e-Communication

Introduction

Webcam on a laptopThe term ‘communication' relates to the 'sending or receiving information', via telephone lines, mobile devices or computers (AskOxford online) when thinking about on-line learning 

In this case the devices and applications used may include e-mail, text messaging, on-line forums, discussion groups, mobile phone use, Skype, (Voice Over the Internet Protocol), social networking sites, wikis and blogs that allow for individual or group interactions.

Accessibility issues tend to be linked to an inability to access the communication system due to cost or poor support for a user's chosen assistive technology. This may mean a lack of keyboard, screen reader or text to speech access. It could be due to overly complex navigation or dense content and poor colour contrast levels.

Student Advice

Get Safe online offers some useful advice about protecting your identity on-line and using social spaces such as FaceBook, Bebo and MySpace. There are also articles about safe guarding your computer, using blogs etc

Net writing skills including advice about writing blogs,

Netiquette - the art of online discussion

The Open University have a Safe computing website for further advice

Money saving advice for mobile phones, on-line costs and internet connections.

Staff Advice

JISC's introduction to Web 2.0 and Social software in education has useful links to various interactive sites and communication on-line methods.

JISC's 'Innovative Practice with e-Learning' is a good practice guide to embedding mobile and wireless technologies into everyday practice which is aimed at practitioners and managers in further and higher education and adult and community learning.

JISC TechDis Web Accessibility provides links to many types of on-line materials and the usability and accessibility issues that may arise.

Webaim in the USA offer further indepth advice for developers.

When speaking or writing about disability and thinking about the language to use the Open University offer advice on Communicating with disabled students which also covers individual barriers to effective interactions.