Course Materials: Requirements
This class is intended to be a practical approach to the skills needed by today's information technologies, media specialists, librarians, and educators. Whether you're interested in the role of the school media specialist, public librarian, or another type of information technologist, this course is designed to be flexible enough to address the varied needs of anyone interested in resources for children and young adults.
Keep in mind that this class contains students with a wide variety of educational, work, life, and technology experience. Try not to compare yourself to other students. Instead, focus on your own strengths and weaknesses. Be sure to email your instructor if you have questions or concerns about the specific projects and how they can better fit your professional needs.
One way to apply what you're reading is through the development of realistic, practical projects. Each student comes to class with a unique set of educational background and professional experiences. These projects are intended to help you expand your professional skills. Of course, you could select an "easy" topic that you've done before. However, if you're really interested in professional development, choose a challenging topic in an area where you have fewer skills.
Your instructor will be sending out periodic class updates to review important course information and assignments. Please read these carefully. If you have questions, please reply to these updates for clarifications or questions. If you think you've missed one of these communications, check the Course Email Archives.
Since this is an online course, much of the sharing and discussion will happen using the OncourseCL online learning environment. However since you'll be experiencing many different technologies in this course, be sure to read the activity guidelines carefully to determine where projects should be shared.
Use the following documents if you have questions about Oncourse:
Oncourse contains a menubar on the left side of the screen for easy navigation. Use the following instructions to help you use the resources for this course:
- The SYLLABUS links to all of the course materials.
- The ROSTER shows the class list. You may wish to include a personal profile and photo so we can learn a little more about you.
- The GRADEBOOK is a place where you can track your progress. If you lose a point, I'll provide a comment indicating the problem.
- The FORUMS area contains forums for posting general information and class introductions. We'll also use this area for our postings and discussions. This is where you'll share your projects with peers in your interest area. I've created separate areas so the discussion area doesn't get so full.
- The MESSAGES area contains a place to send and receive mail messages. You might want to check the settings. You can have these messages sent to your personal email if you wish.
- The CHAT area can be used by anyone who would like to share in "real time" with anyone in the class. There are no required course chats.
Below you'll find your first assignment. This will get you starting making Oncourse postings. Required course assignments can be found in yellow boxes. Directions for the specific items you should post are listed in green.
Introduce Yourself and Portal Activity
Let's get to know each other. These introductions will help you get to know all of your classmates.
Your first assignment involves posting some information about yourself and getting to know your classmates. You'll also be sharing your THREE favorite "portals" or "starting points" for professional resources. Some people like to share photographs, personal websites, favorite movies or books, family information, or other tidbits that will help the class get to know you. This is important because you'll be involved in lots of online discussions. This is all done in Oncourse so "outsiders" won't be able to see the information.
Enter the Oncourse materials, choose the class page. Click FORUMS from the list of options on the left. You'll see a General Discussion area. Click the Introduce Yourself discussion. To reading all of the postings, click DISPLAY ENTIRE MESSAGE. Read the directions. Click POST NEW THREAD to write a new message. Be sure to include your name in the Subject Line and write your message in the space provided. Using the tools above the message area, you may wish to insert a photo or a link to a favorite website. If you need help, check the "Help" discussion for the directions. Then, post your message.
POSTING REQUIREMENTS AND DIRECTIONS -
Introduce yourself to the class. Put your name in the subject of the message. Include your name, a little personal and professional information about yourself. This will be a good chance to share a little about your interests and expertise with libraries and technology. Also, tell us what makes you laugh and how you like to spend your spare time (like you have spare time).
Spend some time exploring portals, search tools, and starting points. Create your own set of professional tools. Think of this as your electronic, professional library.
Locate and list a dozen of your favorite tools that can be bookmarked, stored in a Word document, or placed on your personal webpage for quick access. These may be entry pages to places like Library Spot or specific project pages such as Literature Ladders, Good Reads, or LibraryThing. You decide.
Share with how you organized and stored your selections for easy access. Also, identify your top three starting points.
During the first few days of class, read the messages posted by classmates. If you want to share something you have in common or ask a question, click REPLY next to the message you wish to reply to. You should post at least one response or observation. This area is also a place to go if you have questions. Find someone you think shares your interests, email them and introduce yourself personally. This contact may be helpful later in the semester as you have questions about the course.
This is a REQUIRED, but ungraded assignment.
In addition to the Introduce Yourself area, two other forums are provided at the top of the Discussion list.
Practice Area. If you're new to OncourseCL, you might be a little nervous about posting assignments. This area is a place to practice. No one is monitoring this space. It's just a place to practice using HTML coding, making attachments, or trying out ideas. If you're not sure how your posting will look, use this area to create a sample posting.
General Discussion. The General Discussion area is intended for anything you'd like to share with the class. Do you have a question about the profession? How about a concern about the class? Maybe you're looking for a ride to Indianapolis next semester. These are just a few of the topics you could discuss in this area.
You will be sharing many projects during the semester. Sometimes I'll indicate where they should be stored. At other times, you'll have a choice. The course materials also provide links to free storage space for resources such as videos. Rather than relying on university space, it's a good idea to start thinking about long-term storage of assignments that you might eventually wish to place in your professional portfolio.
You may wish to share your projects and get feedback from classmates before submitting to your instructor. Classmates can help identify typos and missing elements that can impact your grade. By reading the projects of others you can often find ideas that might enhance your own project. Remember this is not a competition, all projects are graded with the same checklist.
Use the following resources to explore sources of web space.
1. Oncourse. Provides space to store assignments.
One option is to simply attach the file to a message posting. This is fine, but the file wouldn't be available outside Oncourse if others wish to see it. For example, you might want to share it with a prospective employer or friend.
The second option is to upload the file to your Oncourse Workspace and make it public on the web. Use the following readings to learn more about this space:
- Oncourse My Workspace: Overview
- File storage in Oncourse
- In Oncourse, how do I make my resource items publicly accessible?
Here are directions to help you upload to this space and ensure that projects can be viewed by others on the web.
Enter OnCourse. Go to the MY WORKSPACE option in the red banner across the top of the new Oncourse.
To Upload files:
Click Upload-Download Multiple Resources and follow the directions for Mac or Windows.
You can upload any kind of document including web pages, Word documents, PowerPoint documents, graphics, video, audio, etc.
Once you've uploaded files return to MY WORKSPACE, you should see the new items on the list.
Click the REVISE link next to the file you uploaded.
You'll see choices.
Under ACCESS, choose DISPLAY TO NON-MEMBERS (PUBLICLY VIEWABLE).
Near the bottom of the page you'll see the web address such as
Your address will be your user name instead of ANLAMB
If you uploaded folders, your address will include the name of that folder after your username such as
Remember NOT to use spaces in folder or file names.
You can use this URL to tell others about this document, file, movie, sound, graphic, or whatever kind of file you uploaded. You can also use this as a link on a webpage or blog.
2. IUPUI Space. Go to Publishing Pages on Mypage to learn about setting up your own university web space.
3. Personal Space. Use your own personal or work web space. Most local service providers provide space for personal pages.
4. Free Web Space. Use free services such as Google Sites for your own personal site. If you need additional ideas of locations for free space, contact your instructor. You might also wish to use wikispaces, Google Docs, Weebly, or other types of web posting options.
A Course Guide will guide you through the materials. You should systematically work your way through the Course Guide.
The most time-consuming aspect of this course will be the exploration of materials. Unlike a book that contains a clear beginning, middle, and end, the course materials are much more flexible.
Read the following section carefully.
This website is designed to be read like a textbook. You should read the introduction and general contents of each page. Sometimes words or phrases within paragraphs are highlighted. These are links you can use for additional information. They are not required, but may be helpful in your learning.
Read. In some cases you'll find links to off-site articles. If it says to READ. This means that you should literally read the article or web page. You aren't required to read the links associated with the article, but you should read the article itself. The details are probably not as important as the overall issues presented. In many cases, reflective questions or activities have been provided to guide your reading. Then, ask yourself: Why did she have us read this? What are the key ideas that I should add to my "professional bag of tricks"?
Skim. Sometimes you'll be directed to skim an article. In this case, the details of the article aren't important. Instead concentrate on identifying the key ideas. In many cases, these are alternative sources or other views on issues already presented in the text or other articles.
Explore. In many instances, websites are provided on a single topic. Many of these websites contain multiple pages and links. Rather than examining all the items in-depth, spend a few minutes with each resource and determine the personal and professional value.
Green Go Tos
Some pages contain paragraphs that are in green, bold, and italics. They may start with the words "Go to". These areas ask you to go to another website and explore a sample resource such as a pathfinder, WebQuest, or project. You don't need to examine the entire resource. Instead, concentrate on the directions provided. For example, it might tell you to notice something or reflect on an issue.
Some pages contain paragraphs that are in green, bold, and italics. They may start with the words "Read". These areas ask you to go to another website and read an article. If the article is very long, it's okay to skim the article. The key is to identify those things that apply to the topic. For example, the article might provide evaluation criteria for selecting websites or software. If a link it no longer available, it's no big deal.
Green "Go Tos" and "Reads" activities are intended to help you analyze and apply the content provided on the page. Many times you'll be asked to read an article or explore a link. Then, do some brainstorming, writing, or thinking. It is suggested that you spend a few minutes with each activity, however you will NOT turn in these activities for a grade. Think of them like you do the reflective questions in a textbook. They may give you ideas for discussions or projects. These activities often overlap with course assignments that are required.
Resources and Links Pages
Most of the major sections contain resources or links pages. You do not need to go to all these links. They are intended to be used for activities and for professional references. For example, the database section contains a huge list of companies that produce electronic databases for children and young adults. You should skim through the list and note the products of interest.
Off-site vs On-site. You'll notice that some readings refer to on-site versus off-site materials.
On-site materials are those housed at my eduscapes website. They are marked with a red arrow symbol. Sometimes links are within a page. Other times they will take you to other pages within the website.
The off-site materials are linked to the work of others. If you can't get to an off-site article that says READ, notify your instructor so it can be update or removed. In addition to the Electronic Materials pages, Teacher Tap, escrapbooking, and Multimedia Seeds are three other areas within the eduscapes website that are used frequently used for course content.
In most cases, off-site links are not marked. For example, you might be reading a sentence and notice a hot link. This hot-link is probably an off-site article that expands on the idea presented in the sentence. You may or may not use the link depending on your interests. Lists of off-site links with supplemental materials are also not indicated as on or off-site. If you're not sure, just look at the URL and you can see whether it's an eduscapes address or not.
Some people new to the web-based learning environment underestimate the importance of spending time with the course materials. Think of the readings as a substitute for the traditional class lecture. The time you would normally spend attending class and reading the out-of-class textbook materials, should be used exploring these pages. Enjoy! Remember, you could be driving to class every week!
The Tremor Assignments and Discussions will give you a chance to share what you're learning. Rather than a single discussion area for the entire class, a series of options have been provided for each topic. First, explore the possibilities for each Tremor topic. Then, choose one discussion forum within the Tremor that you find personally and professionally meaningful. The numbers and topics will match forums set up in oncourse. These discussion areas can be found in the FORUMS area of Oncourse.
Assignments will focus on building specific skills essential in developing effective projects. You are required to complete and share each of these assignments.
You'll find yellow boxes which contain the requirements for the Activities within the Course Guide. The green lettering indicates what you should post. These activities are intended to help you analyze and apply the course content.
It is recommended that you write your assignment in a word processor, then paste it into an Oncourse posting. Oncourse has been known to crash, so it's a good idea to have a back up of your text.
DO NOT submit projects to the following formats because many students do not have access to this software: Publisher, Word Perfect, Works. Also, DO NOT use the Web Archive (.MHT file extension) option in Word. It does not work with all versions. If you use these packages, please export as a Word file, a web page, or as a PDF file.
In many cases, it's useful to have a "screen shot" to demonstrate how a software package is used. Here are the directions for making a graphic that can be pasted into Word or attached to an assignment.
Macintosh Screen Capture. If you have Mac OSX, it's easy to use the built-in key commands for grabbing a screen.
- Press Command (Apple)-Shift-4. The cursor turns into a cross.
- Select the area of the screen you wish to capture. The screen is captured and saved as a PDF file called Picture 1 on your hard drive.
- If you hold down the Control key in addition to the Command (Apple)-Shift-4 and select an area of the screen, the image is stored on the clipboard.
If you have Mac OSX, you can also use the Grab Utility. This allows you to capture windows that are open.
- Open Grab (located in Applications/Utility).
- Choose Capture > Timed Screen.
- When the Timed Screen Grab dialog opens, click Start Timer.
- Click the menu you want to capture and keep the mouse button pressed until the Timer Screen Grab dialog closes and the picture appears.
- Use the Grab preferences for option options such as showing the pointer.
Windows Screen Capture. The PRINT SCREEN key allows you to capture the Desktop or individual windows. You'll have to look for this key on your keyboard, it's placement varies with the type of keyboard.
To capture the entire screen:
- Press the PRINT SCREEN key. The image will be placed on the clipboard.
- Open an application such as Microsoft Word, pull down the Edit menu and choose Paste. Or, press Ctrl-V to paste.
To capture the current window on your screen:
- Press the ALT + PRINT SCREEN key. The current window will be placed on the clipboard.
In some cases you will be asked to provide a "high quality reply" to at least one of your peers.
Below you'll find examples of the kinds of "responses" that will be counted. Feel free to "get into" the discussion with as many comments to your peers as you'd like. However to receive your 1 response point, be sure that your response is insightful and will help others in their learning.
- Provide technical support or suggestions. You might provide a tip or suggestion related to Flash that might help a student expand their project or solve a technical problem.
- Act on a suggestion. For example, after reading a comment from a peer, you might decide to add an example, suggest a website address or other resource, or answer a question.
- Provide feedback to others such as a specific comment or idea along with an example, expansion, or suggestion. In other words, "way to go Susie" is a good start, but won't get you a point. You could even start with "that's crap Susie", however the key is providing positive, constructive criticism or helpful and encouraging advice. Healthy debate is fine, but let's discourage mean-spirited comments.
- State an opinion and provide supportive evidence or arguments. This can be fun because it can really get a discussion going. For example, you might point out why you think a particular project is effective or ineffective. Be sure to be specific.
- Add an insight. If you've had an encounter with the topic being discussed, it would be valuable to hear your thoughts and "real world" experiences. This should be more than "I'll use the idea in class." How and why will you use the idea? Would the idea work in another area? How or why?
One way to apply the information and ideas that you're reading about is through the development of realistic, practical projects. Each student comes to class with a unique set of educational background and professional experiences. This project is intended to help you expand your professional skills. Of course, you could select an "easy" topic that you've done before. However, if you're really interested in professional development, choose a challenging topic in an area where you have fewer skills.