Whether you call it the Computer Age, Digital Age or Information Age, if you are reading this you are probably immersed in this world. By the late 90’s the Internet became mainstream in the United States. You can hardly go anywhere now without seeing a “hotspot” where you can get Internet access over a wireless local area network. We have definitely come a long way from the days of dial-up Internet and waiting several minutes to have access to our e-mail.
Now many of us use the Internet to accomplish almost everything such as job tasks, banking, shopping, reading, and socializing. Words like “hotspot,” “wifi,” “bandwidth,” “the net,” and “in the clouds” have become common speak to many. One word that did not even exist before the popularity of the Internet was “blog” which is short for “weblog”. Blogs are personal or noncommercial websites that use a data format to provide information, used as personal diaries, essays or a way to link back to what the writer is writing or “blogging” about. In the early 2000’s when free weblog creation programs became available, it opened up this world to non-technical users and there was a boom.
If you come from a time where “surfing” was done in an ocean and a “cookie” was something you had for a treat, you may be one of the many who are quite overwhelmed with the rapid advances in technology. We now live in a world where we are inundated with more information than we can possibly process on a daily basis.
With this inundation, many people are now trying to figure out what to do to filter all of this information and how to keep up with the important sources while disregarding what they are not interested in. It is an amazing time to live in, a time where we do have instant access to data and can easily share information freely that used to be difficult to find. The negative side to all of this access is finding the time to sift through all of the information in our busy lives.
One way to manage that information overload is RSS feeds. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It is a way to subscribe to sources of information such as a web site, blog or podcast and get brief updates e-mailed to you. When you subscribe you will get a feed which is usually a headline or brief summary of the new information in the website, blog, or podcast you subscribe to. This will save you time because you can scan the headlines from your favorite sites and see if there is something you are interested in looking into further. This is such a great time-saver.
The RSS feed frequently checks for updated information on the sites that you subscribe to and then summarizes what the new content is and e-mails it to you. You can then decide if there is something you are interested in taking the time to look at further. To subscribe to someone’s RSS feed all you have to do is hit the image button that says “subscribe via RSS”. This will then give you all the updated content.
Here at the INDATA project we use the World Wide Web to provide valuable information to folks who are interested in learning about Assistive Technology. We have a blog, youtube.com account, podcasts, Facebook and Twitter accounts as means to communicate with those who are interested in anything related to Adaptive Technologies. We use all these means of media to try to reach as many people as we can to provide the most useful and current AT Technology information.
INDATA’s media schedule is as follows:
Monday-Tech Tip Videos: these are 3-5 minute Assistive Technology Tip videos that we create and post to our youtube.com account every Monday.
Tuesday-Thursday- we have daily blog posts about Assistive Technology.
Fridays: We have 2 weekly podcasts that post on Fridays. Podcasts are online audio content that is delivered via an RSS feed. It is kind of a radio on demand. You can determine the time, place, where and when you want to listen to it. You can also have previous podcasts archived to listen to at your leisure. We have a 30-minute podcast called Assistive Technology Update (ATU), which is a 30-minute podcast that features new stories, interviews and questions and answers. We also have a 1-minute podcast called Accessibility Minute (AM), which is a quick news update of current Assistive Technology New stories.
For our Monday tech tip videos we use our youtube.com account to host our videos, our website’s main page for our blog posts and iTunes to host our podcasts. We also use Facebook and Twitter to put out additional and useful information about Assistive Technology. All of the videos, blogs and podcasts are posted to our blog throughout the week. To help you sort through all of this information and find the specific information that you are interest in you can “subscribe” to any of these mediums.
Our direct link to the RSS feed is: https://www.eastersealstech.com/feed/. To subscribe to our blog visit our website. On the right hand side, you will see all of our quick links to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube and the last quick link is the RSS feed for our blog. This will allow you to subscribe to our blog and an email will be sent to you with the title and basic information of the most recent post. You can then determine if you are interested in going to the blog to read more of the post.
To subscribe to our weekly Assistive Technology Update through iTunes: go directly to the iTunes page for the podcast you are interested in. Click here for Assistive Technology Update and then click on the View in iTunes tab directly under the Assistive Technology Update (ATU) logo and then click the Subscribe Free button that is again directly under the ATU logo. You are now a subscriber and can expect the most current podcast to download directly to your iTunes account automatically. You can subscribe to Accessibility Minute (AM) following the same procedure as the AT Update. To subscribe to Accessibility Minute click here to continue to the Accessibility Minute itunes page. You then click Subscribe Free button under the AM logo and you are then subscribed to Accessibility Minute and will receive the most current podcast downloaded into your itunes automatically.
To subscribe directly to our YouTube page to get our weekly tech tip videos, you can visit our page by going to: www.eastersealstech.com/youtube and click the subscribe button directly above the video window. You will get an e-mail when INDATA uploads a new video and will also get a notification under subscriptions if you are logged into youtube.com
To keep up with all the great Assistive Technology information we put on our social media with no effort you can like us on Facebook and our posts will automatically show up in your news feed. Also, follow us on Twitter and our tweets will automatically show up in your news.
Lastly, if you would like to automatically know about our Free Full Day Assistive Technology Trainings we put on 5 times per year you can join our e-mail list here that we use to announce the upcoming trainings. We won’t “spam” you or use this account excessively. It is mainly used to announce the full day trainings, give you registration information for those trainings and possibly a newsletter every now and then.
In summary, in a time when information is coming at you at a more rapid rate then anyone could possibly process, these are some useful ways to keep up with all of the Assistive Technology information that we provide and filter through all this great information to assure that you find the information you are specifically interested in. We strive to continue to provide quality information to our readers about Assistive Technology and find ways to make it as easy as possible to get the information that is important to you. Thank you for your support in those efforts!