Edtech News Round Up: Augmented Reality, Data Protections, And Accessibility

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Augmented reality, the influence of the GDPR, and designing for accessibility: it’s this week’s edtech news round-up.

Google Maps unveils its first-ever augmented reality interface

While there is no release date available yet, Google Maps has revealed what the future holds for the app.

Unlike the current version of Maps, where users rely on a somewhat unclear dot while in transit, Google suggests that the future of the app will be a camera-fueled augmented reality interface.

There are also hints toward the app providing business information in relation to anything in your direct view, which seems likely considering the recent extension of another Google-owned app, Google Lens.

GPS is not the only application required for this app to work, so Google also revealed their new initiative called the Visual Positioning System (VSP), which will be able to estimate the precise positioning and orientation of the user based on images gathered by smartphone.

Apple is reportedly removing apps that share your location data with third parties

Apple has recently made the decision to remove all apps from the App Store that have shared location data with third parties without the consent of the user. Doing so violates the App Store Guidelines.

The apps affected by the clampdown failed to relay enough information to their users about what happens following the collection of their data.

The enforcement of the App Store Guidelines likely relates to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that comes into effect on May 25th. This will mean that apps will have to ask permission before collecting data and then provide their users with information about how their data is being used.

Although these developers have been removed from the App Store they are able to resubmit their app once any code or other frameworks are removed that relate to location sharing with third parties.

Apple’s guidelines also strictly state that “Date collected from apps may not be used or shared with their parties for purposes unrelated to improving the user experience or performance connected to the app’s functionality.” (Apple, 2018)

How Can We Improve Accessibility Through Instructional Design? #DLNchat

Last Tuesday the #DNLchat community got together to discuss the future of Accessibility. The discussion was conducted through Twitter and involved the host, Edsurge, posting a series of questions relating to accessibility and institutions tweeting back their responses.

In order to understand what can be done to improve Accessibility, the group started by defining the term in how it relates to learners and educators. They defined it as follows:

“Accessibility starts with complying with standards and goes beyond by removing barriers for as many digital learners as possible. Universal design is a framework of principles to achieve accessibility for the greatest number of learners.”

The question that surfaced most often was “how can we improve accessibility through instructional design?”

#DNLchat-ters agreed that improving accessibility starts at the beginning of the design process. They continued the conversation by proposing different systems of processes that would help improve accessibility.

These would ultimately need to become embedded in design culture.

The #DNLchat community concurred that design and technology cannot offer a solution on their own: educators need to take responsibility and advocate for accessibility through their contracts and purchasing choices.

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