Classroom Internet Survival Skills The Internet is one of today's hottest topics. Many educators believe that there is some way to use the power of the Internet to enhance their classes, but are unsure of the skills they will need to use Internet tools effectively. Regardless of whether you are thinking of designing an on-line course for distance education, or just adding one or two Internet-based assignments to an existing course, this paper will give you practical pointers for developing your own proficiency with using the Internet as an educational tool. Concepts relating to on-line activities, web page development and on-line courses will be discussed.
Classroom Internet Survival Skills Martin A. Hoffman Burlington County College Educational Technology Center
“T” is for Teamwork Remember that the “T” in Technology can also be the “T” in Teamwork!
Create “Strategic Partnerships” • Computing / Network Services • “Gee, we wouldn’t have picked today to upgrade the network if we knew you were using the Internet in class.” • Audio/Visual Department • “Sorry, all of our equipment is booked. Why? Did you need something?”
“Strategic Partnerships” (Cont’d.) • Your Students • “Hey, Prof. Why’nt’cha just press shift+F9 while holding Alt to continue?” • Your Colleagues • “I didn’t know that you were on-line today. I have a list of great web sites you could have visited.” • “Don’t go there! It’s ____! (Fill in the blank.)”
Of course, the “T” can also mean... Tough, you’re on your own! Try to learn all you can about what you hope to accomplish.
Things to know…(A partial list.) • How will you connect to the Internet • Modem / LAN • Who is your Internet Service Provider • “My school” may or may not be the answer • What equipment will you be using • Who else uses the same equipment • What is my available “bandwidth”
Things to know…(A partial list.) • Do we have a “Firewall” • And will that make a difference • Do we have a web server • And can I have an account on it • What are my fall-back options • If something goes wrong • If something goes right
And, the first thing to know about live demonstrations... Never do live demonstrations! OR Be prepared to tap-dance!
T-A-P-D-A-N-C-E We’ve already covered “T” The next two letters stand for: Always be Prepared ...
Always be Prepared to... • Fail • Remember: people have been teaching for thousands of years, but we still don’t have a foolproof formula for “what works in the classroom, and what doesn’t” • Succeed • Remember: if this works, you may be expected to do it again, and again,and again...
Always be Prepared with... • A Backup Plan • What if there is an Internet outage • Can you do your assignment off-line • Can you distribute materials on “dead tree” • What if your projector dies • Can you crowd around a monitor • Is there a spare projector • What if your computer dies • Is there a spare computer
Always be Prepared with... • A Backup Plan (Cont’d.) • What if there is a power failure • Do you have a generator • What if your Internet connection dies • Do you have another way to connect • What if someone lets you down • Is murder legal in your state • Is there anyone else who can do the job
T-A-P-D-A-N-C-E The next two letters stand for: Do Address...
Do Address... • Issues of compensation / reimbursement / available resources • Using the Internet as a teachingtool may be part of your job, but avoid surprises later byaddressing issues now • It’s (almost) always OKto ask….
Do Address... • Pedagogy • What will they learn • How will they learn it • How will using the Internet help • Outcomes Assessment • How will I know they learned it • Was the Internet as important as I thought
T-A-P-D-A-N-C-E “N” is for: Never, ever ...
Never, ever... • Leave things to “chance” or try to “wing it” • Start a project without a back-up plan • Make promises you might not be able to keep
Discussion: Although you are an experienced educator, with the ability to take almost anything in stride, you are exploring the fastest growing frontier in technological history! It’s easy to get lost without a roadmap.
Never be afraid to... • Experiment • Admit you don’t know something • Ask for help • Click on things • Pester people • Smile
And never, ever … • Let ‘em see you sweat! • Once you lose control, you lose credibility. It’s fine to admit that you don’t know something, but if you are unprepared of flustered by that … it’s a death sentence!
T-A-P-D-A-N-C-E Clearly, chose to check and re-check your choices constantly!
If you are building a web site: • Check your work before and after you publish it to your web server • Check your site using a variety of screen resolutions and “both” browsers • Re-check your site to avoid “link rot” • Check to see that your site is up (server is running) from time to time
If you are using the web in class • Check to see that your support personnel have not forgotten you • Check that all of the equipment is there • Check that everything is set-up and working, well in advance andjust prior to the event • Check that the remote site(s) are up
T-A-P-D-A-N-C-E Expect the unexpected!
Discussion Time Now: 4:25:11 PM
Martin Hoffman http://www.BCC.edu/MHoffman/classint.ppt http://www.bcc.edu/ETC