Skip main navigation

Technology power user

Collaborate to share experiences of using personal devices as study aids or to support daily activities.
SARAH HEWITT: I used a range of different technologies. And it was quite a wide range. So, for example, I might be reading a paper that was a PDF document. So I would use the highlighter in the comment section to do things as I was going along. If they raised points that were not so much about the paper, but the bigger issues, straight onto Padlet and do a post-it note on Padlet. As a group, we often posted things in Google Docs. And one of the wonderful things about Google Docs is that you can type your own kind of paragraph, your own notes in there. And you can see other people doing it. So that was really useful.
We had a Facebook group, where we would talk about particular things. I also found OneNote really useful. Microsoft Word for just setting up a table and typing up things like who’s the author of the paper and the date it was published. So I had a really wide range of electronic tools. And finally, I would put them all together using things like, either Piktochart or Canva, to produce the kind of visual representation of what it is I was trying to do. Because I often find that the art– just the art of creating a poster, it’s not the poster. It’s the process, the thinking that goes on behind doing that that is the key.
So a lot of the times I would start something a poster, for example and not finish it, but it didn’t matter. I’d got half way through. And then my thinking was clear. And I knew what I wanted to do next.
In this video, PhD student Sarah tells us about all the technologies she uses to support her study strategies and collaborate with other students but are these skills true of all students?
In the past, student surveys of assistive technology (AT) use in higher education have illustrated the importance of training and support. Some students felt they knew how to make the most of technologies on offer however, this was not always the case. Several comments were made about a lack of time to learn new AT skills, complexity and abandonment. A Colorado State University (USA) study in 2016 on ‘Assistive Technology Outcomes in Post-Secondary Students with Disabilities’ (PDF slides) investigated the impact of training and found that one to one support was most successful and the students felt that AT positively affected their academic results.
The LexDis project aims to give students and staff the chance to share their experiences of useful technology strategies for studying and the ‘Skills You Need’ team say that those studying in Higher Education need to have knowledge of:
  • up in the Cloud
  • image editing
  • Microsoft Office
  • coding
  • branding
  • banking apps
  • creating and curating content
You may also be interested in other related resources which can be accessed from the ‘See also’ section at the bottom of this page.
There is still a knowledge gap as to how best to provide strategies that allow disabled students to make informed use of the technologies available. What approaches do you think could help these students?

© This work is created by the University of Southampton and licensed under CC-BY 4.0 International Licence. Erasmus + MOOCs for Accessibility Partnership.
This article is from the free online

Inclusive Learning and Teaching Environments

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education

  • 30% off Futurelearn Unlimited!