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6341 Technology Orientation Fall 2011

Page history last edited by Chriselda L. Saenz 9 years ago
EDTC 6341.60 Student-Centered Learning
Technology Orientation Synopsis

Graphic art of hand on digital background These activities will prepare you to use many of the "back end" tools that will be required in your MTT and Ed Tech courses.

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 run Elluminate, since we will be meeting on Tuesday. Elluminate sessions are not mandatory. However, we highly recommend that you attend these sessions because they provide an opportunity to connect with your peers and your instructors. Please make every effort to attend the first session since this will allow you to ask questions, should you have any, as well as meet others in the class.


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.

Make sure that your links to your projects work. 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 look forward to hearing 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.

As you are working on your technology orientation, please make sure that you take note of the rubric to determine the criteria for each category. The rubric provides a detailed description of what is necessary to meet each objective. Your grade will be determined by how well you meet the objectives established in each category. The top points are determined by how well you fulfill the objectives - thus quality is as important as content.


Obj. ACTIVITIES: 1 2 3 4 5 6 2B Top

Step 1 : Set up an external 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. It is critical that you have a Gmail account so that you can use a variety of Google 2.0 features. In addition, listserv emails from universities often look suspicious and are rejected by ISD accounts. If you do not already have a Gmail account, you may go http://gmail.com to set up your Gmail account. In addition to being able to share such things as Google Docs, Gmail also allows you to send and receive large files without difficulty or size limits.

It is YOUR responsibility to ensure that your Gmail address can receive course emails. A tutorial on using the BlackBoard listserv can be found below.

To complete this activity:

  • Go to the Listserv via the Course Email button on the menu bar.
  • 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: edtc6341.61 (your name) Trial Email

If you do not receive the email from the listserv, then you need to go to go to Scorpion and change your email address to the one that you will be using for this class.

Including the course number, section number and your name in your email subject line allows the instructor to put the context of your question in the appropriate course and answer more timely.

The course email is considered the listserv for this class.


Upon completion of this activity, please go to the next activity below.

Obj. ACTIVITIES: 1 2 3 4 5 6 2B Top

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

globe 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.

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:

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.

If you cannot figure out how to do this, the PBWorks blog provides additional instructions.)







2.) Log in to the 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 most of the mechanics of using your wiki. With all that said, you are now ready to complete this part of your orientation as you to complete this step follow:

1.) 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 re-size 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 Re-size: 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 6341 (semester year) Profiles page for your course
  • upload your photo to the appropriate page
  • include a brief bio sketch for others to view

To view the tutorial on adding bio and photo to appropriate page, please click here.


When finished, please go to the next activity below.

Obj. ACTIVITIES: 1 2 3 4 5 6 2B Top

Step 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 MUST have a headset that has a microphone. Headsets can be purchased at Best Buy, Office Depot, Staples, WalMart, etc. for about $20.00. If you have a computer that has a built in microphone, you must figure out how to turn it off during class.

NOTE: If you are going to be taking several online classes, we recommend that you use a more expensive headset, such as a Microsoft Lifechat LX 3000, which runs about $40.00. A more expensive headset will also give you better sound quality as you are recording projects throughout the program. However, the less expensive sets certainly provide acceptable quality in Elluminate sessions.

Log in to the UTB BlackBoard and you will find a link to Elluminate Live on the sidebar menu.

Directions and assistance for logging in to UTB and accessing your course can be found here. While it is very easy to use, should you want more discussion, 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. 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 one 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. Please refrain from using this chat 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 strategies seem to fall in place each class meeting.
  • PLEASE NOTE: You can private chat with each other, but anyone who is a moderator 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 seem to 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.


Go to the next activity below.

Obj. ACTIVITIES: 1 2 3 4 5 6 2B Top

Step 4. Create a 2-slide Power Point that will be uploaded to Elluminate

For this activity, you will create a very simple PowerPoint (or other multimedia presentation) 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 one thing that you would really like to learn this semester and a photograph that is symbolic of what you want to learn.
    • Elluminate will not accept any transitions or animations, so create a simple PowerPoint with no transitions or animation. Be prepared to upload and share our first meeting.

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

edtc6341_61_ janice_intro

Please note: When you save and name your PowerPoint, you should not include the ".ppt" at the end. PowerPoint will add the ending extension for you.

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.

Your project named janice intro.ppt cannot be retrieved from the wiki 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.


Go to the next activity below.

Obj. ACTIVITIES: 1 2 3 4 5 6 2B Top

Step 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!!! You will not be able to load your PowerPoint into Elluminate until the first night we meet.

Wimba talk 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 Elluminate, 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.

Your response to the archived meeting should be approximately 250-300 words and contain more substance than, "That was very interesting; I agree."

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 can share the significance of the photo included in the first slide and a few sentences about the web site you are sharing with others.



Go to the next activity below.

Obj. ACTIVITIES: 1 2 3 4 5 6 2B Top

Step 6: Upload the PowerPoint to the wiki and post the link

magnifying glass

Embed your PowerPoint into the course wiki page for EDTC 6341.

Click here for tutorials on adding your PowerPoint presentation to the wiki.

Once you complete this activity, you will be finished with your Tech Orientation. You are ready to move forward to the Whyville Orientation.


Obj. ACTIVITIES: 1 2 3 4 5 6 2B Top

Click here to go to Whyville Orientation>>


Photos with photographer's name downloaded from http://www.sxc.hu; non-attributed photos purchased or developed by course designer - all rights reserved.

This page was last updated on August 9, 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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