Tag Archives: assistive technology

Well hello there…

One of the tasks for the first module on the TEL is to setup a WordPress blog (tick!)

So, task one requires me to  introduce myself and state the purpose of this blog, so here goes…

Hello, I’m Mike. Here’s a picture of my family (task 2 – tick!):

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I’ve just started a MSc Technology Enhanced Learning at the University of Huddersfield. I’m excited about course; partly because of the content and topics covered, but mostly I think I’m excited about studying again and challenging myself to work at the level required by the course.

I work at Henshaws College in Harrogate; a specialist provision, and my role is to support the students to use technology to develop their independence. As such, most of my work falls under the title of Assistive Technology; a relatively new term in the education sector, although it has been widely used for clinical purposes for some time now.

I’m very lucky to be involved with a few projects; one of which is to visit other specialist colleges as well as further education colleges to share expertise and resources and upskill staff in the realm of assistive technology. Another is my personal baby; the ACCESS: Technology suite of accesible web applications – which I have recently open-sourced.

So then, the purpose of this blog: As well as being used for submission of work and assessment as required by the course, I’ve setup this blog as an easy method to log personal reflection (which you can already see in the older posts here, I started this as soon as I was accepted on the course!). Reason being, I struggle with personal reflection, mostly the actual submitting and recovery of data. As blogging is fairly motivational and simple to do (I’ve setup the blog to accept email submissions and also have Wordpress app  on my iPad so its really easy to input content) this seems like the best method.

You may notice this blog runs incredibly slow. This is because it’s hosted on a tiny Raspberry Pi under my stairs at home which struggles with a ‘heavy’ program like WordPress. “Why is your blog running on a tiny computer under your stairs?” you may well ask. Well, as it turns out, I’m a bit of a geek! However, the £30 spent on the Pi and the hours spent setting it up as webserver have been invaluable to me and my career. I have learnt so much from doing it! I can now operate Linux using the command-line, remotely from any device (in fact, I setup this self-hosted blog whilst at a ‘Technology in HE’ conference in London using my iPad on a 3G connection – which I personally find incredible), I’ve learnt about SSH, setting up Apache, MySql and PHP from scratch and opening up ports which has given me some real depth to my web coding ability. All of which, has helped me develop new resources for the students to use at work.

I also have 2 other blogs; a personal family one and my work one here.

Well, it has been lovely chatting, feel free to say ‘hi’ in the comments, but I feel I really must get on with some work now…