Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Looking for a good question

Questions are more important in education than answers.

Read this blog post on projects to provide Internet connectivity at any point on the Earth.

Your assignment is to come up with a question after reading the post.

It should not be a simple factual question that can be answered by reading the post or a simple Google search and you are not expected to be able to answer the question.

Do not blow this assignment off by asking the first question that pops into your mind -- try to ask an interesting question.

Type your question to turn in -- also indicate whether it deals with Internet applications, implications or technology.

Link to topic module

Monday, September 8, 2014

Under the hood of a survey application

The purpose of this assignment is to reinforce your understanding of the information flow between a client and server on the Internet and the functional components of a computer. It also gives you practice writing a short document (collaboratively if this is a team assignment).

Now that you have completed the student background survey, write carefully worded answers to these questions:
  1. What program was I running when I made up and entered the survey questions?
  2. After I finished drafting the survey, where was it stored?
  3. While you were completing the questionnaire, what program were you running?
  4. After you completed the survey, where were your answers stored?
  5. While you were completing the survey, where was the survey-completion program?
Be specific and be sure to use the words client, server, memory, storage, program and data when appropriate. For example, don't just say something is stored at "Survey Gizmo" -- be more specific.

Use the Google Drive word processor for this assignment. When you have a clearly written answer that you are proud of, print a copy to turn in along with the document's Google Drive address (its URL).

Link to topic module.
Link to topic module
Link to topic module
Link to topic module

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Do you get enough back in return for your privacy?

The purpose of this assignment is to get you thinking about Internet privacy and its costs and benefits. It will also give you practice writing a short, Internet document and, if you do it with a partner, with collaborative writing.

Watch these videos:
Then write a short document that:
  1. Summarizes in a sentence or two and links to the CBS video.
  2. Summarizes in a sentence or two and links to the Google videos.
  3. States your view on the issue -- do you get enough back in return for giving up aspects of your privacy?
Don't forget to include the links -- assume the reader is online.

Print the document to turn in.

Link to topic module on Internet privacy
Link to topic module on writing short documents

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

UCLA learning behaviors survey

The purpose of this assignment is to focus your attention on learning behaviors that have been found to correlate with academic success by UCLA researchers. It also illustrates an online survey application and gives you practice with Internet writing.

Complete this learning behaviors survey. Don't rush -- really think about your answers.

When you have finished, print a screen shot showing your responses and submit the form.

I will not pay a bit of attention to your particular responses -- the purpose is to help you look at your own learning behaviors.

Turn in your screen shot along with answers to these questions, written using the Google Drive word processor
  1. Which of these learning behaviors is easiest for you?
  2. Which of these learning behaviors is hardest for you?
  3. Which new one, if any, are you willing to try this semester?
Link to topic module
Link to topic module

The UCLA survey covers many other characteristics of freshman students -- for more information, see this blog post.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Create a simple databse

This assignment will introduces an online database service, Zoho Creator.

Start by signing up for a 15-day free trial, which includes all of the premium features or a limited Forever Free account, which is sufficient for this assignment.

Your assignment is to create a simple database with at least one form with at least three types of field and one report. Add at least three records to your database and print copies of the form and the report showing at least three records to turn in.

The database can be for any application you choose, but, if you do not have any better idea, you can implement the sample animal database we demonstrated in class:

When your database is finished add a date field to the form then add a new record, entering your name instead of a date. What happened when you entered your name in a date field?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Crowd sourcing -- best Twitter reference sheet

You created reference sheets for the Twitter user interface and posted them to our class community on Google Plus. Review the various reference sheets and vote (+1) for the one you think is the most useful. Also post a short statement saying why you chose the one you did. The best reference sheets will get extra credit.

You can not vote for your own post.

Print out your post to turn in.

Craft a question about the Khan Academy

This assignment has two purposes -- to introduce you to Sal Khan and the Khan Academy and to get you to think about good questions.

Read the associated topic module, then watch this TED Talk by Sal Khan of the Khan Academy.

After watching it, formulate a question that a teacher might ask a class about the talk. Try to come up with a question that would get the class thinking or stimulate discussion -- it should not be something trivial like a fact that could be looked up in the talk transcript or using a search engine. Make sure it is a question that you could answer intelligently.

When you have crafted a carefully worded question, print it out to turn in.

If we wanted to share all of your questions with the entire class -- to assemble them in one place where we could all see them -- which tool would you advise having us use: an online database, a wiki, a blog or a Google Drive word processing document.

Print a statement of your answer and your reason for selecting it to turn in.

Link to topic module

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Simple blog post

In a previous assignment, you answered a question on a talk by Michael Wesch. Post your revised, well-written answer to that question on your blog. (Be sure to state which of the three questions you are answering).

Print and turn in a screen shot of your blog post.

Link to topic module

The Twitter user interface

This assignment has two purposes -- to familiarize you with the Twitter user interface and to provide collaborative writing experience.

The Twitter user interface has seven links (A-G above). Experiment with and write a short description of what each is used for.

Your answer should be a document that describes each letter and its function.

Post your document on Google Drive then post a link to it in our class Google Plus community. Note that you should post it in the "Twitter user interface" category. (Only one team member should post the link). Be sure to share your document publically readable so others can see it.

Print a copy of your document and the link to it in the class community to turn in.

Link to topic module

Saturday, February 22, 2014

A quick ISP competition survey

This assignment has two purposes. It will enable you to see what your ISP alternatives are and it will let us see what the competitive situation is like for the entire class.

Find out who your home ISP is and also find out which of the three large ISPs (AT&T, Time Warner Cable and Verizon) offer service to your address.

Print and turn in the pages showing whether each of those ISPs offer service in your area. (Note that, if FIOS is not available, Verizon does not say so -- they try to sell you a DSL link).

Then complete the ISP survey at:


Print your completed form to turn in.