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Part 2 Technology Orientation EDTC 6342

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


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Part 2 - 6342 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 these activities, you will be able to use the background 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 refer to your course map if you need help to find something in the course.


Please complete these activities (except for the Collaborate class meeting) the first week of class.


Orientation Activities
Review course organization  
Set up an email account external to your work; ensure you can receive emails from Bb listserv  
Join the course wiki 
Post photo and biographical sketch in Discussion Board  
Set up EDTC 6342 page to house projects and post URL to course wiki  
 Set up computer to run Collaborate and test it for class  


Set up working page for your work

You will need a location for storing all your projects and making them accessible to your instructor 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. Some of you may not know what a wiki is - or have heard of them and just aren't sure what all the buzz is about. First, the video below explains, in plain English, what a wiki is.



Although the following video is talking about wikis and blogs for higher education, I am including the video for several reasons.  The strategies and ideas are relevant to all levels - whether K-12 education, higher education or  training in the workforce. He provides a nice overview and some good ideas about the benefits of the wiki and blog. His final point in the video is critical:  Wikis and blogs engage learners. And  finally, the presenter has a nice accent.  I am sure you will find ideas that are relevant to your educational environment.


One comment that I have about his assessment of wikis versus blogs is that blogs are easier to build. I disagree with that - with the right educational wiki, you will find that it is quite easy to set up and populate.  You



You will find that you are going to develop many projects and multiple resources that you want to share with others and retain for yourself. A wiki is a perfect tool to use for this purpose. For the purposes of this course, you will create a page in your 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. In addition, I and others can provide direct feedback to you on your wiki itself.


Thus, all your deliverables for this course will be uploaded and/or linked to YOUR wiki in a page you create for this course.


To do this, you will need to create a page in your wiki that "houses" everything for EDTC 6340.  Generally, a page is created for each course you are taking which is part of your ePortfolio. This has proven to be very helpful for students because they are able to easily access all the work that has been done throughout the program in one handy location.  No frantic searching for a particular project that you worked on in a prior semester. While it may seem that you will remember everything you did, most students have so much work throughout the program that it is easy to lose track. 


So, at this time, you will only be required to complete Steps 1, 2, 5, 8, 9 and 11 of the tutorial in addition to creating and populating the page for EDTC 6340, this course.   Follow the directions in the tutorial, remembering to complete only Steps 1, 2, 5, 8, 9 and 11.


Please note: 
  • After completing the steps in the tutorial, create a page for EDTC 6342 in your wiki.  If you have already created your ePortfolio, you can create a page in that wiki 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 or embed the work that you complete.Example of how to set up page. 
    • Good examples of course page for artifacts and assignments




  • Save the page and then copy the link.
  • Go the EDTC 6342 Course Portal Page and add your name, the hyperlink to your EDTC 6342 course 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 6342 page opens. Please note: Make sure you link to your EDTC 6342 page and not your wiki itself.  That's it!  You do not have to worry about telling me where your projects are posted for the rest of the course. 


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).



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




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 and hopefully diminishes some stress students (and the instructor) feels at the beginning of the semester.  We will be meeting synchronously through Collaborate the second week and approximately every two weeks during the semester.  The tentative meeting time is Tuesdays at 6:30 PM in the Collaborate Meeting Room. The weeks we will be meeting can be found on the Course Calendar. Sometimes, class might be cancelled, depending on the world around us.  I make every effort to post any Collaborate cancellation in the Course Calendar in addition to emailing you.  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 the 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.  Echo. Please be advised that you will be called out by your peers if you cause an echo.  Please invest in a headset and mic!


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:

  • 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 thehappy, laughing woman on a headset technology.
  • Be patient during the gremlin-caused glitches. We all learn from glitches and find ways around them that work effectively. 
  • PLEASE NOTE: In most classes, you are all moderators. This gives you access to all the tools in Collaborate and allows you to click on the record button when I forget. You can also upload files and conduct polls and more. However, since you are moderators, you cannot private chat with each other. Hence, be very careful.  Not only will NSA likely be listening in to your conversation and reading your chats, but your colleagues and instructor will see it as well. 
  • 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 and I am not concerned about APA or other formatting. Just reflect on your thoughts as you view the archive and make pertinent responses to questions that may be posed.  Constructively add to the conversation with your pertinent and relvant thoughts. How long, you say?  250-300 words should be sufficient. 


You will be able to go in early to make sure you are up and running. In fact, since you are a moderator, you can go into Collaborate and use the room any time you need to.


One Final (but very important) Note:


Password Log:

It is not as critical now, it seems, since we are pretty much used to multiple logins, 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. You will be opening many accounts and it might help  you to find a way to keep track of your logins. I use RoboForm and it is a huge lifesaver - or brainsaver since I do not have to remember my hundreds of passwords and usernames.   If you want to keep them all together in one place for this course, clickhere for a handy offline log that you can add to as you open accounts.


Before you begin working on the content for this course, it is important to ensure that you know how to do basic troubleshooting for your computer - when you understand the basic skills, and can troubleshoot your technology, then it will be easy for you to help your students.  Please review the following sites on troubleshooting skills.




Through many iterations of this and other online courses, I have found that spending the first week to learn the fundamental tools you will be using and basic troubleshooting skills prevents frustration and aggravation later on. While some instructors prefer to jump right in to the content without a "breaking in" period, I have found that taking the first week to learn basic skills decreases problems occurring later.  You should now have completed this example of a technology orientation for the online learner. In your wiki page, please reflect on the importance of this activity for the online learner.  How did going through this activity make you feel?  Did you feel more (or less) confident about online learning after completing this activity?  Were the directions understandable? If you have taken other online courses that did not have a technology orientation, was this experience more or less helpful?  Finally, how important do you think this activity would benefit the K-12 online learner?

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


Photos attributed to photographers are from http://www.sxc.hu ; non-attributed photos purchased or created by course designer - all rights reserved. Clip art from Open Clipart, licensed through Public Domain.

This page was last updated on January 6, 2014.
Pages are maintained by Dr. Janice Wilson Butler




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