Wednesday, April 29, 2009

community service progress 2009.04.29

We are off to a slow start but things are picking up. So much is new for all of us, but we are quick learners...

It is always challenging when launching a new program with lots of new elements, especially when the process is complex. Collaborating online is new for pretty much everyone. Now we have made it even more interesting - adding two new community partners - The Tech Virtual and Santa Clara University.

We are also using additional web functionality that is new to us. The Tech Virtual site management is similar to Catalyst, but different in many respects.

Oh yes, and the projects are unlike anything that anyone has worked on in the past. Lots of new learning experience for students and the community partners and the instructor. But this is very real in life.

In the end, this will be so worth it. We are getting close to having the structure and communications in place to really get rolling on the project work. There is plent to do and time to do it. However, everyone really needs to get involved and get busy.

This has been somewhat frustrating for all, but it will be worth it. The projects will deliver considerable information and benefits to others around the world. This is how computers and the internet can contribute to society in a very big and positive way. And, you will have been part of it from the very beginning. That's exciting community service learning.

Monday, April 27, 2009

4. Intellectual Property

underwater repair

This week, we are looking at intellectual property rights - what they are, who has them, and what can be protected.

With computers and particularly with web technology, there has been a significant increase in attention to intellectual property. Because of the ease of access to information and the ability to duplicate and store vast amounts of data, more people have concerns about their rights to it.

All the information and online workspaces have been set up for the Community Service Learning projects. Everyone should create an account at The Tech Virtual, select a project, post to the Check-In discussion forum for the project partner and get busy making contact and starting project work.

Just for fun - read the article. How many of these terms were new to you?
Gadget jargon still confuses many
- WAP, dongle, and cookie are some of the least understood words by the British public, according to a survey.

Community Service MidTerm project

The Community Service Learning project has replaced the course Midterm project. In the past students spent at least 12 hours on their Midterm project. By replacing that with community service learning, all the effort and learning benefits the community as well as the student.

Many transfer colleges are now requiring or requesting the Community Service Learning credit which will be added to your transcript when you successfully complete your project. See the DeAnza Course Catalog for details - CIS2 is listed as one of the courses participating in the Civic Engagement program.

All the projects are online. Once the initial contact and coordination are established, you can do the project work on your own schedule - just like the rest of the course work for CIS.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

where are you?

Q: i really need help on the online volunteering im a lil confused about it and would really appreciate it if u can help me because i don't want to fall behind

I know that there is a lot to this online community service learning assignment. All the information is provided. And this is part of the problem - there is a lot of information, so that the requirements and resources and process are clear.

However, you really have to read the information and take some action. Just telling me that you are confused doesn't help either of us.

What don't you understand?

Did you read the instructions?

Have you looked at the list of partner projects? Which one do you want to work on. There are lots to chose from.

Have you accessed The Tech Virtual Museum?

Have you accessed the Global Fellows area within The Tech Virtual?

Have you signed up for The Tech Virtual?

Global Fellows projects

Your SCU Global Fellows (SCU.GF) partners are coming online there. There are discussion forums setup so you can ask specific project related questions for the SCU.GF to respond and collaborate.

The Tech Museum projects

You need to sign up as a Tech volunteer (online form) as well as creating a Tech Virtual account.

Bob Ketner, Virtual Community Manager, The Tech Virtual is waiting to hear from you.

Now, do you have questions?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

about us...

Each semester I ask students to provide a bit of information about themselves by selecting one of several choices that best describes some personal characteristic.

VARK Learning styles - W09, S09, F09
  • Visual - 3, 7, 3
  • Aural - 0, 6, 3
  • Read/write - 2, 3, 9
  • Kinesthetic - 0, 6, 2
  • Multimodal - 10, 9, 11
Brain Color - W09, S09, F09
  • Blue - 6, 15, 8
  • Gold - 5, 6, 9
  • Green - 3, 6, 9
  • Orange - 1, 4, 0
Online Learning - W09, S09, F09
  • This is my first online class - 6, 7, 17
  • Catalyst / Moodle - 3, 4, 3
  • Other - 0, 3, 0
  • More than one - 8, 18, 7
Handed-ness - S09, F09
  • very left-handed - 3, 1
  • somewhat left-handed - 1, 1
  • truly ambidextrous - 0, 0
  • somewhat right-handed - 11, 6
  • very right-handed - 19, 18
Birth order - S09, F09
  • First born - oldest child - 7, 7
  • Middle child - not oldest or youngest child - 6, 6
  • Last born - youngest child - 7, 10
  • Only child - no other children - 5, 4
MidTerm Student Evaluation Survey - S09, F09
  • Good - Interesting and I'm learning a lot - 6, 4
  • OK - I understand the directions and I can complete the work - 10, 2
  • Could Be Better - Assignments are not clear - 5, 2
  • Problems - I need help to be successful - 2, 0
Ideal Breakfast - S09, F09, M10
  • something light like fruit, toast, cereal, milk and/or yogurt - 9, 13, 22
  • eggs, bacon or sausage, hash browns, toast - 9, 7, 6
  • sticky bun or donut - sweet - 1, 2, 1
  • no breakfast - 5, 5, 0
Snacks - S09, F09
  • salty - potato chips, pretzels - 8, 10
  • sweet - cookie, dessert, chocolate - 5, 8
  • crunchy - fruit, raw vegetables - 4, 2
  • coffee drink (latte) or tea drink (pearl tea) - 4, 2
Free Time - S09, F09
  • Watch TV, movie - 2, 4
  • Active - sports, walking - 4, 4
  • Use your computer/ surf the internet - 10, 7
  • Play a computer/ video game - 3, 2
  • Read a book - 3, 2
Brains are weird - S09, F09
  • Clockwise only - 4, 7
  • Counter-clockwise only - 4, 3
  • Both direction sometimes - 16, 9
Video length
  • 3 minutes or less
  • 4-7 minutes
  • 8-25 minutes
  • more than 25 minutes

Friday, April 17, 2009

blog of interest

Some of the suggestions from the Blogs of interest assignment

privacy and signup profiles

Students are joining The Tech Visual Museum as volunteers to collaborate on community service learning projects. There is a form for creating a user profile. Interesting that we are also working on the topic of Privacy this week.

My advice when completing a signup form like this - provide as little information as is necessary. It is always a good idea to provide less, rather than more personal information. Honest and ethical organizations should respect your privacy and not require anything beyond some basic identification information.

In your profile, you filled in more information than is necessary. I suggest that you go back and take out any extra information.

A few items in the profile are required - they have an orange dot next to them. These are just enough to uniquely identify you without causing a serious privacy risk.

As a rule, I never fill out anything beyond the absolute minimum. I can always provide more information later, if there is a good reason to do so. This actually happened to me - I wasn't able to join one of the groups in Linked In because I hadn't provided enough information about my qualifications to be eligible to join the group. I had to make a choice - provide the information or be excluded. I chose the later. :o)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

2. Privacy

Privacy represents an important area of society that is being impacted by computers. Just Google for your favorite recording artist or movie star. They don't have much privacy - there are pictures of them everywhere. Their personal information is very public.Your personal information may not be so public, but it could be.

In this module, we will look at issues surrounding privacy and how to protect your personal information. The "worst case" is identity theft - a growing problem that is extremely hard for the victim to recover from. Being aware of these issues is an important first step.

We will be doing several group activities. We have a small group project to discuss community service, especially looking at opportunities for virtual volunteering. This is an online course with a community service learning project. So the community service has to provide the same flexibility to students.

It isn't too early to start thinking about extra credit. There are several extra credit assignments listed that can be completed at any time during the course.

Your participation in the discussions is an important part of the course work. Be sure to read the Assignments page for specific instructions for each of the discussion topics listed in the discussion forum.

If you have questions, please ask. There is a Questions forum - this is the best place to ask your questions, as other students likely have the same questions.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

second life

We are looking into working on a Second Life project. I want some general student feedback about Second Life use. This is a very informal survey.

Do you have an experience using Second Life? Do you visit Second Life regularly? Do you have any interest in developing simulations of places or displays? Do you meet up with others and interact with others in SL? Do you explore on your own?

If you haven't used Second Life, I still need your feedback. What do you know about Second Life? Does it sound interesting to you?

Do you think that activities in Second Life could be appropriate for this course? Should they be required or optional?

If you have never heard about Second Life, that's ok - I need to hear from you too.

The first student response referenced a commercial graphic design site - not the official Second Life site. So the initial response gave an erroneous account of the capabilities and understandably, dismissed the potential usefulness of Second Life to the course. Clearly more explanation is required before we can have a meaningful discussion about Second Life ans its relevance to education in general, and CIS2 in particular.

This misunderstanding is good information - Second Life is not so well known. I'm sorry, I should have included more specific reference information.

The official Second Life site is

Second Life is a free online virtual world imagined and created by its Residents. Second Life is a fast-growing digital world. There are some interesting experiments and simulations and educational experiences being developed. We can't all go to distant countries or inside unsafe buildings or restricted-access medical facilities. We can't imagine what the world looks like to a schizophrenic. But we can observe, touch and interact with people and places like these in Second Life virtual worlds.

There is a description at

and the Wikipedia entry is

There is a lot of interest in using Second Life in education.

Are we ready for SL yet?

Friday, April 10, 2009


First of all, it is not too late, but it is good to ask for help. However, this student is hard to help because I have no idea where to start. The student doesn't provide any information about the "confusion" - is it the instructions? the assignments? the Catalyst software? I have no way to know that. So here is my response.

Let's try to get you going right away. Do you have specific questions?

Were you able to log into Catalyst and access the CIS2 course?

Did you read through the introduction information - links near the top of the course main page in the center section? Did you access the Help that pops up when you are asked for input in the Catalyst forms?

Did you access the "Assignments" for the first topic - this will open in a small separate window. It is a list of activities for the week. It looks like a lot, but most are fairly short. These will help you learn to use the Catalyst tools as well as learn about Computers and the Internet in Society.

Let me know how far you get. Ask specific questions. Tell me what is happening when you get stuck or confused.

I understand that students who are new to distance learning and Catalyst will need some help getting started. Some of your classmates probably have the same questions. Some of your classmates have already taken several courses in Catalyst. Some of your classmates will be able to help too.

graded assignments

As you work through the activities in the Assignments for the week's topic, there are usually discussions and assignments and quizzes. There are points for each. Your total score is the sum of all the possible points.

Quizzes and assignments are pretty straight forward. For discussions, the points awarded vary. Some times points are awarded for specific postings. Other times, points are awarded for the quality of the initial posting and additional points for replys to the posts of others in the class. The requirements are outlined in the Assignments. The scoring varies. If you do everything that is described in the Assignment, you will get full points.

You may not get full points for several reasons. College level writing and demonstration of analysis and critial thinking are required. In some cases there are a required number of responses to class posts. Some weeks, points are awarded to only one of several discussions - you need to participate in all discussions assigned for each topic, even if they aren't all graded.

All assignment activities are required. Most but not all are graded.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

textbook reading

This comes up every semester.

The book makes a big deal about the definitions for negative and positive rights, or liberty and claim rights. All you need to know is that there are lots of rules about rights. Unless you plan to become a lawyer, this is enough. Don't get stuck in the specific little details.

There is lots of really good, important information in the book. Keep reading, look for the big issues and enjoy the stories.

time management

You can do really well in this course if you take the time to read all the instructions and do all the assignments. Most of the assignments are not very difficult, but there are a lot of them.

Taking an online course requires that you manage your time and work on assignments several times each week. You don't have regular class meetings, so you will have to organize your time to get your assignments done on time.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

brain color

The "brain color" quiz is not very scientific but it gets people thinking about how they work and interact with others - both are important in an online class.

Everyone at this level learns in all styles, but you may have a preference that is identified based on your responses to the questions. The questions are broad, so the results are general. However, they do give you something to consider if you need suggestions for changing your study habits.

If you are interested in learning more about the ideas behind the quiz, it is best to look at the links from the quiz site. The color descriptions use terms that have a specific psychological reference. This is more information about Gold.

Gold Organized; conventional; orderly; procedural; practical; responsible; tradition; loyal.

Judging Prefer to plan ahead to avoid stresses/changes at the last minute; Organized,

Conventional Prefer organizing, detail, accuracy math, data, management, work well in corporations; value stability,

Organizing Organizing the work of others; managing and monitoring financial performance.

too many emails?

If you are getting a lot of emails from the CIS2 course discussions, you can adjust your profile setting to turn these off or to get one email per day with all the messages or just summaries of each post (digest).

Be sure to ask questions if you need help.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

1. Unwrapping the Gift

Thanks to everyone who has already logged into the CIS2 Computers and the Internet in Society course web site. This is where you will find all the information about the course, instructions for the assignments, discussion forums and more.

Chapter 1. Unwrapping the Gift covers the key concepts of Computers and the Internet in Society. What impact have computers had on society in general? Is this good or bad? Who has been affected? Where are computers now?


  1. The totality of social relationships among humans.
  2. A group of humans broadly distinguished from other groups by mutual interests, participation in characteristic relationships, shared institutions, and a common culture.
In addition to the usual introductions, we will be looking at ways that computers and the internet, in particular are changing society and how society is having an impact on the development of technologies.

Some reminders...

This is an ONLINE course. There are NO on-campus meetings. We may have a couple of optional web meetings and community partners event.

There is a lot of writing required for this course. Your work is expected to demonstrate college-level research, analysis, writing and paper formatting and will be graded accordingly.

Participation in the online class activities such as discussions and group project work in addition to doing the weekly individual assignments, is required. You must be able to access and participate several times per week. Daily access to the course is strongly recommended.

Missing assignments and discussion participation are considered unexcused absences and may result in being dropped from the class. If you need credit for this course - keep this in mind.

If you have problems or need help, please let me know so we can discuss individual situations. I know that you have a lot of other things going on in your life. Keep me informed. It helps to have an explanation and a plan.

This is a very interesting and active group of students. I look forward to working with everyone.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

eTextbook now available

If you don't keep your textbooks and you can read books from your computer, you can save some money with an eTextbook

A Gift of Fire, Baase - the text for CIS2 is available as a 180 day subscription to online version

The regular paper textbook is still available, but it it is more expensive.

A Gift of Fire: Social, Legal and Ethical Issues for Computers and the Internet
- Third Edition
by Sara Baase

De Anza College Bookstore
Phone: 408-864-8907 or 864-8949