How does the course work?

This self-guided course is delivered entirely online, via this website. There are a total of 23 learning activities or "Things" for you to complete over ten weeks. Each week is organized around a particular topic or theme relating to Web 2.0. You will decide when and where to complete each week's activities, and you will be responsible for "keeping up." You are encouraged to form "buddy groups" to work through the content together -- sharing, helping and encouraging each other.

What are these "Things" you keep talking about?

The "23 Things" are doable learning activities related to Web 2.0 tools and concepts. You will complete 2-3 "Things" per week. Detailed instructions for completing each "Thing" will be provided as you work through the course, linked from the "23 Things" page. Each "Thing" will introduce (or expand upon) a new tool or concept through one or more discovery exercises, followed by a learning task. The discovery exercises are "where the learning really happens" and are necessary for you to complete each task successfully.

How long will it take me to do the work each week?

Some tasks and weeks will be more involved than others. The content is organized into themes/tools. There are a number of additional variables that will affect this, but the general answer is an average of 3-5 hours per week, depending on:
  • Your general level of computer literacy
  • Your experience with Web 2.0 tools to date
  • Your interest in and excitement about the tasks and tools
  • Your basic "lifelong learning" stance

Is there a cost?

The course is FREE! The only investment you might have to make is to ensure you have a means of recording yourself for future activities with a computer microphone or headset with a mic.

I have to have a Gmail account?

No. You do NOT have to have a Gmail account, but you WILL need a Google account, which will provide you access to Google features like Google Docs and Google Reader, but without access to an actual email account. Although they "sound" like they would be the same thing, they aren't.

Remember, you may (but are not required to) use a Gmail, Yahoo, or Hotmail account to SIGN UP FOR some of the different Web 2.0 sites so the messages do not come to your Gwinnett County or personal email account. You will be asked to create a Google account in "Thing 0" and there are instructions.

Do I need to join this wiki?

No. Although you will be working with wikis, you do not be allowed to join this wiki. Since we are using the free verson, the only way to keep others from editing or creating pages is by not allowing members to join.

How does the course work?

This self-guided course is delivered entirely online, via this website. There are a total of 23 learning activities or "Things" for you to complete over twelve weeks. Each week is organized around a particular topic or theme relating to Web 2.0. You will decide when and where to complete each week's activities, and you will be responsible for "keeping up." You are encouraged to form "buddy groups" to work through the content together -- sharing, helping and encouraging each other.

What are these "Things" you keep talking about?

The "23 Things" are doable learning activities related to Web 2.0 tools and concepts. You will complete at least 2 "Things" per week. Detailed instructions for completing each "Thing" will be provided as you work through the course, linked from the "23 Things" page. Each "Thing" will introduce (or expand upon) a new tool or concept through one or more discovery exercises, followed by a learning task. The discovery exercises are "where the learning really happens" and are necessary for you to complete each task successfully.

How long will it take me to do the work each week?

Some tasks and weeks will be more involved than others. The content is organized into themes/tools. There are a number of additional variables that will affect this, but the general answer is an average of 2-3 hours a week, depending on:
  • Your general level of computer literacy
  • Your experience with Web 2.0 tools to date
  • Your interest in and excitement about the tasks and tools
  • Your basic "lifelong learning" stance

Who can take this course?

This course is offered to Creekland Middle School employee.

What are the dates for this course?

The session begins May 23, 2010 and will span 11 weeks with at least 3 "Catch Up" weeks included.

How do I register for the course?

To register for the August 31st course, please complete "Thing 0 " -- in which you find out about the course and sign up for a Google account. After you get your Google account and complete "Thing 0," please complete this form to register BY May 20, 2010.

On May 23rd I will send an invitation to your gmail address to join a group Google spreadsheet which you use throughout the course to track your progress. You MUST remember to check your gmail account on May 23.

How do I get PLU credit?

This course is approved for 3 PLUs. When you have completed the course, I will evaluate your blog and the rest of your online portfolio to determine whether you have met the necessary objectives. Using the verification rubric, I will verify that you have successfully met all of the course requirements and then a PLU certificate will be issued to you.

IMPORTANT - Academic Honesty
Because the course is self-guided, participants seeking PLU credit must sign a statement attesting that all exercises and tasks were completed on their own. The intent is not to question anyone's integrity, but to hold ourselves to the same high standards we expect from our students. (This does not mean you cannot seek assistance from peers and coaches if you get stuck, just that someone else cannot do the work for you!)

What technology do I need?

You need an Internet-connected computer with an updated browser (preferably Firefox, plus Java and Flash add-ins), a microphone and speakers (or headset). Participants who do not have access to a headset and/or microphone when it is needed should contact me to borrow one. There is a limited supply that can be loaned out, so please make every effort to acquire this on your own. Headsets that include a microphone are generally inexpensive (here are some examples) and it will be used a couple of times during this course.

Where do I go for help?

By design, you should be your own first help resource throughout the course. Throughout this “discovery learning” experience, you will likely encounter a number of small challenges, depending on your general computer literacy and level of Web 2.0 experience to date. Each time you teach yourself something, find a solution or accomplish a task, you will feel empowered and be that much more tech savvy!
  • Most sites offer highly understandable Help files, FAQ pages and tutorials. Additionally, you will find many short training movies and help pages with screen shots embedded at the point of need as you complete the course.
  • Use your "human network:" Colleagues, students, and your POW Coach. In "real life" we seek help from experts when we need it! But remember, if your expert helper does the work for you, you won't be learning.
  • Face-to-face sessions will be offered at the PDC lab.

What if I fall behind?

Because some "Things" may be more challenging than others, and because we all have responsibilities and priorities and unexpected derailment, the course is designed to allow for a bit of flexibility in completion. Each week's "due date" is not a drop-dead date, and you will have a full week after the official "end" date to complete any outstanding tasks. However, falling more than two weeks behind could prove to be difficult to catch up. There will be a 3 week "catch-up" period after the 11 week course.

That being said, please do not interpret this flexibility as an invitation to procrastinate -- you should not be chronically behind. If you are having technology-related issues, please contact me or attend a tutorial session (when provided). If you are having life-related issues, please let me know so you can work out a plan.

Also, there are activities where your timely (or lack of) participation will impact others in the class. Should you fall too far behind, it will make it difficult for them to complete their activities. With that being said, keeping up with the course activities is essential.

Is there a penalty for not completing the course?

There is absolutely no penalty for not being able to complete the class. However, any technology incentives associated with course completion will be forfeited.


How will I/you track my progress?

You will record your progress by posting to your own blog and elsewhere as directed.
  • Your blog will also serve as your portfolio, a living artifact demonstrating your completion of the course.
  • I will subscribe to your blog via his or her RSS reader and track your progress along the way.
  • You should title your blog posts with the "Thing" number (as well as a subject) to help you keep track of your progress. This will also be helpful when you want to refer back or add something new on a specific topic or tool.

How long do my blog posts need to be?

We're all professionals here and the tasks in this course are clearly outlined - if not, let me know and I'll do my best to clarify them - but your posts should reflect what the task is asking you to do. I am hoping this question doesn't actually need to be addressed, but, just in case, here are some guidelines:
  • Your blog posts should be as long as they need to be for you to meaningfully express your thoughts and reflect on your learning. You will get out of the course what you put in and remember that others will be reading your posts and learning from them.
  • Please make sure that you address in your posts what you are asked to write about. If not, I will ask you to elaborate further in order to receive credit for the post.
  • Put yourself in the the facilitator's shoes and think about your students and what you would expect from them, then put those expectations into your post. Remember that you are earning 3 PLUs for the course and that is the equivalent to 30+ hrs of work.

How can I protect my online identity as I work through the course?

Transparency of practice and sharing your experience is one of the tenets of 21st century teaching and learning on the web, but there are a couple of ways you can keep your "digital footprint" to a minimum, if you have concerns.

  • You may set up a Gmail account and specify an address/username for your account that does not display your actual name. You may use this account to register for all of the tools you will be exploring during the course.
  • You can set up your blog (Thing 3) so that your blog address and username do not include your actual name. Only me and other participants will be aware of who you "really" are.