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2014 EDTC 6340 Week 1

Page history last edited by Marie Evans 6 years, 1 month ago

Course Calendar      Student Portal Page       Student Profiles Page      Syllabus


EDTC 6340 Technology Orientation                   Week 1 - (Summer 1A)


graphic of globe and phone connecting by emailCourse Overview


Welcome to EDTC 6340. This course is considered the first course in the sequence for the Teacher Leadership in Education certificate and is quite a popular elective in the Educational Technology program. A strong emphasis in this course is learning about many of the current Web 2.0/Social Media tools that are currently used in education and training today. More important than learning to use them, is learning how to integrate them into your teaching to create an engaging and interactive environment for your students. We will have many discussions throughout the course about how they can be used effectively to increase the likelihood that the 21st century learner will actively participate in their learning.


The course is designed so that we will all learn some of the tools (at least 5) and each of us will learn a separate group of tools (at least 3), and we will share our understanding of the individually selected tools. Thus, with a class of 15 students each learning 3 tools, as a group we will have exposure to 45 different tools and closely work with 8. That will be a nice set of tools to have under your belt for using and sharing!!!


In addition to learning how to use Web 2.0 tools, this course is the first educational technology course in the sequence for your TxVSN K-12 Online Learning document of completion. As such, you have a dual role in this course - first to be an online student and second to learn how to be an online instructor.  Research suggests that the most effective online instructors have taken online classes. In that respect, you will be ahead of the game in that you will have a broad range of experiences in online classes from a variety of instructors, all with varying ideas of how to present content. Activities at the end of the orientation will allow you to reflect on how this activity is beneficial for the online student.


Before you get started on the first week activities, please don't forget to buy your textbook!  The title can be found in the syllabus.


The First Week

Please note, during the summer terms, you will need to complete 3 weeks of work (3 units) each week. Expect to spend roughly 2 days per unit).  All work for those units should be posted by midnight of the week it is due.


You will find that during this course and in the program, you will have two tasks - one is to learn the content, and the other is to learn the tools that are used to deliver content. This is a bit different than someone in, say, a business program who typically needs to learn business subjects, but does not have to learn how to use a wiki (such as this) or other Web 2.0/Social Media tools, Collaborate, and BlackBoard itself. What does this mean? It means that you are going to be exposed to many new tools and many new ways of doing things. It may seem intimidating at first - since you have to learn to use wikis, develop your own wikis, navigate the course and all components, learn a whole host of Web 2.0 tools that are new and perhaps foreign to you, and more. As an online learner in this program, you will be expected not just to absorb understanding of the topic, but also to be aware of how the topic is presented. Thus, I have found it to be extremely helpful to conduct Orientation - in which you really just focus on getting set up to begin work.


Orientation activities will prepare you to use all the "back end" tools that will be required during your course. Some of you may already know how to complete the activities - or you may have already done some of the activities in this orientation in another class. 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 this course.


The activities are listed in the approximate order you will need them. 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.


One STRONG suggestion is to read ALL the materials that are provided. This week the reading materials are rather extensive. They will not be this detailed each week - but this lengthy week's WWII poster of gremlins in the workplaceassignment is necessary to orient you to the course tools.  Before asking any questions, read through the materials and attempt to do everything. Part of the "challenge" in learning anything new is the struggle through until you reach understanding.  This is especially true in graduate school.  So, read, once, read twice, read three times, try it out - and only then ask questions.  A very general email saying that you don't understand anything tells me simply that you have not read it through. A very detailed message, such as, "On the third step, I tried to click on the link provided and instead of going to Diigo it went to DishNetwork,"  tells me that you have read it and tried to resolve the problem before asking.  Please note - none of the links really go to DishNetwork! Unless the gremlins have been active. (And you will find out about those gremlins later on in your reading).


Good luck and look forward to hearing from you soon!

iNacol Standards Addressed

A4 Knows and understands the need for continuing to update academic knowledge, pedagogy, and skills.

  • Is able to meet the state‚Äôs professional teaching standards or has academic credentials in the field in which he or she is teaching.

A5 Knows and understands the subject area and age group they are teaching. 

  • *Is able to provide evidence of credentials in the field of study to be taught.

B1 Knows and understands the use of an array of grade-appropriate online tools for communication, productivity, collaboration, analysis, presentation, research, and content delivery.

  • Is able to select and use a variety of online tools for communication, productivity, collaboration, analysis, presentation, research, and online content delivery as appropriate to the content area and student needs.

B2 Knows and understands the use of emerging technologies in a variety of mediums for teaching and learning, based on student needs.

  • Is able to effectively use and incorporate subject-specific and developmentally appropriate technologies, tools, and resources.

B3 Knows and understands the importance of interaction in an online course and the role of varied communication tools in supporting interaction.

  • Is able to use communication technologies in a variety of mediums and contexts for teaching and learning.

B4 Knows and understands basic troubleshooting skills and the responsibility to address basic technical issues online students may have.

  • Is able to apply troubleshooting skills (e.g., change passwords; download plug-ins, etc.).

B5 Knows and understands the need to continuously update their knowledge and skills for using the evolving technology tools that support online learning.

  • Is able to identify and explore new tools and test their applicability to their content areas and students.
C3 Knows and understands the techniques for developing a community among the participants.
  • Is able to apply effective facilitation skills by creating a relationship of trust; establish consistent and reliable expectations; and support and encourage independence and creativity that promotes the development of a sense of community among the participants.


* Above photo from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gremlin



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 complete all activities except for meeting in Collaborate by the end of week 1.  


Orientation Activities
Review course organization
10 pts.
Set up an email account external to your work; ensure you can receive emails from Bb listserv
10 pts.
Join the course wiki
10 pts.
Post photo and biographical sketch 10 pts.
Complete assigned steps for ePortfolio  10 pts.
Set up EDTC 6340 page to house projects and post URL to course wiki 10 pts.
Request access to the Diigo group  10 pts.
Sign up for presentation date at end of semester 
10 pts.
 Set up computer to run Collaborate and test it for class
10 pts.

 Meet and present in Calloborate

10 pts.
Total Points
100 pts.

Review Course Organization

This course is arranged a bit differently than other courses you may have taken which used primarily a course management system such as BlackBoard. Most of the content for this course is presented in this wiki.  There is a strong rationale for arranging this course in this manner.  One of the most important reasons is that as an educator or in industry, it is highly  unlikely that you will have access to BlackBoard to teach your courses and present materials.  However, very few districts do not allow teachers to use PBWorks (or other wikis) and some forward thinking districts even provide premium accounts to their teachers.  Thus, PB is a tool that you can use very effectively in your own teaching and/or training - and the more you use something, the more proficient you become.


Further, regardless of how hard they are trying to emulate the world of social media/Web 2.0 that we all live in, BlackBoard continues to fall short of the strong collaboration components that are such a part of PBWorks and other social media. Because PBWorks provide robust features for educators (teachers and students), you simply cannot go wrong learning how to use it.  However, for those used to the strong linear presentation of BlackBoard, the relatively non-linear structure of PBWorks can be confusing.  So, I am providing a flowchart that describes where the important tools and information will reside in this course. 


The points for  this are a relative freeby since I really can't tell whether you studied the flowchart.  However, if I receive  a rogue email from you asking where to find grades posted - it will give you away, since that information and much more can be found on the flowchart.  Please study it carefully before moving forward. You you may want to keep a copy handy the duration of the course.  Course FlowChart.

Emails from Bb listserv

In an online course, extensive communication occurs via email. For this online course and others in the program, you will receive important email communication from me and hopefully from your peers. Thus, it is critical that you have an email account that can receive emails through UTB.  As compared to the past, you will not receive all email from UTB via an Outlook account. If you do not know how to access your UTB email, you can find out information at the following locations:



I also HIGHLY recommend that you create an email account that is external to your work address so that I can contact you directly if needed.  Please post this email address and your UTB email address on the course portal page.


Although I have some reservations about the all-intrusive nature of Google in our lives, I cautiously recommend getting a gmail account because it allows you to easily open accounts in many Web 2.0 applications. Google offers free, virtually unlimited space and is quite easy to use. Others such as Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail, etc. are quite acceptable.


FORMATTING FOR ALL CLASS EMAILS:  Please include the course number, your name, and then the subject of your email in the subject line as seen below:

edtc6340 (your name) Subject


If you do not include the course number and your name, it may be inadvertently overlooked and thus take a longer time to receive a response. In plain English, that means that I have several different  courses and multiple students and I don't understand vague questions - especially when I don't have the context of the course you are inquiring about. Having the course number in your subject line also allows me to put the context of your question in the appropriate project.  It allows me to answer immediately rather than put it aside to investigate later - and then inadvertently forget.

Accessing the Course Wiki Page

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 all 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. Wikis also track and save all changes and maintain a history that allows you to see who has done what modifications on the wiki.

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 for PBWorks 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 has been used in several of the Ed Tech courses.  If you are already a member (from a previous class), you do not need to request access again unless you cannot edit the wiki.  Once classes start, I check the wiki as frequently as possible to give you access, but sometimes it takes a while for me to see it.  If you have not received access within 24 hours, shoot me an email.

  • 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. You can get to the course wiki portal page through the main page:  http://www.butleratutb.com and select your course in upper left column of the page (as shown below).
  • Alternately, you can find the link to the course portal page in the left menu bar in BlackBoard.

Post photo and brief biography - beginning of Professional Learning Communities

According to Hord (1997), professional learning communities (PLC) are a critical component that positively impacts change in education. Indeed, she argues that these professional learning communities in which educators mentor educators is one of only a very few strategies that do impact reform.   PLCs provide a platform in which a collegial group is united in the commitment to an outcome. In the case of education, the commitment would be to student learning. Regarding technology in education, the community engages in ongoing and often online activities that include a shared vision, working and learning collaboratively, visiting and observing other classrooms and sharing in decisions.  Benefits include reduced  isolation of teachers, better informed and committed teachers, and academic gains for students. These are especially important for the online educator and students who can often feel alone in the virtual world. 


The State of Texas recognized the importance of PLCs to educational reform and in the new standards (in force in 2014), a heavy emphasis has been placed on PLCs for teachers and administrators. photo of dog with shades on typing on a laptopThus, developing and maintaining a learning community throughout the Technology Leadership in Education courses (EDTC 6340, 6341, and 6342) will be an important part of the coursework. It is hoped that you will continue your relationship wit your colleagues even after you complete the courses.


The first activity in the development of the PLC for this course is an opportunity for you to meet your fellow students in the class. 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 or resize 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 6340 Students 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
  • click on the link to your course and go to EDTC 6340 Student Profiles page 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.

If you are not sure how to upload your photo into the wiki or how to left justify it, you will find a tutorial here:  Tutorial on uploading photo to wiki.


1. Hord, S. M. (1997). Professional learning communities: What are they and why are they important? [Online]. Available: http://www.sedl.org/change/issues/issues61.html .


Go to Part 2 of the Technology Orientation


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