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06 Aug 2014, 3:44 am

Hi everyone. I am new here and from Malaysia. A student from University of Southern Queensland (USQ), Australia, named Greg (thanks, Greg) told me about wrong planet some time ago. I was in USQ, Australia for a research fellowship. I am doing my Phd at the moment and exploring on the learning and social experiences of neurodiverse learners in university using technology. Specifically, I am hoping to understand how students with diverse learning needs and styles use mobile devices and Web 2.0 technology such as social networking sites, blogs, wikis, folksonomies, video sharing sites etc. to help them in learning and socializing in university. I am also a lecturer in a local university in Malaysia and hoping that information I get will help me to be aware and focus on designing more encompassing learning materials and resources to accommodate the needs of diverse group of students.

As we are still a developing country, many policies are not in place to fully support students with different needs. Many struggle through their years in university, many drop out due to lack of support. Many do not have the opportunity to get into university in the first place. I have one student who is in her final year of university and had just disclosed that she is dyslexic and has ADD, needing special requirements. She said she could not 'hide' it any longer as she is not able to cope with the classes. I cringe at the thought of her having to go through her first few years struggling on her own without any support. I am sure there are quite a number in similar situations but many do not disclose for fear due to many reasons. For one, there is no incentive in disclosing. At this point, there is no policy that is in place to ensure that the university has the responsibility to do that. There is no special funding to get assistive technology etc. BUT this is a start. It can start with me as well as educating other lecturers about it. I can start with the technology that we do have. It is said that technology is a central tool for fostering inclusion and participation in higher education and the 'great equalizer'. Most of us have mobile devices and have access to Web 2.0 technology tools. Most of this Web 2.0 tools and online resources are available for free. One good example is this great online community here in wrong planet.

If anyone here who is studying in college and university and is comfortable in sharing your experiences with me, I would love to hear from you. Please let me know or give me your email address, I will send you some questions to help me understand how you utilize your mobile devices including smartphones, tablets, MP3 players and social media platforms to assist you in learning as well as getting through the demands of university life.

And I hope this is the right place to ask this :)

Thanks for listening and hope to hear from everyone.