• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Finally, you can manage your Google Docs, uploads, and email attachments (plus Dropbox and Slack files) in one convenient place. Claim a free account, and in less than 2 minutes, Dokkio (from the makers of PBworks) can automatically organize your content for you.


40 Technology Orientation

Page history last edited by Janice Wilson Butler 9 years, 11 months ago

6340 Technology Orientation


Technology Orientation Overview

These activities will prepare you to use all the "back end" tools that will be required during your MTT and Ed Tech courses. Some of you may already know how to complete the activities - or you may have already done some of the activities in this orientation. If that is the case, you can probably fly through these activities. If so, you can always get a jump start on other activities you will need for the course.


The activities are listed in the approximate order you will need them. Please note that you have a very narrow window for setting up your computer to Elluminate, since we will be meeting the second week of classes. Please make every effort to attend the first session since this will allow you to ask questions, should you have any.


In addition, you may want to make a mental note about this orientation in case you get "stumped" somewhere along the way in the course. In addition to tutorials needed to complete each activity, you will also find links to resources and important contact information.


Please pay particular attention to the tutorial on optimizing photos and on adding your URLs to the course wiki. These are the two areas that cause the most challenge as you are going through the course. It is critical that you make sure you know how to link the appropriate page of your wiki to the course wiki so that the instructor will have access to your projects.


If your projects are not accessible through the URL you provide, you run the risk of having points taken off for being late.


Good luck and hope to hear you soon.


Upon completion of this project, you will be able to use the technology tools necessary for success in your coursework in the Educational Technology program. Please follow the time for completion of the activities. 


Orientation Activities
Pre-Activity - Scavenger Hunt
40 pts.
1. Set up an email account external to your work; ensure you can receive emails from Bb listserv
10 pts.
2A-B. Access the course wiki and post photo and biographical sketch
15 pts.
3. Set up computer to run Elluminate 
5 pts.

4. Create and prepare to upload a 2-slide Power Point to Elluminate 

10 pts.
5. Meet and present in Elluminate
10 pts.
6. Post the URLs of Orientation project on the course wiki page
10 pts.
Total Points
100 pts.


1. Set up an email account; ensure you can receive emails from Bb listserv

In an online course, extensive communication occurs via email. For this online course and others in the program, you will be using a variety of Web 2.0 tools. Thus, it is critical that you have an email account that is external to your work address so that you can receive email from the BlackBoard listserv and use Google 2.0 features.   


Google offers free, virtually unlimited space and is quite easy to use. Others such as Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail, etc. are acceptable. Once you have an account, please ensure that you can receive emails from the listserv for that email account. 


It is YOUR responsibility to ensure that your email address can receive course emails. To send an email through the course listserv, follow the directions below:


  • Go to the Listserv via the Course eMail button on the left menu bar in your course.
  • Send yourself an email as a single user and another to the whole group.
  • Please put the course number, your name and Trial Email in the subject line. For example, your email subject line for this activity would be:

    edtc6340 (your name) Trial Email


If you do not receive the email, then you need to go to Scorpion Online to change your email address. You will find Scorpion Online in the Quick Links from the main UTB page. 


FORMATTING FOR ALL CLASS EMAILS: To enable everyone in the class (and your instructor) to easily organize emails, please include the course number, your name, and then the subject of your email in the subject line as seen below:


edtc6340 Janice - Your topic here.


If you do not include the course number and your name, it may be inadvertently overlooked and thus take longer to receive a response. Having the course number in your subject line also allows the instructor to put the context of your question in the appropriate course.


Tutorial on sending and receiving emails via the course listserv:

This will complete your first critical activity for Orientation.

Steps 2A and 2B: Access the course wiki and post photo and brief biography

For this part of the orientation, you will be "getting to know" our class wiki: how to access it and read it, how to optimize photos before adding to the wiki and how to edit the wiki.


You will also have the opportunity to "meet" and learn about your fellow classmates through the wiki. If you are interested in learning about all things wiki, we recommend you visit the following site: http://emergingtechk-12.pbwiki.com/Wikis,+wikibooks developed by a student in the UTB Ed Tech program.


Briefly, a wiki is a piece of server software that allows users to freely create and edit web pages using any web browser without the need for an html editor. Thus, it is a cross-platform tool that allows massive collaboration on projects and can be edited anytime, anywhere, by anyone. In every sense of the word, wikis are a disruptive technology. Yet, they offer great hope in allowing students to collaborate online, breaking many barriers that exist when students (or businesses) are located in different parts of the country.

The tasks you must follow for Step 2A follow:


To complete this step:

1.) Go to the wiki and request access from your instructor by clicking on the Request Access button (as shown below) and entering your email address. You should have access within 24 hours - most of the time, much sooner. If you do not have access within 24 hours, please re-send your request.


access to log inIf you cannot figure out how to do this, the PBworks blog provides additional instructions.)


2.) Log in to your wiki and you will see a link to your course wiki. Look for the title of your course and click on that to enter your course wiki.


Access and use your class wiki at the following location: http://butleratutb.pbworks.com. PBworks wikis are free and without advertising for educators. PBworks wikis are so named because creating and using their wiki is as easy as making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Once you spend a bit of time there, you will likely find that you agree.


The tasks you must follow for Step 2B follow:

This step is designed to take you through some of the mechanics of using the course wiki and will prepare you to begin working on your own wiki created in the next project. You are now ready to work on this part of your orientation as you to complete the step below:


globe1.) Find a photograph of you that you would like to share with the class. Make sure that your photo is the correct size for adding to the wiki. Your photo should be about 150 X 200 pixels. If you have a large photo, you will need to resize it and possibly crop it (we want to see your face - not the scenery around you) before adding it to the wiki.


To Crop and Resize: Many graphic editing programs are available now for free and many photo storage places have graphic editing tools. If you are not familiar with any of them, we recommend PhotoFiltre for its ease of use and price (FREE).


To download the free PhotoFiltre, click here, select Downloads, then select English version 6.3.1. After downloading, click on the file to install and follow the directions. Hint: This program is small enough that you can install it on your flash drive and always have a photo editing program available to you regardless of the computer that you use.


Should you choose to use PhotoFiltre, click here for a text and graphical tutorial on how to crop and resize your photo using Photofiltre.


2.) Next,

  • access the wiki
  • go to Bio and Photo page for your course
  • upload your photo to the appropriate page
  • include a brief bio sketch for others to view


Tutorial on adding bio and photo to appropriate page.

Please click here for a step-by-step tutorial on how to complete this portion of the technology orientation.

If you would like additional PBwiki tutorials from a variety of sources, please click here.


Please note: You will need a location for storing all your projects online during this course and the educational technology program. If you already have a server that you use, you may continue to use that. If you do not have a hosting service or server space elsewhere, we recommend that you use PBworks to house all your projects.  You will also be required to maintain an ePortfolio and PBworks will provide an easy way to create a professional looking product. The next project will guide you through the process of creating your ePortfolio framework that will house and present all your work in the program.


You can set up your account right now or, if your are unfamiliar with the wiki and want to wait until Module 1, that is fine. For those who are ready to creat a wiki, please follow the information below.


Go to the following tutorials for information on creating your wiki: http://team1edtc6320.pbworks.com/Coral%27s-Tutorias


3. Set up your computer to run Elluminate

We will be meeting synchronously (all students and teachers at the same time) online through Elluminate Live Classroom. To use Elluminate, you first need to make sure that you have a headset that has a microphone. Headsets can be purchased at Best Buy, Office Depot, Staples, WalMart, etc. for about $20.00. Big Lots even has a decent one for $5.00.


In order to participate in class, you MUST have a headset with microphone even if you have a computer with a built in microphone and speakers. Using the built-in speakers and microphone will cause the others in the class to hear an annoying echo and may result in being yelled at by the instructor or others in the class.


Once you have your headset with microphone, you can access Elluminate through your UTB course menu sidebar to the left. After clicking on the log-in button for Elluminate, your computer will do the rest to ensure that you have everything you need to participate in the Elluminate session.


While it is very easy to use, should you want more information, you can find anything and everything about Elluminate here.


Some critical things to consider for making your visits to Elluminate happy times:

  • The technology is not perfect - but we all get through rather nicely and have a good time. Those with the most problems are infrequent users of the technology.
  • PLEASE DO NOT use external speakers. Again, the echo from this will drive everyone crazy and you will get yelled at by virtually all in class that night. That means that you cannot use the speakers from your computer if you have speakers built in. Please use headsets (for our sanity, if not yours).
  • Be patient during the glitches. We all learn from glitches and find ways around them that work effectively.
  • Text messaging will be turned on during class initially. This enables us to communicate with one another or let others know about technology challenges without having to interrupt those who are speaking. Except for before class and times when the instructor gives you permission for open chat, please refrain from using this function to discuss football games, parties, etc., unless we are having a down-time. Off topic chat can distract presenters (instructors) and is considered as rude as talking during class while the instructor is speaking. Having said that, the chat function has been very successful in keeping students connected throughout the class. We will discuss how to use it more on the first night of class and some strategies seem to fall in place each class meeting.
  • PLEASE NOTE: You can private chat with each other, but I will be able to see what you are saying. It would be prudent to be careful.
  • Although not mandatory, we highly recommend that you attend each Elluminate meeting. Students greatly benefit from interaction with peers and find that Elluminate feels almost like meeting face-to-face (f2f). Last semester, a student remarked: "It's just like being in a regular class, except I can be in my jammies and slippers." Elluminate meetings also give you an opportunity to network with others in the class and make invaluable connections with others who are interested in careers in education.
  • To get participation credit, you MUST listen to the archived meeting of any Elluminate session that you miss and respond to it on the course listserv by the end of the week.


Once you complete this activity, you will be finished with your third orientation task.

4. Create and prepare to upload a 2-slide Power Point to Elluminate
For this activity, you will create a PowerPoint containing two slides.


Please include the following slides:

  1. One nice photograph of something you would like to share.
    • It does not have to be you; it could be a pet, your favorite musical group, your school, your child or grandchild - virtually anything that is meaningful to you.
    • Please add a brief comment of no more than six (6) words about the photo.
  2. On slide two, please include at least one professional and one personal goal you have for this class this semester.


Elluminate will not accept any fancy transitions or animations, so create a simple PowerPoint with no transitions or animation. Be prepared to upload and share our first meeting.


If you cannot attend the Elluminate session, you will need to upload the presentation in the wiki so that the others in the class can view it. However, we highly encourage everyone to attend since the sessions allow you to hear from others in the class as well as share your expertise.


Save the PowerPoint as indicated below, including the course number, your name and intro in the file name. For example, mine would be named


edtc6320_ janice_intro


An extremely important note about project names:
In a nutshell, it is critical that you DO NOT use any spaces in the names of any of your projects. Projects with spaces in the name often CANNOT be retrieved from a server, so you should get into the habit of eliminating ALL spaces when you are naming any file.


For example, your project named janice intro.ppt cannot be retrieved from the server for others (your instructor) to see when you post it to the project site. If the project cannot be retrieved, it WILL NOT be considered to be completed.


Once you complete this activity, you will be finished with your fourth orientation task.M

5. Meet and present in Elluminate for first time; requirements if you cannot attend

Log on and meet everyone on the date indicated on the calendar. Hear you all in class!!!


It is important that you actively participate in class each meeting just as you would in a F2F class. Students will learn as much from your input and your questions as they do from the instructor (sometimes more). For full attendance credit in Wimba, you must be an active participant - asking questions, providing feedback, adding to the discussion.


If you cannot meet during the first class, you must listen to the archived meeting and respond to the information that was discussed in Elluminate on the listserv.


You will not receive credit for class participation if you do not attend the Elluminate meetings or listen to the archived meeting and respond to the content of the meeting within one week.

Your response to the archived meeting should be approximately 250-300 words and contain more substance than, "That was very interesting; I agree." Your response should be a reflection of what others discussed and how it impacts you.


During your first meeting, you will share information about yourself through the PowerPoint presentation in Elluminate. The presentation should be quite brief to allow everyone in class to present. During this presentation, you will share the significance of the photo included in the first slide and a few sentences about your goals.


Once you complete this activity, you will be finished with your fifth orientation task.

6. Retrieve and post the URL's of Orientation project in wiki 

This is one of the most important steps in this tutorial and for your ongoing success in the program because it will teach you how to post your work so that it can be accessed by your instructor as well as others in the class.


To find your course wiki page, please go to the main wiki at http://butleratutb.pbworks.com/ and find the link to the portal for this semester and click on it. This link can be found at the top of the left column in the wiki and will be called this semester and this year. From this portal, you can find the links to your course(s) and other information about posting or Elluminate rooms.


Once on your course wiki page, you will see a chart for the Technology Orientation page. Please upload your PowerPoint and provide a link to it on the chart provided. 


First you need to upload your file.


Please see the tutorials below:


Uploading files to the wiki from PBWorks Tutorials

Uploading Files from PBworks Support on Vimeo.

Then you will need to link your PowerPoint to the chart. Please see the tutorial for this: PBWorks Linking Tutorial

Please Note: If you are not logged in, you will need to log in using your PB wiki identity in order to edit the page


Take the time to confirm that your URL works after posting it to the wiki page. You can do this by simmply clicking on the link on the age to see if your file opens.


If you need any additional information on navigating the wiki, the following page contains brief tutorials on all aspects of PBworks in short tutorials (about 60 seconds).


Once you have ensured that your URL works, then go to the wiki, select Edit from the wiki bar and enter your URL. After saving, we recommend that you double check to make sure your link works. You can do this by clicking on the URL you just entered on the wiki. If you get a "Page not found..." message, then everyone else will, too. Keep working at it until you have the working URL.


In the first project, you will be setting up your own wiki for your ePortfolio.  After that, you will provide a link to your ePortfolio page in the course wiki so that we may access the projects.


Congratulations. You have completed this important module.

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Photos attributed to photographers are from http://www.sxc.hu; non-attributed photos purchased or created by course designer - all rights reserved.

This page was last updated on April 16, 2011.
Pages are maintained by Dr. Janice Wilson Butler and
the Office of Distance Education,

The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College
© Copyright 2011




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