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L595 Email Archives Summer 2005

This page contains the archives of course announcements and emailed updates.

L595 Technology Rich Learning - Update Archives

  • Update 5 -
  • Update 4 - May 16, 2005
  • Update 3 - May 14, 2005
  • Update 2 - May 12, 2005
  • Update 1 - May 9, 2005

Update 4 - L595 Technology Rich Learning (May 16, 2005)
Hey gang,

Our conference ended Sunday evening. It was a good meeting with lots of ideas and information shared between professors from around the country. But its now time to catch up and score some of your Oncourse postings.

Link Rot!
If you encounter dead links, I appreciate you letting me know (It is really helpful, if you identify the specific link and its page location). Hopefully it will be in a location where there are several additional / alternative resources, but the web is dynamic and changes occur every day. Sometimes a site is down temporarily and returns to the Net scene in a few days.

Almost everyone in the class now has access to Oncourse. So I'll provide an overview of how I will grade assignments.

Oncourse has a built-in gradebook. Its now online, and you can find it in the Tools section. Choose Online Gradebook and then Gradebook. Your page will appear.

I will put an "X" in the box for your completed Introduce Yourself and and a few other tasks. Remember, these are required but not graded. (8-)

You'll notice that there are 26 spots (13 postings and 13 replies) for the STARS activities. Assuming you do an outstanding job, you'll get 2 points for your posting and a 1 point for a reply / response to someone else's posting. Mark your postings clearly as a reply or posting.

There are also places for scoring the projects and other assigned course activities in the gradebook.

If you find something incorrect on your gradebook, let me know. I am a professor, but I'm not perfect. ;-)

Here are the readings for the next few days Read the following pages. In addition, focus on the article with the "eye" graphic. They are the most important links. The other readings may be useful as you complete assignments and projects.
Read Book Awards - http://eduscapes.com/tap/topic99.htm
Read Book Review Projects - http://eduscapes.com/tap/topic87.htm
Read Electronic Books and Online Reading http://eduscapes.com/tap/topic93.htm
Read Online News Sources http://eduscapes.com/tap/topic27.htm

The first STAR activity was due last Friday; the Tech Rich Learning activity is to be completed. As I read and score your work, I'll put a note in the comments area of the gradebook if I have any concerns related to your postings. Or, you can email me if you have questions. Otherwise you can assume that you're doing fine if you get all the points. Score for the original posting stand as is; that is you cannot re-submit or try again. Scores on the replies are limited to one point (no partial point scores given), but you may post as many replies / responses as you like to gain that one available point.

STARS 1 - http://eduscapes.com/trl/coursequest1.html#s1
STARS 2 - http://eduscapes.com/trl/coursequest1.html#s2
STARS 3 - http://eduscapes.com/trl/coursequest1.html#s3

Also Stars 2 and 3 are due Monday, today.

As you work on the Oncourse discussions, read the instructions carefully and identify all required components that are to be included / attended to in each posting.

STAR Replies
You have a week after the postings are due to post your replies . . . a day or two longer if needed. However do not delay long because the intention is for you to e-discuss or talk to the class. If you are far behind, everyone has moved on . . . and nobody is "listening."

A few people have asked about criteria for the STAR Replies. There's no specific criteria other than contributing to the discussion in some way that goes beyond "way to go" or "I agree." The key is ADDING to the discussion. These are all possibilities:
* act on a suggestion given by another classmate. For example, after reading a posting or comment from a peer, you might decide to add an example, suggest a website address or other resource, answer a question, or clarify an idea.
* 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.
* 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.

Your Job in the Course
You have three jobs:
1 - Follow the course calendar and complete your assignments on time. As a matter of fact, getting things in early is a good idea. For example, you'll often have multiple assignments due on the same day. Rather than waiting until the last minute, start days earlier.
2 - Let me know if you run into trouble. Don't fret and worry about your problem. Instead, email me and let's discuss it. If you're not sure about a topic for an assignment or have trouble with a due date, just let me know. I'm flexible and happy to help.
3 - Have fun. Learning is about opening a new world of information, skills, and understandings. Many assignments encourage you to explore resources and brainstorm ideas. Don't think of the class discussions as painful homework. Think of them as a chance to interact with your colleagues about issues and ideas important to our profession.

Project Topics
Its not too early to begin considering your projects for the class:

Project 1: Technology Connection http://eduscapes.com/trl/projects.html#1

Although you're free to use the email in Oncourse, you'll find that I respond MUCH FASTER to my regular email address at ljohnson@mail.escapees.com

I run my email in the background of my computer 24/7, I only check Oncourse mail every few days.

HTML vs Smart Text
Some of you have wondered about the difference between the HTML and smart text options in making Oncourse postings.

Smart Text means that it will turn URLs directly into hyperlinks. So, if I simply wrote http://cnn.com (do not place a punctuation mark next to the address, because the software assumes that it is part of the URL) The http://cnn.com would automatically become active. A technique that works well for posting is to write something like:

Example - Visit CNN Interactive at http://cnn.com

Choose HTML if you use actual HTML coding such as the following example:

Example - This is an example of using HTML codes to link to the <a href="http://cnn.com"> CNN Interactive </a>
website. <br> The br code will add a return carriage and start a new line.

Use the PRACTICE DISCUSSION area I've set in Oncourse to practice this.

Oncourse Problems
Oncourse can occasionally get very slow - - at peak use times. This is a particular problem the first few days of the semester and at the end. Sometimes, you're best off just shutting everything down and try again later in the day or evening.

Font Size Issues
Some people find reading off a screen tiring. Particularly if you're on a Mac, you might find the font small.

Within your Web browser, find the View menu and choose "Text size" > "Increase." You can do this over and over to make it increasingly larger.

If you're using Explorer as your web browser, go to "View" and choose "Text Zoom" and make it 150 or 200%. This should help a lot.

A few people are stressing about all the online resources. Keep in mind that the most important readings the course web pages and any links with the "read" notice and the EYE icon. You may not have time to read everything. Instead concentrate on the pages that we've made, the EYE icons, and the textbook readings. If you have additional questions about this, review the "Resources and Readings" page at http://eduscapes.com/trl/require.html#resources

Archive of Emailed Updates
If you have not received any one of the previous three emailed "Update" messages, go to http://eduscapes.com/trl/archives.html

I hope the weather is nice where you are!

Dr. J

Update 3- L595 Technology Rich Learning (May 14, 2005)
Greetings from the Rocky Mountains; this semester is going to fly!

I've had a good time reading your introductions! We have a nice combination of educators, librarians, and others interested in information inquiry. I divided the Introductions into groups so the postings wouldn't get overwhelming and you'd get to know people with similar interests. Howeve,r I encourage you to check out all the Introductions so you can get to know your classmates.

I think it's fun to see where we share interests. Like many of you, I like the outdoors, reading, and all kinds of music. I generally have CNN Headline news or the Weather Channel up on the TV screen in the background (sound muted) when I'm working. I think it's just habit. Annette and I spend most of our time working online but when we want to take a short break, I like to read nonfiction and fiction, hike and drive backroads in the Jeep, and photograph our surroundings.

If you checked out the course calendar http://eduscapes.com/trl/syllabus.html#calendar (Links to the syllabus, calendar, and requirements are under the COURSE menubar item at the top of the webpage), you'll notice that I've listed Suggested Activities and Strict Due Dates. This should help you stay on track. Think of the due dates as the LAST POSSIBLE time to submit activities. Don't wait until the due dates to work on assignments, you won't have time to do a good job. If you have questions or problems with due dates, be sure to email me.

Work Time
I strongly suggest that you set aside specific time to complete course activities. Instead of driving to class and sitting at a table, you need to walk into your home office, close the door, and sit in from of the computer.... no television (unless you use it as background noise), no kids (unless you're nursing), or no pets (unless you can convince your cat to sit quietly on your lap). In the calendar I indicate SUGGESTED ACTIVITIES and DUE DATES. Consider using the suggested dates rather than waiting until the deadline.

Be sure that you have read through the course requirements http://eduscapes.com/trl/require.html including the Getting Started section. http://eduscapes.com/trl/require.html

A CourseQuest is an online learning environment and a great way to guide you through the course. The CourseQuest has an introduction, readings, required assignments (STARSs) for the course, and links to the project assignment pages. When you've worked your way through the CourseQuest, you're done! We'll spend the first part of the course concentrating on activities that will help you complete Project 1.

Simply work your way down the CourseQuest http://eduscapes.com/trl/coursequest1.html page and begin working your way through the readings, exercises, and assignments (STARSs).

You will find that the readings are located at different areas or sections within the eduScapes family of websites http://eduscapes.com including Teacher Tap, 42explore, and Literature Ladders.

The first required online readings should already be completed:
Read Technology-Rich Learning: An Overview - http://eduscapes.com/tap/tap100.html
Read Literature-Technology Connections - http://eduscapes.com/ladders/overview.html

Current reading:
Book Awards http://eduscapes.com/tap/topic99.htm
Book Review Projects http://eduscapes.com/tap/topic87.htm
Electronic Books and Online Reading http://eduscapes.com/tap/topic93.htm
Online News Sources http://eduscapes.com/tap/topic27.htm

At first, people are overwhelmed by all of the links. You don't need to read everything... it's not possible. Instead use the icons and directions for guidance. Notice that it will tell you to explore, skim, or read the pages. An EYE icon is used to identify essential readings. For more information on this idea of what to read versus what to skim, go to the bottom of the Requirements page http://eduscapes.com/trl/require.html#resources

As you move through the CourseQuest , you'll notice the STARS activities. You're free to post these activities in Oncourse whenever you wish. It's a good idea to get ahead in case you get busy in other courses or at work! Generally you have 3 or 4 choices for posting your activity. You only need to complete ONE of these assignments for each STARS. Look for the matching STARS activity in the InTouch area of Oncourse such as STARS 1. You'll also need to respond to another student's posting for each activity. You do not need to reply in the same STARS in which you posted.

Don't worry if you don't have experience as a teacher or librarian. Do your best making use of the readings and your life experiences to address the STARS. http://eduscapes.com/trl/require.html

Oncourse Forum Discussions
Postings (Star postings, replies, and Cohort activities) made by the class comprise a major portion of the class. My recommendation is that you skim / scan through all the postings getting the overall view of content being discussed. You may want to use the "display all" choice to quickly read through. Look for information and ideas that are new, interesting, and that you need to know more about . . .

I'll be lurking around the forums throughout the semester. Occasionally, I'll add a comment. I try to stay out of conversations because some people "clam-up" when the "teacher" starts talking. If I have a particular comment about your posting, I'll put a little note on your Gradebook page.

Cohort Group Discussions
This course is designed for people interested in materials for children and young adults. The cohort groupings are designed to facilitate smaller group sharing and discussion. You're free to join in the discussion in any group you wish regardless of your background.

Many students have not used Oncourse before, so I designed the Portal Activity to provide a little practice. First, explore the starting points I've provided. Then, share your favorites in one of the Cohort Group areas. These may be ones from my list or resources you've found useful in your experiences with libraries, education, and/or children and young adults. Keep in mind that we have students with a wide range of experiences in this course. Some people have no experience with libraries, education or kids... don't worry... this course will help you with all three of these areas.

The first two Big Picture postings should be complete: Introduce Yourself and Tech Rich Learning http://eduscapes.com/trl/require.html#introduce

Project 1
People from previous classes suggested that we tell people not to procrastinate with the first project... so here's their suggestion to you. At the beginning of the semester when things are quiet, get started on this project. After completing the first set of activities, you'll be completing a project on a topic of your choice. Read through the project guidelines and start thinking about your topic now. I'm happy to have an e-conversation about your topic idea. Or, use your sharing area in Oncourse to brainstorm ideas with your peers.

Free Web Hosting
I'll be talking more later about sharing your projects. They will be posted online. If you don't know HTML, don't worry just do your writing in Microsoft Word and upload the file.

A few people have expressed an interest in free web hosting services. A list is available through the following link: http://www.eduscapes.com/arch/arch5.html

Adding HTML for Links and Pictures
You might have noticed that some people inserted hot links and pictures into the discussions. This is accomplished by typing HTML commands right into the discussion text and choosing the HTML checkbox. If you're interested in giving it a try, use the following directions:

If you want to insert a picture, you need to use a picture that is already online. For example, I added my photo from my website using the HTML line below. I just added it right into the text of the message and it inserted the picture. Example:
<img src = http://eduscapes.com/llg/lambhead.gif>

If you want to insert a hot web link, you need to start with <A HREF=" followed by the web address followed by "> followed by what you want to be a hotlink such as a word or the address again followed by </A>

<A HREF="http://eduscapes.com/mm">Mobile Mavericks</A>

Add a "return carriage" at the end of a line with a <br> command.

You don't need to do this in your discussions, but you can give it a try if you wish. If you want to practice, use the general class discussion area.

At the beginning of the semester, some people get stressed because they "don't get it." It takes time to understand how all the course materials go together.

Read through the CourseQuest carefully. It ties all the materials together and provides the process activities and the products for the course. Oncourse is simply used as a place to share ideas (cohort groups) and share activities (Tremor forums).

A few people may still be in the process of getting IUPUI accounts to access Oncourse. If you have trouble meeting the course deadlines, just keep me informed... technical problems are just part of the "online learning experience." As long as you've checked with me, there are no formal penalties if you need a few extra days to complete an assignment.

My Job
My job is to help you successfully complete this course and expand your skills in technology and learning. I "live" on the Internet, so feel free to email any time. I'll get back to you ASAP.

Final Note
This course has no driving, no parking, and no lectures! Just remember those three things as you wade through the reading and assignments. (8-)

You do not have time to procrastinate. My regular class email messages will either be very encouraging or very annoying. Hopefully they'll help you "de-stress" and stay on target. If you stay focused, you'll learn a lot. Be sure to have fun along the way!

Update 2- L595 Technology Rich Learning (May 12, 2005)
It's the second day of e-class! The semester officially started yesterday but there may be a few people still coming into the class. For people who've never taken an online course before, this will be a new, exciting, and occasionally confusing or frustrating experience. For those who've taken a web-based class, I hope your experiences with online courses has been positive.

Each of you comes with a unique set of skills and experiences. As you move through the course materials, be sure to email me if you find yourself lost of confused. It's my pleasure (as well as my job) to help. (8-) Regardless of whether you're interested in libraries, teaching, or simply finding out more about using technology in learning, we're going to have a great time!

Emailed Updates
The periodic emails will keep you up-to-date on things you should be doing for class and due dates. I'll also throw in some personal information once in a while, but will try to keep that to a minimum. I (We) lead a pretty unique, strange, and interesting life. Feel free to share your life with me too. It makes some students feel more "connected". I place the archives of these emails online so you can refer to them later if needed. They are found at http://eduscapes.com/trl/archives.html

I prefer to use my personal email for class interactions rather than using the email within Oncourse. In other words, if you want or need to contact me quickly - - email me at ljohnson@mail.escapees.com My personal email is on almost "24/7" so I'll usually get back to you shortly. I often only check Oncourse every few days. However you're free to use the Oncourse mail with classmates if you prefer.

When something is going on in my daily schedule, I will try to make you aware - - otherwise I will be online most of the day. For example, today I (we) are completing our drive to Estes Park (we are already in southeastern Colorado so the trip in will take about six hours). Will be back online this evening. Following that, Annette and I are attending a meeting of the Professors of Instructional Design (PIDT) group that is meeting in Estes Park, Friday through Sunday. We will still be returning to the motorhome in the evening, so I will be online daily.

Course Materials
Here's a list of some of the most important course resources and links. It's also available under the Syllabus Tab in Oncourse. Use the following links to complete the course requirements.

Course Index. This page contains links to all the course materials.

Syllabus. This page provides the course syllabus including the course materials, goals, requirements, grading policy, and calendar.

Calendar. This page provides the course calendar including the assignments and due pages. Notice that the calendar has three columns. The first column provides dates. The second column discusses the things you should be doing such as things to work on and read. The third column states the projects that are due.

Mail Archives. This page contains the archives of the course announcements and email updates.

Requirements. This page highlights the course assignments and activities including readings, STARS discussions, and 3 Projects.

CourseQuest Learning Guide: Course Readings & STARS. This page will serve as your guide through the course. It tells you what to read and the activities and projects that should be completed.

Course Projects. This page details the three projects required for the course.

Course Checklist. Contains a checklist of course requirements. This is a great place to keep track of your work.

Let's Start
soo... what now? If I were you, I'd read the syllabus and requirement pages. The requirement page contains information about a few introductory activities you need to complete. These activities will be posted in Oncourse. Then, print out the course checklist. Next, I'd go to the main course page and read through the CourseQuest to get a feel for how the course materials are organized. Finally, take a deep breath and relax. Once you get a handle on the materials, you can start rolling!

Oncourse Forums
The Oncourse system (http://oncourse.iu.edu) will be used primarily for class discussions. There are informal discussion areas such as Introduce Yourself and project topic discussions. There are also formal assignment discussion areas. We'll also use Oncourse for the course evaluation.

No Synchronous Meetings
There are no required face-to-face or scheduled chat sessions for this course. Many students enjoy taking an online course because they don't have to be in a particular place at a particular time. HOWEVER, this means that you're responsible for making your own personal schedule in order to meet the course requirements on time. Some people find that this the most difficult part of the course. You need self-discipline to be successful in distance learning.

Instructor (One half of the team)
In the past, I've been a classroom teacher, department chair, a school library media specialist, and a library media services administrator at both a community college and a university. I know that we have a wide variety of students in this course. Some have teaching experience and/or library experience, while others are new to our field. I look forward to learning more about you!
I love teaching online courses. Don't worry about trying to find me, I'm will be online everyday, most days, using the satellite dish on our motorhome to connect to the Internet.

Back with you soon,

Update 1- L595 Technology Rich Learning (May 13, 2005)

It's time to get started with Summer School and L595: Technology Rich Learning.

E-Mail Updates for the Course
I'll be sending out a few emails over the next couple of weeks before classes actually get started with some preliminary materials / information.

There are no required face-to-face or virtual meetings; however everyone should be started working online as a class by Wednesday May 11th (the official start date). The summer will fly by quickly, so it's important to stay ahead of the schedule rather than get behind.

In addition to using Oncourse, I like to keep in touch by email. I'll be sending email updates regularly. If you'd prefer to receive them at a different address, please let me know. If you think you might have missed an update, you can always check the archives at http://eduscapes.com/trl/archives.html

Course Materials
The online class materials are now available: the syllabus, requirements, and readings are all ready to go. You can check things out at http://eduscapes.com/trl/index.html

Use the CourseQuest Learning Guide to take you through the requirements for the course.
CourseQuest at http://www.eduscapes.com/trl/coursequest1.html

Other Important Materials Include:
Syllabus at http://www.eduscapes.com/trl/syllabus.html
Calendar at http://www.eduscapes.com/trl/syllabus.html#calendar
Course Requirements at http://www.eduscapes.com/trl/require.html
Course Projects at http://www.eduscapes.com/trl/projects.html

Also, you'll need an IUPUI account to access the Oncourse materials for class discussions at http://oncourse.iu.edu/

The class discussions will take place within the forums of Oncourse. It took us a few days to get the forums updated from the last time the course was offered, but they should be ready to use now.

Course Textbook
There is a required text for the course. Although it will probably be more useful for the school library people than the public library people, it provides a nice overview to all the technologies available for children and young adults.

Required Textbook
I Found It on the Internet: Coming of Age Online by Frances Jacobson Harris. American Library Association. ISBN 0-8389-0898-5 Price: $35.00. Available at the IUPUI Bookstore or purchased online from vendors such as Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0838908985/ or Barnes and Noble http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?userid=gW4XwoKB79&isbn=0838908985&itm=1

**The quickest way to get the book may be directly from the ALA website at http://www.alastore.ala.org/

The readings from the book are not required for a few weeks, so don't panic. You've got lots of time to get the book.

Instructor Info
You might have noticed when this course was first posted, it said it was offered by Annette Lamb, then it was switched to Larry Johnson. Both of those listing are correct. Annette is currently involved in a national Institute for Museum and Library Sciences grant project and will be busy working on that project this summer, so we're going to "team" this course. Annette be working "behind the scenes" so the emails and communications for the course will be sent by me (Larry).

I enjoy teaching online courses and exploring the world around us. If you'd like to learn more about me and Annette,
check out http://eduscapes.com/lamb

The Course
If you're feeling concerned, stressed-out, excited, or just about any other emotion about this course, you're normal. Online courses are a great alternative to traditional, face-to-face courses, but if this is your first online-class it takes a little time to get acclimated.

If you have questions, be sure to e-ask (as in email me). About a third of the students in the class have taken one of my other online courses... they survived to take another one... that's a great sign. (;-)

I'll be sending updates every few days, so I'll e-see you again soon!

First Timer Advice
If this is your first web-based class, it is normal that you will feel a bit overwhelmed with the amount of online reading, the need to find your way around and within the framework of Oncourse, getting acquainted with the structure of online materials, and the amount of work expected -- there is no way to kinda "hide-out" in a web-course. I read every Oncourse posting (8-). With the shortened timeframe of the Summer term, these conditions are more critical.

So first thing, explore the webmaterials. Become familiar with Oncourse - even if you have used this in other classes, you may find its setup for this class to be slightly different. We will concentrate our work / postings in two locations within Oncourse: (1) In Touch where online discussions are posted. Notice that there is a thread setup for practice - - here you can check a posting to see if it works, that the links are active, etc. The other place that we will use as your postings are scored is the (2) online gradebook that you will find in the "Tools" tab.

Reminder that this summer term goes quickly, and that we will cover the same amount of material as in the regular term.

How much time will the class require?
I find that most students spend 15 to 20 hours each week for a web-based Summer class. If you have another class, then keeping up and completing the required work is a full-time job. Up front too, I should mention that as an adjunct instructor, I cannot assign a grade of incomplete (It is not that I do not want to, I do not have the option). Therefore at the end of this term, I will have to assign a grade based upon work completed.

I am not trying to scare anyone off, but I do want you to have the facts. If you have any added questions or concerns, please get back in touch.

Personal Note
Most of you know that we live and work "on the road" from our motorhome. We're virtual faculty at IUPUI. My wife, Annette Lamb, and I are presently on-the-road, traveling from the southern Missouri Ozarks where we had been living for several months to our summer location at Estes Park, Colorado. Our stay in Missouri (Dec 05 to present) was the longest time in one place that we have had since selling our Indiana home six years ago. We will be traveling these next few days through Arkansas, Oklahoma and on to Colorado. We have a conference to attend in Estes Park later this week and will stay on there in one of our favorite campgrounds until after July 4th.

Over the next three days, we may or may not be online much depending on where we park on our trip - - under a big tree or next to an overlooming bluff does not work for Internet access (8-). Today we are on top of a mountain near the Arkansas / Oklahoma border and we are surrounded by trees but none are blocking our line-of-sight satellite connection. We should arrive in Estes Park on Thursday, so I'll e-see you all again then if you have questions.

Looking forward to May 11th and I will be back with you soon,

Larry and Annette :-)


Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 12/03. Updated 5/05.