Considerations for Students
This resource is available to support students in using Iowa e-Learning Central (ILC) courses. This support is focused on considerations that will allow greater accessibility and use of available courses.
Online classes may include technology that helps you be successful. Courses offered through ILC were designed to increase accessibility for all students. This guide is not for individual student accommodation or modifications, but general tips for getting the most out of class.
As a student, these are questions you may (and should, if you need it) ask your teacher:
- Are videos closed captioned? Can I have audio transcripts sent?
- Can I increase the font size or change the font type of course materials?
- What are the different ways I can submit work (e.g., text files, audio files)?
- Whom do I contact with questions? What is the best way to ask a question?
- Is it ok to ask someone in my class for help, or do I need to message you (the teacher first)?
- Is there a way to get hard copies of materials? Can you send the materials that are also being shared on the screen?
- If we do not have the internet or what we do have is unreliable, what do we do?
- Are online tools needed when working with equations in math/science material?
- Will my assistive technology devices (e.g., screen reader, speech to text) work well within the course content?
- Am I allowed to use assistive technology plug-ins or extensions like Grammarly?
In general, if things are not working as they should, it’s okay, even recommended, to reach out to your teacher. The teacher will be able to refer you to tech support or provide help directly. Problem-solving steps for students:
- Know the contact information for your teacher and which one they check most often. Know what to expect in terms of ongoing communication.
- Look for a “Help” section in any programs you are using. Most help sections have a way to search for solutions to problems.
- Check any written directions from your teacher about how to get into or around in the systems they are using.
- Ask for a quick video call (e.g., Zoom or Meet) with the teacher or tech support to show you things right on the screen.
- Find out how to check if your work is missing or graded.
- If you get behind in your work or miss a class, reach out to the teacher. It’s good to know if things are taking too long and how to make up an assignment or missed class.
Below you will find tool-specific information. Tools used by content developers for ILC are selected from a list of no-cost and accessible options. Other specific tools listed here may be used when delivering the online course content locally. The listed tools are not endorsed, required, or mandated; information is offered here if applicable.
Below are specific tools your teacher may use to help teach the class. Provided is a brief summary of available tools. Contact your local teacher with your specific questions.
General Purpose Tools, Resources, and Support
- Google Workspace - Docs
- Docs Support docs
- Google Workspace - Slides
- Slides Support docs
- Google Workspace - Sheets
- Sheets Support docs
- Google Education - Classroom
Video: Creating and Recording
- Zoom: Videoconferencing tool to engage students, supports remote, hybrid, synchronous, and asynchronous learning. Accessibility Statement
- Loom: Record video messages of one’s screen or camera. Pairs video messages with text.
- Screencastify: Record, edit, and share videos
- Adobe Spark: Create videos, social graphics, audio slideshows web pages, and short videos.
- Animoto: Drag and drop video creation tool.
Audio: Recording and Publishing
- Synth: Allows the recording of audio and for students (or others to listen to). Used to provide directions, share learning targets, and provide feedback.
- Anchor: An all-in-one platform where one can create and distribute a podcast from any device.
Quiz Creation, Games, and Informal Assessment
- Kahoot: Provides several options for creating online quizzes and surveys to pre-assess, review content, and practice.
- Socrative: Allows one to use cell phones or student computers to engage students and track learning.
- Formative: Provides a place to create online classrooms with real-time student responses, instant feedback, etc.
Creating Interactive Presentations
- Pear Deck: A Google slides extension which allows one to create interactive presentations and see student responses in real time.
- Flipgrid: A simple, free, and accessible video discussion experience for educators, learners and families. Create interactive presentations.
- BookCreator: For teachers and students to create, publish, and share books in the classroom. Supports the use of video and audio recording in the presentations.
- BookCreator Resources for Teachers- Tutorials available for students by selecting grade span and scrolling to the bottom of the page. Use the checkbox to select “tutorials.”
- Scratch: Allows students to program (i.e., code) games, interactive stories, and animations. Inaccessible for Braille readers
- Desmos: Suite of mathematical software tools including graphing and scientific calculator
- Geogebra: Online mathematical tools for graphing, geometry, 3D and more.
Learning Management Systems (LMS)
- Google Classroom: No specific statement for Google Classroom; indicates which Google products and extensions support accessibility.
- Moodle: Accessibility features may not work as designed in all available themes.
- Canvas: Reportedly, “committed to” web accessibility and 508. Has a voluntary template to help with upload/content.
- Seesaw: Lists current accessibility features and chrome extensions that can be used.
- Blackboard: Designed and developed for 508 compliance and using Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
- Chalk and Wire: Statement only available for parent company.
- Accessibility Statement
- Minimal website information: eportfolio focused and possibly post high school oriented.
- Schoology: Provides a template for 508 compliance. Additional information may be available in the support section or parent company PowerSchool.