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6329 Technology Orientation

Page history last edited by Janice Wilson Butler 6 years, 10 months ago

Course Calendar      Spring 2014 Portal Page      EDTC 6329 Students Spring 2014      Syllabus


6329 Technology Orientation Overview

Beginning a new online course can be more daunting and uncomfortable than showing up to your face to face (F2F) classroom the first time. In a F2F course, the instructor is waiting in the room to guide you and answer any questions. In the online course, you often enter the first day and face a screen with multiple links asking you to do a variety of activities that may or may not sound like an alien language. In order to ameliorate these first time jitters and the strong possibility that students are at varying levels of expertise both in online learning and in technology skills, the first week of this course will be spent preparing you to be successful in this course.


These activities are intended to prepare you to use all the "back end" tools that will be required throughout the semester. Some of you may already know how to complete the activities - or you may have already done some of the activities in another orientation. If that is the case, you will likely fly through them. If you find yourself finished with all the activities, bored, and ready to move forward, feel free to get a jump start on future assignments you will be completing 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 Collaborate, since we will be meeting the second week of classes. Please make every effort to attend this first session since this will allow you to ask questions, meet your fellow students and get to know your instructor.


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


This course will emphasize brain-based learning. Because I am a great believer in reflecting to learn and reflecting on learning, please take time to reflect on the activities as you are working through them. Examine your attitude about the work you are doing. Do you find it challenging? Is it interesting and fun? Is it boring? Does it assume that you know more than you do? Does it help you master the objectives? Was it frustrating?


These reflections should guide you as you move forward to develop your own instruction in the online environment.


And, now you are ready to move forward. Good luck and I look forward to meeting you all in the online world of Collaborate.


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. In addition, you should become familiar with toggling between BlackBoard, the course wiki, your wiki and Diiigo Groups.  We will make every effort to help you navigate the course components.


Due to the limitations of BlackBoard, most of your course will reside in a course wiki.  The portal page for your course wiki can be found here:    You will also find a link to the course wiki in the left menu bar of the BlackBoard course.  In truth, for most of the course, you will not need to enter BlackBoard.  BlackBoard will be mainly used to house your grades, and provide the jump point to get into Collaborate. 


Please complete these activities during the first week of class. They should be finished by Sunday, Midnight.

Scavenger Hunt
20 pts.
Ensure you can receive emails; set up an email account if necessary
10 pts.
Request access to the course wiki 5 pts.
Post photo and biographical sketch
15 pts.
Set up working page to house content on your wiki (or blog)
15 pts.
Post the link to your working page and your email in course wiki opening page
5 pts.

Request access to Diigo group

10 pts.
Sign up for DQ host date

5 pts.

Sign up for presentation date  
5 pts.
Set up your computer to run Collaborate
10 pts.
Total Points
100 points


Scavenger Hunt

This Scavenger Hunt is intended to guide you through important information about the course and the requirements for success. You can wait until the end to complete the Scavenger, but I recommend that you open the map and the questions before you begin the other activities so that you know the information you are looking for. Using the Treasure Map and the Scavenger Hunt Questions, you should become familiar with course expectations. Once you have all the answers, you can go to the BlackBoard course and click on the Quiz 1 link in the left menu bar.

Ensure you can receive emails; external email account ; formatting of emails

In an online course, extensive communication occurs via email. For this online course (and others in the program), you will receiving emails from the instructor and from your peers. We have found that many workplace emails consider the UTB listserv as spam and delete or put them into a spam folder. Thus, it is critical that you have an email account that can receive email from the listserv. ISDs are absolutely the worst about blocking emails from UTB listserv. As harsh as this sounds, I will often get busy and forget to "hunt you down" and resend the email if it does not get to you. So, for this activity, I ask that you ensure that you can receive messages at your email address and open an external one if you are not receiving the email.


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 by following the steps below. 


It is YOUR responsibility to ensure that your email address can receive course emails. Follow the directions below for emailing through listserv:


  • Go to the Listserv via the Course Email button on the menu bar in your BlackBoard 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:

                                                   edtc6329 (your name) Trial Email 

  • If you do not receive the email, then you need to create an email account through Google, Yahoo, etc. Once you have created a new email account, go to UTB Online and change your email address to the new account. You will find the link to change your email account under User Account, the first link on the page.

  • Once again, send yourself another email to ensure that you receive it.


FORMATTING FOR ALL CLASS EMAILS: To enable everyone in the class 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, I may inadvertently overlook it and thus take longer to send 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. Also, if you have an email address that does not include your name, it is difficult for me to find the correct context from which to respond. 

Request access to the course wiki

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 complete follow:


  •  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.access to log in This request access account link can be found in the upper right corner when you first go the wiki page.  If you cannot figure out how to do this, the PBworks blog provides additional instructions.) Some of you may already be members of this wiki as it is used in several of the Ed Tech courses.  If you are already a member, you generally do not need to request access again.


  • Log in to the course wiki page to ensure you have access. Several activities must be completed on the opening page of the course wiki as detailed below.
Post photo and brief biography

A potentially very embarrassing event the first semester I taught online classes convinced me that it really is important that you have a face to associate with voices in Collaborate and email messages. Hence, I have had students do this each semester since then and it continues to be popular. You will be posting your photo and a brief profile to the course wiki so that others can get to know you better. To do this, first find a photo of you that you do not mind sharing.  Make sure the photo is the appropriate size for posting ( about 175 X 200 pixels - or so)  and is cropped to show you at your very best.


  • Make sure that your photo is the correct size for adding to the wiki. 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. If you do not know how to crop your photo, please review the tutorial in the box below:

To Crop and Resize: Many graphic editing programs are available now for free and many photo storage places also 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.


  • Once you have your photo ready, click on the EDTC 6329 Student Profiles link at the top of the course wiki page. On this page, you will be posting your name, your photograph and some information about you. Your next steps will be to:
    • Access the wiki
    • Go to EDTC 6329 Student Profiles for your course
    • Upload your photo to an empty cell and left justify it
    • Include a brief bio sketch for others to view. Give us an idea of who you are, what you do, future plans, family, your favorite Lotto numbers  - or whatever else you would like to share.


Please note: If you are not familiar with how to use a wiki, please click here for a step-by-step tutorial on how to complete the above portion of the technology orientation. If you would like additional PBwiki tutorials from a variety of sources, please click here.


Click here to go to Part 2: Technology Orientation Activities


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


Pages are maintained by Dr. Janice Wilson Butler

© Copyright 2013



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