There are four major areas educators can check to ensure digital materials include accessible content for all students
This summer, many faculty will work on developing or revising curricular content for their courses. One of the keys in developing new digital materials is verifying that those materials offer accessible content for all students.
Today, most learning management systems (LMS) and software programs offer some level of accessibility compliance checking. However, they are not always thorough or error-free.
For instance, some PowerPoint templates show less-than-ideal contrast between text and background colors. Many YouTube videos include closed captioning, but the automatic captioning often leaves something to be desired. Taking the time to review accessibility of materials makes sense to ensure all students can experience success instead of frustration.
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Dr. Steve Baule is a faculty member at Winona State University (WSU), where he teaches in the Leadership Education Department. Prior to joining WSU, Baule spent 28 years in K-12 school systems in Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa, and two years teaching in the University of Wisconsin System. For the 13 years prior to moving to the university level, Baule served as a public -school superintendent. He has written 10 books on a variety of educational and historical topics and has served on the editorial boards for two journals. Baule earned an advanced diversity and equity certificate while in the UW system. He holds a doctorate in instructional technology from Northern Illinois University and a doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies from Loyola University Chicago.
Baule’s scholarly interests focus on online student engagement, educational technology-- particularly the impact of 1:1 implementations, social-emotional learning, and the history of education. Baule led several efforts to improve student emotional health and reduce discipline issues prior to moving into higher education. He also writes on aspects of early American history.
Baule has held memberships in the American Association of School Administrators, the American Library Association, the American Association of School Librarians, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, the Consortium for School Networking, the International Association of School Librarians, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the National Staff Development Council, and many of their state affiliates. He has served as a consultant in the areas of educational technology, facilities design, library program development, team building, and communications.
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