wec homework assignments spring 2008

About Homework Assignments

The assignments that are listed on this page are to be completed before class starts the day they are due. Because we meet once a week some of the assignments might be due several days prior to when class meets. This will allow the instructor and the rest of the students to see the work and, if part of the assignment, respond to it. Do to the nature of the course, I do not expect there to be many of these kinds of assignments.

for Thursday, Feb 14

Please connect to the openarea on the Rowan servers from your residence—either off campus or on campus. Do not wait until the last minute to try and connect as it will most likely be a frustrating experience the first few times you try . If you have trouble, contact the Help Desk at 856.256.4400 (if you have Windows Vista on your computer, contact the Help Desk immediately). If they cannot help you (and have told you as such), email me exactly what the problem is (Example of what not to email me: "I can’t connect! Please help!"), at what stage you are getting the problem, and what you have done up to that point. Tell me also if you are using a wireless computer. I cannot gaurantee that I will be able to fix your problems, but I will try.

Here is what you need to do to connect:

If you live off campus you first must download and install a software application called a VPN. The VPN creates a secure connection between your individual computer and the Rowan computer network. The VPN is a computer program similar to any other computer program you use on your home computer (Word, Acrobat, etc.)—first you need to download and install it. Then, every time you want to do something that requires the program (such as, create a Word doc), you need to run it. Just like those other programs, you only need to download and install the VPN once. However, also like those other programs, you need to use and run the VPN every time you wish to access the open area. Simply click on the icon that is on your desktop or in your Start menu and follow the instructions. After you have connected using the VPN then you connect to your open area on the Rowan servers as explained at http://www.rowan.edu/toolbox/network/off_campus/#open.

If you live on campus you do not need to use the VPN to connect. Follow the instructions listed at: http://www.rowan.edu/toolbox/network/on_campus/#open_stu.

I also suggest you look at an instructional videos detailing how to download, install, and connect via the VPN. You can also follow the instructions provided by Rowan IT.

I want to reiterate that this process can be frustrating at first (especially if you live off campus), so if you don’t get it right away do not get frustrated. Take a few minutes and try again. Once you get the hang of it, however, it will become second nature. Good luck!

for Thursday, Jan. 31

Please read through the Learning Record information web site, especially the pages for students. Then come up with 5 written questions you have about the Learning Record process. Post your questions to your blog. We will be using your questions to frame our discussion of the Learning Record on Wednesday.

I also encourage you to begin to play with the blog—add and change images and learn the many features of this great blog software. To learn how to do just about everything, see WordPress topics and click on the topic that interests you. You can also stop by the WordPress forums. And, of course, you can always email me and/or come by my office. Have fun!

for Thursday, Jan. 24

This assignment was emailed to the class on Tuesday, Jan. 15:

We have a jam-packed semester, and having this completed will help us on the way to being able to getting to everything. You will see that I have attached three PDF files. Two are from Diane’s blog book, and the other is a seminal essay (1945) by Vannevar Bush, "As We May Think," which appeared in the Atlantic Monthly. Diane’s essays are quick reads; Bush’s is a bit more technical. Please read them all and bring them with you to class. They are available on the Readings page (password protected).

As well, I’d like you to identify your personal, educational, and professional "interest spheres." These spheres are the subjects, ideas, communities, etc., that you are interested in and/or curious about on a variety of levels. Often, when we think about our personal, educational, and professional interests we say, "Oh, I’m a getting a Masters in Writing, but I’m really interested in journalism." Or, something to that effect.

Those statements are quite useful, but the areas "journalism" and others, like "elementery education" or "law" or "creative writing" are quite broad. For example, what specific area of journalism are you interested in: op/ed, sports, politics, environmental, journalist ethics, etc.? These are subclasses of the larger field of journalism. We can do the same with elementary education: No Child Left Behind, funding of education, politics and education, special needs students, art in education, technology in the el ed classroom, and so forth. Each of these areas offers a very specific community wherein people are exchanging ideas, best practices, and proposals for future changes. Similar things can be done with personal and educational interests. Here, for example, is a breakdown of my professional and personal:

  • higher education (professional)
    • technology and education
    • learning space design
    • classification systems
  • photography (personal)
    • black and white
    • Holga
    • infrared

I would like you to locate 3 or 4 specific areas of professional, educational, and personal interests. Create a hierarchy as above, and bring it with you to class. Then, using the blog search engine technorati or google begin searching for blogs in that particular specific area.

Last, I would like you to begin to think about a title of your own blog, if you were to be asked to create a blog in a graduate course called "Writing for Electronic Communities." The blog will touch on the personal, professional, and educational interests you come up with, so the title should be related in some way. You can see the blogroll on the sidebar of this page to get some ideas.

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