YouTube Resources to Help You Learn More about Accessibility

Thankfully, web accessibility is getting more attention than ever before. Incorporating strong accessible standards helps every online user, whether or not someone has a disability.

There are multiple YouTube channels dedicated to helping you learn more about accessibility standards and practices, as well as challenging the stigmas surrounding individuals with disabilities. Below are three you may consider checking out!

1. Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Hadley, the largest distance education provider for those who are blind or visually impaired by serving more than 10,000 students each year, gives students a personalized learning experience to help them in their academic, professional, and everyday lives. Courses are free to blind and visually impaired individuals and their families, and the nonprofit offers low tuition rates to blindness professionals.

Hadley’s YouTube channel ( offers a plethora of information that focuses on specific tasks like “how to make a playlist” using only the screen reader system and not having to look at the phone as you do it. It includes instructional videos on Apple products and tools, like accessing the Zoom Controller and downloading BARD books and magazines.

2. Deafinitely Dope

This channel provides videos of rapping popular songs with American Sign Language (ASL) and was created by a deaf man and hearing woman. According to their page, their goal is “to provide a platform where deaf people of all ages as well as hearing people willing to take the plunge into the world of ASL can unite under a brand that shows YOU’RE NOT ALONE.”

Those who are deaf or hard of hearing who communicate through ASL can enjoy these popular songs, and those willing to learn or brush up on ASL will enjoy these fun videos.

Check out their YouTube channel here:


3. Google Chrome Developers

Want to stay updated on Google’s web accessibility initiatives? Google Chrome Developers have built playlists discussing the latest and greatest Chrome tools, including tutorials on tasks ranging from using Chrome UX Report to optimize your web app’s performance to learning how to build e-commerce websites with AMP and PWA.

They’re currently creating a new series called The State of the Web, which analyzes big data to learn more about how the web is moving forward in performance, security, and more. You’ll definitely want to keep an eye on this YouTube channel to stay in the loop with all the cool things Google is up to!

View videos at


2 Resources to Help You Check on Your Website’s Accessibility

Our Accessibility Team at Hawkes always gets excited when they found out about tools that help you check on the level of web accessibility in order to improve a website for all users. Here are two great tips if you want to ensure your site is up to WCAG 2.0 standards:

1. Google’s Tools for Web Developers

Google has a great community and curated list of resources dedicated to web accessibility. Check out what they offer at

One of our Accessibility Team leaders loves to use the Google developer tool that checks the contrast between text and background. Below, you can see that the header on the Hawkes Learning sign-in page contrasts with the background well enough to comply with Level AAA standards.

The words "Hawkes Learning" on a webpage are highlighted and labeled with "the text we are looking at."

The underlying code behind the sign-in page for Hawkes Learning is displayed. A color swatch is open for the text that was highlighted in the first image. Its contrast ratio is 9.08, and check marks are next to AA: 4.5 and AAA: 7.0 to denote that this level of contrast between text and background is WCAG Level 2.0 AAA compliant.


2. HTML_CodeSniffer

Want to make sure a website’s code is up to snuff? HTML_CodeSniffer has you covered! This script finds violations of coding standards in your HTML source code, and you can check your code against custom coding standards. It covers Section 508 and WCAG 2.0 Levels A, AA, and AAA.

You can paste your code here to test it before installing the bookmarklet.

Presentations from Innovative Educators

Please view the presentations from each available session of the Innovative Educators Summit below. If you have questions or need clarification, please don’t hesitate to contact us at

English Track

Opening Keynote: Innovation in Developmental Education | PowerPoint
—Peter Adams, Accelerated Learning Program (ALP)

Integrated Communication Arts in a Corequisite World | PowerPoint
—Dr. Sherry Wilson, Crowder College

Support through Print and Digital Resources in an English Classroom | PowerPoint
—Mary Kate Wilson and Mary Campbell, Greenville Technical College

Implementing Foundations of English into the Developmental Classroom | PowerPoint
—Mike Thompson and Joan Myers, North Iowa Area Community College

Additional Downloads from Mike and Joan:

  • Global/Linear Activity | PDF
  • Good Note Taking | PDF
  • Learning Style Inventory | PDF
  • Lessons |Word
  • Organization Problems Inventory | PDF

Math Track

Seven Years of Emporium: What We’ve Learned, How We’ve Adjusted, and Future Plans | PowerPoint
—Curtis Mitchell & Jim Cochran, Kirkwood Community College

Mini Session I: Boot Camp Courses Fast-Track Student Success in Math | PowerPoint
Mini Session II: Corequisite and Math Pathway Implementation | PowerPoint
—Amy Young and Brandon Ford, Navarro College

Implementing Corequisites to Support Math Pathways | PowerPoint
—Dr. Linda Goeller, Melissa Bryant, and Emily Carpenter, Seminole State College

Integrating Math Study Skills into Online and Classroom Courses | PowerPoint
—Dr. Paul Nolting, Academic Success Press

A College Algebra Success Story | PowerPoint
—Dr. John Taylor, University of North Carolina – Charlotte

An Emporium Approach to Intervention in Algebra | PowerPoint
—Jonathan Watkins and Kelly Boyd, The University of Louisville

Math Lab Setting with a Modular Curriculum | PowerPoint
—Ellen Oliver, New River Community College and Bob Parker, Rappahannock Community College

Scaling Math Pathways with Corequisite Courses | PowerPoint
—Shelley Parks, Dr. Garry Sigler, and Heather Turner, Texas State Technical College – Waco


Both Math and English

Using Data to Improve Curricula and Pedagogy | PowerPoint
—Dr. Tristan Denley, Chief Academic Officer of the University System of Georgia

Robust Feedback within English Courseware

Hawkes Learning’s Practice mode gives students ample feedback when they answer questions incorrectly. Several different tutorial options are available to students, including Explain Error, which provides error-specific feedback immediately when the mistake is made; Hint, which gives students a clue as to how they can answer the question correctly if they’re still struggling; and Solution, which states the correct answer.

Students can then try a similar question in order to test their knowledge. Once they feel comfortable with the material in Practice, students move on to the Certify mode, which does not provide learning aids in order to hold students accountable for their learning.

Check out two examples of the robust feedback provided in Practice below:

In Foundations of English‘s Chapter 4: Grammar and Mechanics, the courseware asks the following:

Does the following sentence use pronoun-antecedent agreement? Select the best answer.

Damien is running for class president, and his sister is helping them with the campaign.

The two choices are the following:
  • Yes, this sentence uses pronoun-antecedent agreement.
  • No, this sentence does not use pronoun-antecedent agreement.

If students select the first answer, the courseware provides this feedback:

Explain Error

Your Answer: Yes, this sentence uses pronoun-antecedent agreement.

You were asked to determine if the following sentence uses pronoun-antecedent agreement:

Damien is running for class president, and his sister is helping them with the campaign.


Your answer is incorrect because the pronoun is plural and neutral, but the antecedent is singular and male.

For a hint to solve this problem, select Hint.


You were asked to determine if the following sentence uses pronoun-antecedent agreement:

Damien is running for class president, and his sister is helping them with the campaign.


Remember, for a pronoun and its antecedent to agree, they must have the same gender and number. The gender of words can be female, male, or neutral. The number is either singular or plural.

If an antecedent is neutral and refers to a person or animal, it can be used with a male or female pronoun based on the other information in the sentence. However, inanimate objects do not have gender, so they are always renamed with neutral pronouns.

Take a look at the following sentence that includes both a pronoun and its antecedent:

Jennifer always makes the dessert because she is the best baker.

The pronoun she agrees with its antecedent Jennifer (the noun it renames). Both words are singular in number and female in gender. This is what you look for when checking for pronoun-antecedent agreement.



You were asked to determine if the following sentence uses pronoun-antecedent agreement:

Damien is running for class president, and his sister is helping them with the campaign.

The following answer is correct:

No, this sentence does not use pronoun-antecedent agreement.

The pronoun them is plural and neutral, but the antecedent Damien is singular and male.

In Foundations of English‘s Chapter 5: Style, the courseware asks the following:

Read the following passage.

People from all across the country enter the contest, and they all want their own shot at fame. Fame is fleeting, but these people do not care. They all believe they will be “the next big thing.” Even when disappointment comes crashing down on them, they still struggle and claw their way back up. Being content is not something humans are good at.
Which sentences do not use coordination to join clauses? Select all that apply.

Click on a word or word group to make a selection. To undo, click on the selection again. Alternatively use the Tab and spacebar to select or deselect the word or word group.

Students receive error-specific feedback when they select the following sentence from the passage: Even when disappointment comes crashing down on them, they still struggle and claw their way back up.

Six ideas to get the most out of your Learn Screen Notes

Customize your lessons even further with the Learn Screen Notes tool, which allows you to add your own content to our pre-created Learn screens. If you want to take full advantage of all that this tool has to offer, try out the six expanded uses below!

1. Embed videos.

Have you uploaded a video to YouTube to help explain a certain concept to students, or love a video that you can share with your class? Easily embed it within the notes.

In YouTube, select the Share option of a video, then copy and paste the code within the Embed area:

The number 1 is next to the Share button of a video in YouTube. The number 2 is next to the Embed button. Below that, the link to the video is highlighted.

Next, when you’re logged into Learn Screen Notes from your Grade Book, select the Source option at the top of the menu. Paste the code into the field. If needed, you can change the width and height of the video. Deselect the Source button.

Hawkes Learning's Learn Screen Notes is shown. Within the menu of formatting and content options at the top, the Source button is selected with the number 1 next to it. Below that, the number 2 is next to the video code that is now pasted within the field. A call-out next to the code says, "Change width and height of video," pointing to the area in the code to do so.

You can then preview what students will see when they log into their courseware and enter the Learn mode:

An example of what the student sees as a Learn Screen Note is shown. Underneath the pre-created objectives slide within a Hawkes lesson, there is a video that the student can click to view.


2. Embed Google Docs.

This option is a great way for you to share more in-depth notes that you’ve typed up for class.

**First, make sure your document is uploaded to Google Drive.**

Open Google Site (New > More > Google Site).

Select From Drive, then select the file you wish to embed.

The Google Drive menu is shown with an arrow pointing at the "From Drive" option in the drop-down menu.

Within Google Drive's My Drive, an arrow points at a Word Document underneath the Files category.

Copy and paste the embedded file into Word, and you’ll get a link similar to this:

(The part in red will be unique to the document you select.)

Then, use the following HTML code, replacing what’s in red with the corresponding part in your Google link:

<p><iframe align=”middle” class=”YMEQtf L6cTce-purZT L6cTce-pSzOP” frameborder=”0″ height=”700″ scrolling=”yes” src=”″ width=”700″></iframe></p>


In your Learn Screen Notes, select the Source button at the top of the menu, then paste your HTML code. Deselect the Source button, then use Preview to check things out:

A preview of the Hawkes Learning student courseware with the Learn Screen Note is shown. Below the pre-created objectives list within the Learn mode, a Word document is shown.


3. Embed interactive elements.

A few instructors we work with have told us about Geogebra and Desmos, which are two websites that let you create interactive graphs and elements. You can share these within your Learn Screen Notes easily!

For Desmos:

After you create your graph, select the Share option at the top of the page. Choose Embed, then copy the code.

A number one is next to the Share button at the top menu. A number two is next to the Embed link underneath "Share your graph," then a number three highlights the HTML code to embed.

In your Learn Screen Notes, select the Source button, paste the link into the notes section, then deselect Source. Choose Preview to see what it looks like for your students:

A Hawkes Learn screen is shown with the lesson slide on the top half of the page and an interactive graph at the bottom.

For Geogebra:

In Geogebra, select the menu option next to the interactive element (the symbol with three dots), then Share. Choose the </> Embed link and copy the code.

In the website Geogebra, a Share box with options to group, link, email, and embed the graph is shown. The Embed option is highlighted above the HTML code.When you’re in your Learn Screen notes, follow the same steps as those for inserting Desmos graphs.

A Hawkes Learn screen is shown with the lesson content at the top of the page and an interactive image of two weights with adjustable masses at the bottom.


4. Add images.

If an image is online, you can just copy and paste it into your notes!

If you take a photo of your lecture notes or scan them and save them as an image, you’ll just need to copy and paste it into a Google Doc. Then, copy the image from the Google Doc and paste it into your Learn Screen Notes.

An arrow points at the Copy option from a drop-down menu for an image pasted in a Google Doc.

5. Embed Google Slides.

Add any PowerPoint presentation that you’ve created for class directly into the Hawkes courseware using Google Slides. (And remember Hawkes has PowerPoint presentations available at!) Just make sure you upload your presentation to your Google Drive, then follow these quick steps:

When you’re in Google Slides, open up the presentation. Select File > Publish to web > Embed. Then, copy the code provided.

A PowerPoint presentation is shown in Google Slides. The "Open with" drop-down menu is displayed, with Google Slides highlighted.A window titled "Publish to the web" is shown. The Embed tab is chosen, and the Publish button is highlighted.

In your Learn Screen Notes…you guessed it! Select Source, paste the code, deselect Source, and then choose Preview to check it out:

A Hawkes Learn screen is shown with the lesson at the top of the page and the PowerPoint presentation at the bottom.


6. Embed Google Forms.

Want to add in quick quizzes to check in on students’ progress within Learn, or even polls regarding the lesson content? Now you can using Google Forms!

First, create your Google Form. Select the Send button in the top right, then “< >.” Copy the HTML code.

The Send Form in Google Forms is shown. The Embed HTML is highlighted.

Once you’re in your Learn Screen Notes, follow the usual steps: select Source, paste the code, deselect Source, and then choose Preview.

The Hawkes Learn screen is shown with the lesson content at the top of the page and the embedded Google Form at the bottom. The embedded Google Form is called Pop Quiz and asks a true/false question of "A square has five 90 degree angles."


If you have any questions on using Learn Screen Notes, contact your Training & Support Specialist at 1-800-426-9538.


Please note that Hawkes Learning is not responsible for user-created content. View our Terms of Use.

Fighting Students’ Apathy with a Growth Mindset Approach

Have you had students who just didn’t seem to care about class? They may have shown up physically, but they were somewhere else mentally. They barely participated in class discussions, and their writing lacked the effort you tried so hard to encourage them to put forth. How do you combat this apathy?

According to Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, bringing a growth-mindset approach, rather than that of a fixed mindset, to your classroom helps reduce apathy in your students.

Growth vs. fixed mindsets

People with a fixed mindset think their traits are static. They “have a certain amount of brains and talent and nothing can change that…[P]eople in this mindset worry about their traits and how adequate they are. They have something to prove to themselves and others” (Dweck). So, students who have fixed mindsets believe they cannot get more intelligent than they already are. If they’ve been a bad student with low grades before, then they assume they’ll continue performing poorly in academic settings because that is how they are. Likewise, if they succeed in school, that success confirms their inherent intelligence and creativity. They strive for success and try to avoid failure at all costs.

People with a growth mindset, however, believe they can learn and practice diligently in order to improve at the task at hand. This type of mindset “thrives on challenge and sees failure not as evidence of unintelligence but as a heartening springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities” (Popova). Students are less preoccupied with failing and looking unintelligent and more focused on actively learning so they can become stronger in their character, creativity, and intelligence.

Changing the meaning of failure

Implementing a growth-mindset approach in class helps students understand that failure isn’t a terrible mistake that shines a light on their inadequacies. Instead, failure leads to opportunities to learn and get creative.

Risks often scare students with fixed mindsets because risks contain a chance of failing. Encouraging students to break outside of their comfort zones to take academic risks (within reason, of course!) gets them to try their hand at something different and put extra effort into their lessons.

Putting forth effort is nearly half the battle. When they apply their effort to learning something new and challenging themselves, students truly gain insight from the lesson instead of simply gaining a grade.

How Hawkes promotes growth

Hawkes gives students a penalty-free environment for learning. In the Practice mode, students can practice as much as they want to. Certify, the homework mode in the courseware, holds students accountable for learning the material on their own time. They can keep trying Certify as often as they need. If they don’t pass the first time, they don’t get a bad grade. Instead, they get the chance to try again—to get back on the proverbial horse and push themselves to keep learning and understanding the lesson. If they don’t pass Certify, students receive a customized Practice session with the question types they missed. By applying a growth mindset, students can learn from these Practice sessions, get more comfortable with the material and confident in their learning, then take on Certify again. When they pass Certify, they receive 100% full credit for the lesson, another reward for believing they can do it and applying themselves to the goal of truly learning the content.

Before taking an assigned test, students can create their own practice tests. Only they can see these practice tests. Not even instructors have access to this space, so students don’t feel judged by others. Instead of worrying about their performance on this practice assessment, students can ease into the material and allow themselves to explore what they know and what they still need to learn. Students have the option of setting a time limit, and they can also choose to not put a limit on how long they need to complete the questions.

By rewarding students for taking the time to learn the material through unlimited practice questions and customized practice tests, Hawkes’s system encourages students that they can learn and succeed when applying a growth mindset to their lessons.



Works Cited

Dweck, Carol. Mindset. Mindset Online, 2010, Accessed 25 April 2017.

Popova, Maria. “Fixed vs. Growth: The Two Basic Mindsets that Shape Our Lives.” Brain Pickings, 29 Jan. 2014. Accessed 25 April 2017.