversight, or if they are imminently planning on releasing an update in the near future. Choose a layout that you like. Changing the layout usually means changing the theme source code which makes it hard … Continue reading

How to be Happy

I often talk about finding fulfilment through growth and contribution. Today, we will look at how to actually find happiness. You can’t buy happiness — this isn’t actually true. Scientific studies have shown that you can actually buy happiness. The truth is actually pretty close. You can’t buy lasting happiness. The happiness you get from things you buy, whether it is a car, a house, jewellery, a new computer, or anything else will only last a relatively short period of time. Then there are the studies that show people in third world countries living in poverty who are happy all … Continue reading

Dealing with a mean bad boss

It depends on what you mean by a really bad boss. I’ve had some bosses that kept having me do things that were not really my job. I may not have liked it at the time but I learned so much from being pushed through the experience. Eventually it became a positive step in my career, something that I would have never done otherwise. Being mean is often a method of protecting oneself by pushing other people away. What happened in your bosses life that was so terrible that he/she had to decide not to let anyone in? It’s been my … Continue reading

Words of Wisdom: What do you live for?

Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what does inside us while we live. –Norman Cousins. If you are reading this, it is probably because you still have something to live for — even if you have yet to discover it. If you pay attention, try new things and meet new people regularly, you’ll find your reason for living. Learn from your experiences, notice things for which to be grateful in your life and find meaning by contribute your knowledge, experience and efforts to helping others. Patience, you will soon discover many things in life … Continue reading

Building a Sustainable Future

Want to make the world a better place? It’s our children who are going to shape our future and, next to parenting, providing these children with the best possible education will create a sustainable future for our economy and our country. Here are a few ideas to get started: Increase teacher salaries significantly across the board and provide them with the resources and support they need. This will also provide motivation to attract the best people to the education industry. Make continuing education mandatory for teachers. If a teacher isn’t ready to keep up with a changing world, actively embrace … Continue reading

Words of Wisdom: We shouldn’t all be millionaires

Think about this for a moment. If you make everyone millionaires, all you end up doing is devaluating your currency. In fact, the same can be said of raising minimum wage. Everything ends up being more expensive because employers then need to pay everyone higher salaries. So when should you get a raise? When you provide added value to their employers… not just because they’ve sat in a chair pushing the same button for a long time. If you can help, contribute and help your employer build their business and make more money, why wouldn’t they be delighted to pay … Continue reading