Part 2 - Technology Orientation Activities

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Part 2 - 6329 Technology Orientation Overview

This is the continuation of Week 1 - Technology Orientation.   If you need to, click to go back to Part 1: Technology Orientation .


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 the first week of class.

Scavenger Hunt
20 pts.
Ensure you can receive emails from Bb listserv; set up an email account external to your work 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


Set up working page for your work

You will need a location for storing all your projects and making them accessible to your instructor, your client and your peers. If you already have a server that you use, you may continue to use that for storage but you will need to create a single web page in which you provide links to all of your work.  If you do not have a hosting service or server space elsewhere, I recommend that you use PBWorks or a blog to house all your projects. 


If you do not have a separate server, you should have the e-Portfolio that was created in an earlier course in which to house projects.  For the purposes of this course, you will create a page in your blog or wiki to place all your projects.  The link to this page will be posted in the course portal page so that I can easily access your projects.  This saves time and frustration for you and for the instructor.  You do not have to hunt for where to submit your projects, and I do not have to click all over the place for access to your work. 


Thus, all your deliverables for this course will be uploaded to YOUR wiki (or blog) in a page you create for this course.


To do this, follow the directions below:

  • Create a page for EDTC 6329 in your wiki or blog.  If you have already created your ePortfolio, you can create a page in that for this course and link it to your Courses Taken page. 
  • Create a table on this page that contains 3 columns: Date, Assignment, Link to Work Submitted.  For each assignment, fill in the columns with the due date, a very brief description of assignment, and link to the work that you complete. Example of how to set up page.
  • Save the page and then copy the link.
  • Go the EDTC 6329 Course Portal Page and add your name, the hyperlink to your page, and your email in the first table on the course page. Take the time to confirm that your link works after posting it to the course portal page. You can do this by simply clicking on the link to see if your 6329 page opens. That's it!  You do not have to worry about telling me where your projects are for the rest of the course. 


PLEASE NOTE: If you do not have an e-Portfolio, directions for creating and populating it can be found here .


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

Request access to edtc 6329 brain-based learning Diigo Group

Being quite honest, I am not a big fan of discussion forums.  Not sure why, but I think it is because it can seem like busy work. At the same time, I polled 50 of my students last semester to see how they felt about them and almost all found them to be beneficial.  So - this will be part of this course. However, I have put a twist on it and it will be hosted on Diigo rather than in a typical discussion forum.  In this way, it is my hope that you will learn about the many great features of Diigo and see it as a potential tool that will help you in your work and/or school. 


What is Diigo - you ask.  From , Diigo is a social bookmarking service - on steroids. Instead of just sharing bookmarks, Diigo allows you to share the conversation by annotating sites and including notes for others in the group to see. "It is a new kind online research tool that integrates tags and folders, highlighting and clipping, sticky notes, and group-based collaboration, enabling a whole new process of online knowledge management. learning and teaching in the information age."


I would like to see the class use this to the fullest potential by communicating with each other about the sites you will be posting. This, I see, as a very valuable activity that you can continue to use in the future.


Each of you will "host" the discussion board for one week.  Generally, you will find one or more sites, annotate them, pose a question, respond to others as you guide that forum and evaluate the forum responses.  More details will be provided in Week 3.


For this week, you just need to make sure that you can access the Diigo Group for this class. Follow steps below:

  • To join the group, you must have a Diigo account.  If you do not have one, then you will be taken to the appropriate place to set up an account. I recommend that you apply for a Diigo educator account because it includes many additional features for free.
  • Please note: If you have a "cute" name for your Diigo account, please join this group under a name that will be readily recognized or prepare to add your name at the end of each posting.  When you use an obscure or unusual name, it is very frustrating for the host - or me - to have to figure out who you are.


  • In addition to joining the group, please view the brief Research, Share and Collaborate videos below. These will give you an idea of the power behind Diigo groups discussion.  More details about the requirements for host will be provided when the activity is to begin.





Diigo V4: Research ~ annotate, archive, organize from diigobuzz on Vimeo.



Diigo V4 Sharing ~ build a personal learning network from diigobuzz on Vimeo.



Diigo V4: Collaborate~ Create a Group Knowledge Repository from diigobuzz on Vimeo.


Sign up for Discussion Forum Host Date

Now that you have signed up for the Diigo group, please go to the EDTC 6329 Course Portal Page and select the week in which you will be Discussion Board host. Add your name to your choice of weeks to host in the second table in the EDTC 6329 Course Portal Page . Once all the weeks have at least one host, you may double (or triple) up on a week.  However, each person will be independent and develop his or her own discussion topic.

Sign up for presentation date

Each of you will be presenting a summary of your work at the end of the semester.  You will have 15 minutes in which to wow us.  Please sign up for your presentation slot in the third chart on the EDTC 6329 Course Portal Page .

Set up your computer to run Collaborate

We will NOT be meeting synchronously the first week of class. This is intentional and gives you time to get all this technology under your belt before the first meeting.  We will be meeting synchronously through Collaborate the second week and several other weeks during the semester.  The tentative meeting time is posted on the Calendar.  We will be meeting in the Town Hall Meeting Room. The weeks we will be meeting can be found on the Course Calendar . Sometimes, class can be cancelled, depending on the world around us.  I make every effort to post any Collaborate cancellation in the Course Calendar , so it can be helpful to check the calendar just before you head to class.


To use Collaborate, 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. I recently discovered that I can even use my phone earbuds with mic for Collaborate. However, in most cases, the better your equipment is, the better it is for you and your peers in class. 


Critical:  Although this sometimes gets ignored, 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. Echo. Echo. Echo.  Please be advised that you will be called out by your peers if you cause and echo.


You can access the room through BlackBoard by clicking on the Collaborate link in the left sidebar menu. Once you have your headset with microphone, you can access Collaborate through the link in your UTB course menu sidebar to the left.  Before the first meeting, please go into Collaborate and make sure you can speak and hear in the course.  This is done by entering the class and going into Audio Setup Wizard.  You are all moderators in the Collaborate room, thus you can go into Collaborate and use all the features once in the course.


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

  • The technology is not perfect - but we all get through rather nicely and have a good time.
  • Gremlins and their cousins have been known to interrupt the meetings.  We just go forward and pretend that they are not bothering us. Despite multiple attempts to trouble-shoot the problems, those same gremlins become conspicuously absent when someone comes into the room to observe. I do find that those with the most problems are infrequent users of the technology.
  • Again, 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 them built in - and most computers now have them. So, 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 some strategies seem to fall in place each class meeting.
  • PLEASE NOTE: You cannot private chat with each other, because you are all moderators. Hence, be careful.  Not only will NSA likely be listening in to the conversation, but your colleagues and instructor will see it as well. 
  • Although not mandatory, we highly recommend that you attend each Collaborate meeting. The Collaborate meetings can diminish the feeling of isolation that online students often experience. Students greatly benefit from interaction with peers and find that Collaborate feels almost like meeting face-to-face (f2f). One student remarked: "It's just like being in a regular class, except I can be in my jammies and slippers." Collaborate meetings also give you an opportunity to network with students in the class and make invaluable connections with others who are interested in careers in educational technology.
  • Finally, if you have to miss a Collaborate session, you must listen to the archived meeting of any Collaborate session that you miss and send a reflection to the others in the class via listserv to receive full participation credit.  This is not a formal document - just reflect on your thoughts as you view the archive and make pertinent responses to questions that may be posed.  How long, you say?  250-300 words should be sufficient. 


Two Final (but very important) Notes:


Password Log:

You have probably been looking all over for this so you can answer the question on the Scavenger Hunt.  I didn't intend to make it so hard to find.  I just plum forgot until I was adding the quiz to BlackBoard.  It is not as critical now, it seems, but I used to get many complaints about  all the logins that I created a little form to keep track of the many logins for the course.  If you want to keep them all together in one place for this course, click here for a handy offline log that you can add to as you open accounts.



And finally - the Scavenger Hunt quiz creation really helped me to make sure everything important was included in the Technology Orientation. I will be giving out Brain Rules Badges this semester.  To register for badges, please go to Class Badges and use the following registration code:  M2V4RWFI - the final character is a capital i.  Hopefully we can have some fun with this and it doesn't drive us crazy.  If you already have an account, you just need to add the code to get registered for our class.

You have now successfully completed the technology orientation and are ready to move forward.

Photos attributed to photographers are from ; non-attributed photos purchased or created by course designer - all rights reserved.


This page was last updated on August 26, 2013.
Pages are maintained by Dr. Janice Wilson Butler