12 Things You Should Know to be Computer/Tech Literate
It is tempting to think that because you have used a computer for a long time, you are “computer literate” or “computer savvy,” but this is not always the case. Here are a dozen skills you should know to be considered computer literate in today’s job market. If you do not know these or are not sure, you can follow the detailed outline with information on each of the twelve topics. If you already know these, you should be helping others learn them as well!
Please leave comments, suggestions and/or questions at http://goo.gl/xeUkd
For a copy of the Scope & Sequence by Grade-
12 Things You Should Know to be Computer/Tech Literate
by Anthony A. Luscre is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at www.searchfindknow.com.
2013 by Anthony A. Luscre -
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The 12 Categories
1. Understanding Computer/Technology Hardware- It is tough to have someone help you with a problem when you tell them that your “hard drive” is unplugged, when you really mean “the computer.” There are a number of common hardware misunderstandings out there, and while some are understandable (for instance, confusing a network interface with a modem- cables look similar and they serve the same purpose, networking), knowing basic hardware terminology is a must-have skill to be a savvy user.
2. Operating System Basics- Names of device types or generations of computers are often derived from their Operating System (OS) name. Operating Systems are the software that enables hardware devices to function and allows programs/Apps to be run on the device. All computing devices have an operating system. In addition to brand or type of OS there is usually a version number or name (Windows 8, iOS Tiger, Android Ice Cream Sandwich, etc.) Understanding a device’s Operating Systems allows you to more efficiently use your device, make decisions on which type of device you want to buy and which software programs, Apps and/or hardware peripherals are compatible with it.
3. Effective & Efficient Web Browsing- It is almost painful to watch some “computer savvy” people operate a Web browser. The most obvious goof is going to a search engine to type in the address of the site they want to go to. But folks are unaware of a lot of other things they do that make the Internet more difficult than it needs to be. Mastering techniques like opening links in new windows, using bookmarks, editing URLs to perform navigation, clearing the browser cache, and understanding common error messages will give you access to a world of unlimited information instead of keeping you stuck with only what Web site designers make obvious.
4. Searching & Search Engines- Using a search engine is more than typing in the address, putting a couple of keywords into the big text box, clicking Search, and choosing the first result. While that may work, it won’t give you the best results much of the time. Learning the advanced search, Boolean operators, and how to discern good results from bad results goes a long way toward enabling you to use a computer as a powerful research tool.
5. File/Document Management- It is not very productive if you cannot find it after you have create it. Files also contain much more information; including dates, attributes, user data, etc.
6. Using Productivity Tools a.k.a. “The Intuitive User's Guide to finding your way around in almost any software”. Most computer programs share very similar layouts and functions. By learning the basics, users can easily adapt to use of new software. Savvy users will find that there are multiple ways to accomplish a task in a program, including menus, context sensitive right click menus, & keyboard shortcuts, and will find the best choice for them.
7. Spreadsheets & Databases- Spreadsheets were the killer application that got a lot of businesses to pony up big bucks for a PC in the early 1980s. Spreadsheets offer incredibly powerful analysis possibilities… if you know how to use them for more than storing the holiday card address list. Being able to use formulas, references and macros can turn a “grid of numbers” into actionable info in the hands of the right person. Students and teachers need to understand how spreadsheets can be used across the curriculum as a tool to gather, sort, filter, calculate and analyze any type of data not just numbers.
Whether it is a phone number, bank account, list of available items in an online store, library catalog, employee record, etc. databases play an important role in many aspects of our daily lives. Databases store information arranged for ease and speed of search and retrieval. They can store very large amounts of data. Just as in spreadsheets, databases can also be used to sort, filter, organize and analyze information.
8. Word Processing- Word processing is one of the oldest uses for a computer. And it continues to be extremely important, even though in many ways its functions have been put into other applications. (For example, people may write more emails than documents, but the task is nearly identical.) It is tough to claim to be computer literate if the basic functions of word processing — like spell check, table creation, and working with headers — are outside your capabilities.
9. Copyright, Citing Sources and Plagiarism- Students need to understand copyright laws and rules, how to cite a resource, and how to integrate someone else's work into their own work properly. Teachers need to know how to create assignments that are LPP projects (Low Probability of Plagiarism).
10. Presentations- More than just words and pictures, a good presentation can pack more punch than a simple document. Once a picture was worth a thousand words, today we can also add video, audio, animation and simulations to our presentation. Formats can be varied including traditional presentation software, web pages, blogs, videos, podcasts, simulations, games and more. Most presentations are static but it is possible to create interactive presentations, where the viewer determines the content based on their selections. In addition to the final presentation product, students must learn how to research, outline, create storyboards or scripts and other processes involved in creating accurate high quality presentations.
11. e-mail, Internet & Social Networking Etiquette and Safety- In an increasingly connected world it is imperative that you are an effective, efficient and safe user of the web. Are you sure you know what is in that attachment you are emailing and who you are sending it to, what information is your smartphone providing others, how you are being tracked on the web, how a web page really works, what the “Cloud” is or that the photo file you are sharing has hidden information on your location? It is a dangerous world out there! You absolutely must know how to protect yourself from attackers on the Internet and keep your personal data private. Everything from knowing to check a link before you click it to verifying that encryption is being used to transmit sensitive data to researching sites before giving them your personal data are all critical skills for the modern computer user. If you do not know how to keep yourself safe, you need to learn how.
12. Finding, Choosing, Using and/or Developing Software Apps, Online Tools & Simulations- How to find, evaluate, and use apps for school and business. Also, how to find quality, free alternatives to paid software, apps and services. Finding and using Web 2.0 Tools including- calculators, simulation tools & other interactive tools. Usage of Simulation/Modeling software to observe, learn or interact with manipulatives to better understand concepts and processes. Understand how to work with online tests, surveys and other information gathering tools. Develop software programs, apps or robotics.
0- None/Limited Proficiency- Has little or no knowledge and/or unable to perform most tasks
I- Introduction- Beginner- Can do very basic operations; can perform additional basic tasks with assistance.
D- Developing- Has varying skill set, but can do many basic tasks independently. Requires significant teacher intervention for additional concepts, more advanced uses, correction of errors, etc.
R- Reinforcement- Knowledgeable. Has been exposed to both basic & more advanced tasks but has not mastered skills
P- Proficient- Can do most operations independently; can perform advanced tasks with assistance. Has good understanding of concepts. Can teach/assist most concepts to others
A- Advanced/Highly Proficient- Can do majority of operations independently, can perform very advanced tasks with assistance. Has level of understanding of concepts that allows teaching/assisting others of any proficiency level.
Scope & Sequence
Student computer skills will vary at any grade level, just as student achievement across the curriculum. Opportunities to provide direct instruction will also vary depending on scheduling, other time constraints, ability to integrate technology into other learning objectives and projects and other factors. Because of these factors it is difficult to have a hard and fast scope and sequence and instead we will provide “bands” of skills and levels that may stretch across more than one grade level.
The scope and sequence objectives have been color coded to assist in visualization of both grade level proficiency and mode of instruction (none, introductory, refinement, reinforcement and student independently utilizes tool or concept.)
None/Limited Proficiency- Has little or no knowledge and/or unable to perform most tasks.
Introduction- Beginner can do very basic operations; can perform additional basic tasks with assistance.
Introduction of new concepts, tools and skills.
Developing- Learning new concepts/features. Has varying skill set, but can do many basic tasks independently.
Requires significant teacher intervention for additional concepts, more advanced uses, correction of errors, etc.
Reinforcement- Knowledgeable, has been exposed to both basic and more advanced tasks but has not completely mastered skills.
Reinforcement, needs projects and tasks to reinforce skills and move toward proficiency.
Proficient- Can do most operations independently; can perform advanced tasks with assistance. Has good understanding of concepts. Can teach/assist most concepts to others.
Student works independently, may require teacher answers to challenges.
Advanced/Highly Proficient- Can do majority of operations independently, can perform very advanced tasks with assistance. Has level of understanding of concepts that allows teaching/assisting others of any proficiency level.
Student works independently, can find answers to challenges without teacher intervention. Can instruct/assist peers. Is on track for a technology oriented future.
For a copy of the Scope & Sequence by Grade, visit- http://goo.gl/tcp2k
Evaluation Rubric - Tech Scope and Sequence Lessons
None - Limited
Introduction - Beginner can do very basic operations; can perform additional basic tasks with assistance.
Introduction of new concepts, tools and/or skills. Teacher may use the "I do - We do - You do" model of instruction.
Developing - Learning more sophisticated or specific concepts or features. Has a varying skill set, but can do many basic tasks independently.
Requires significant teacher intervention for advanced concepts or more advanced uses.
Teacher is more of a coach - correcting errors offering ideas & pairing up students with more advanced skills with students who may need to learn those skills.
Reinforcement - Knowledgeable, has been exposed to both basic and more advanced tasks/skills but has not completely mastered the skills.
Requires minimal teacher intervention.
Teacher is more of a facilitator - providing opportunities to apply tasks/skills and offering guidance in where to find answers to questions.
Proficient - Can do most operations independently; can perform advanced tasks with assistance. Has good understanding of concepts.
Can teach/assist most concepts to others.
Students work independently, may require teacher assistance to answer questions.
Advanced/Highly Proficient- Can do majority of operations independently, can perform very advanced tasks with assistance.
Has level of understanding of concepts that allows teaching/assisting others of any proficiency level.
Student works independently, can find answers to challenges without teacher intervention.
Student can instruct/assist peers.
Teacher role is more of a mentor and a monitor of student progress.
Student is on track for a technology oriented future.
Evaluation Rubric - Tech Scope and Sequence Lessons
for the Teacher
a different purpose
Technology tasks in the lesson/unit should help students practice new concepts/tools or skills.
May require direct instruction of a tech concept/tool/skill prior to doing the task.
Teachers need to be comfortable teaching the skill.
May need training/support/modeling.
Technology tasks in the lesson/unit should help students learn additional skills or concepts in the context of the task.
May require modeling or suggestions while the student is working on the task. For example, " I see that you are scrolling through your document looking for a word, did you know that if you used [Ctrl+F] you can open up the "find word tool"?
Teachers need to have a bank of "did you know..." skills to share with the students.
Teachers may need some "look fors" to help identify students who are ready to learn a more advanced skill or tool.
Teachers need to feel comfortable with allowing students who have learned or figured out a more advanced skill sharing that skill out with others.
Technology skills/tasks are embedded in the task/unit. The assignments are designed to allow students to use their tech skills/tools in new ways.
May require teacher to have students brainstorm what tech tool/skills they might use to solve a problem, answer a question, present information or collaborate on learning. Focus needs to be on assigning a task - not a specific tool/skill.
Teachers need access to websites/apps that have interactive tools, access to collaborative tools, access to presentation tools. This may involve support in creating accounts, licensing, training in how to use the different sites.
Lessons/Units are designed to allow students to make their own choices about how and when technology will be useful in completing the task/assignment.
Focus needs to be on assigning a task - not a specific tool/skill.
Teachers need flexible options for student tech use. Reliable network connections and/or WiFi are important.
Teachers need to know what skills students are proficient in.
Lesson/Units designed as project based learning and/or preparation for specific technology certifications.
Student should be engaged in “real world” application of skills and/or field experiences.
Students need to be given guidance in finding quality higher level instructional materials, tutorials and/or online courses for themselves.
Teachers need be aware of students that should strive for this advanced level of proficiency, through student information system, scheduling or other means.
Expertise of Technology Support Staff may be needed to take on part of instruction at these higher levels and/or provide “Internships/Work-study” opportunities for students.
Understanding Computer/Technology Hardware
- Types of systems
- Separate Components
- Computing Device
- Case containing
- Power Supply
- Memory (RAM)
- Hard Drive
- Optical Drive (CD, DVD or BluRay)
- External User Interface Devices
- Mouse or Trackball
- Touch Screen
- Input and Output Connectors/Ports
- Video Output
- VGA or DVI (to monitor)
- HDMI to TV
- USB (can serve multiple functions including printing, data transfer, charging, powering external devices, etc)
- Available in three sizes/configurations
- Available in multiple port speeds (1.1, 2.0 & 3.0) higher speed devices are backward compatible with slower port speeds.
- Sound Output to Speakers/Headphone
- Sound Input from External (or built in)
- Other audio device (MP3 player, TV, etc.)
- Memory Card Readers/Storage (SD, Micro SD, Compact Flash, etc.)
- From Camera
- Additional Storage of data
- Network Connection (NIC)
- Wired (CAT-5)
- FireWire- (similar to but not compatible with USB)
- Serial/Parallel ports - (similar to but not compatible with USB)
- Modem (phone line connections)
- Built-in speakers
- All-in-one System
- Have many of the above components built in
- Most also include
- Built-in battery
- External Charger/Charging Cable
- Built-in Cameras
- Motions/Position Sensors
- Smart Phones
- Desktop Monitor/Computer all-in-one combinations
- Identifying and adjusting hardware components-
- Understand screen resolution
- Adjust settings
- Safe cleaning
- System Settings
- Network/Wireless Connections
Operating System (OS)
- What it is
- Operating Systems are the software that allows all computing devices to operate. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzVGL44eq9w)
- The OS controls all hardware and peripherals and allows you to run software programs or Apps.
- Most also have firmware software that works with your OS. The firmware is usually specific to your hardware in many cases the firmware is partly made up of the computers ROM BIOS (Basic Input/Output System)
- Different types and versions of Operating Systems
- Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 98, etc.
- Mac- OS X- Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard, Lion, Mountain Lion, etc.
- iPad, iPhone, iPod- iOS 4, 5 , 6, etc.
- Android- Jelly Bean 4.1/4.2, Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.x, Honeycomb 3.x & Gingerbread 2.3.x , etc.
- Linux (as know as Distros)- Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, CentOS, Redhat, etc.
- Miscellaneous or derived from one of the above
- RIM (Blackberry), Windows CE, Other proprietary systems
- What you need to do to keep it running efficiently and safely
- Keep it up to date
- As hackers find vulnerabilities in an OS most manufacturers put out updates to “patch” these holes.
- Most OS allow you to set up automatic updates (turn them on!)
- Use the best version for your hardware. The newest OS is not always the best one for you. Many new OSs are not supported by older hardware and may not support older software
- Keep an emergency restart/image if you have an OS that stops working.
- Create and use a password to prevent unauthorized use of your device. This is especially important with portable devices that may easily be lost or stolen.
- Always keep your data files (documents, spreadsheets, etc.) backed up separately (on another device or different place) because if the OS stops functioning you may not have access to your data files and they may lost if the OS must be reinstalled.
- Always backup your data files before installing a major OS update or firmware update to your device.
- Understand how to change system settings for your device
- Understand general commands that your OS supports and how to efficiently execute them
- Cut, Copy & Paste
- Drag and drop
- File Copy, Moving and Deletion
- Undelete deleted items
- Time & Date functions
- Installing/Uninstalling software programs and/or apps
- Know which software programs and/or apps are running and how to manage them
- running Automatic startup with device power-on
- Running in conjunction with other programs
- Supplying personal information to others when you operate your device
- Attaching peripheral devices, such as printers, storage devices, etc.
- Understand and use OS optimization and/or protection software such as antivirus, disk cleaning, defragmentation, etc.
- Firmware updates-
- Firmware updates can be used to provide new functionality from hardware.
- Because the firmware code is usually stored in Read Only Memory (ROM) updates usually require overwriting original firmware
- Often known as “flashing”, an incomplete or incompatible update can render the device nonfunctional (known as bricking) so great care should be used when updating firmware.
- It often best left to trained users or professionals to update firmware.
- Some manufacturers have integrated firmware updates into the devices and are usually automated and require little or no user action.
Effective & Efficient Web Browsing-
- How Websites Work
- A Web site needs four things:
- A registered domain or subdomain address (URL)
- A connection to the Internet and recognition by at least one DNS
- Web Server with Web Server Software (Apache, ISS, etc.)
- Web sites can be accessed by:
- User entering the domain name into their browser’s address bar
- User finds a link to a site through a Search Engine
- User clicks on an HTML Link (see later section for more information on how links work)
- On a web page
- In an e-mail
- Within an electronic document (PDF, Presentation, etc.)
- Web Server/Software
- Computers use a network, wired or wireless, to contact the web site’s server.
- The host web server responds by sending an HTML page to the inquiring computer.
- The inquiring computer uses its browser to “read” the HTML coded file and display a “web page”
- The process is then repeated for each new page
- Understand what a browser is and how it works
- Java and other scripting tools
- Selecting and Maintaining an Internet Browser
- Explore variety of available browsers
- Mozilla FireFox
- Google Chrome
- Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE)
- Apple Safari
- Keep your browser up-to-date. Out of date browsers are:
- Susceptible to malicious software (viruses, spyware, trojans, etc.)
- Cannot display newer pages properly
- May not work with interactive (Web 2.0) sites
- Are slower and may freeze often
- Are unable to read latest version of HTML (5)
- In addition to keeping your browser up-to-date, it is imperative to also keep all browser plug-ins up-to-date (Acrobat Reader, Shockwave, Flash, Java, etc.)
- Learn about different sections of browser screen:
- Menu & Settings
- Address Bar
- Search Bar
- Status Bar
- Add-on toolbars
- Tips for navigating
- Use Tabs features of most modern browsers
- Allows you to have multiple web pages open simultaneously
- Allows you easy switch between open pages
- If you want to open a link on a page and do not want to close that page, instead open the link in a “new tab” by right clicking the link.
- You can have multiple tabs open as your homepage when browser is started
- Basic Controls
- Right Click for context sensitive menus
- Right clicking elements on web page will bring up a context sensitive menu
- The menu you see when you right click can vary considerably depending on..
- Specific Browser being used
- Version of the browser
- Any AddOns/Extensions that have been installed
- The web page you are
- What you click on on the web page.
- Keyboard shortcuts- In addition to many of the usual keyboard shortcuts (such as copy Ctrl-C and paste Ctrl-V) there are special shortcuts specifically for use in your browser (see table below)
- Gleaning-Gathering/Repurposing/Different formatting of web page information
- Why the usual Copy/Paste routine often does not work as expected for web page content
- Content displayed on a web page is can be very different than what most users are used to with other programs, such as word processing documents
- It may be an image of words, not actual words
- It usually contains HTML coding and HTML formatting information to properly arrange words and numbers on a page
- It may be an embedded component, such as PDF, image, spreadsheet, video, flash, shockwave, etc.
- It may be being generated “on-the-fly” by Java or other scripting
- Even if the Copy part works normally the resulting Pasting is not what you expected or wanted
- Keeping track of sites you have visited (the good, the bad and the ugly)
- Good- so you can return
- Bookmarks/Favorites within the program
- “Social” Bookmarking- online bookmarks that follow you
- Browsing History
- Know how to see browsing history
- Learn how to delete old history
- OK- so sites know your desired preferences
- Your default location
- Saved usernames and passwords (that you wanted saved
- Not so good- so sites can track you
- Provide lots of targeted advertisements
- Divert you to other sites
- Gather information about you without you wanting them to
- Browsing habits
- Buying habits
- Social Networking habits
- Usernames and/or passwords
- Avoiding Internet Dangers
- If it looks too be good to be true it probably is
- Page Redirects
- Know where you are going
- Reading links before you click
- Never type web addresses into your search bar instead of address bar
- When it says you will be leaving a site, don’t answer yes unless you know where you are going
- Turn-on Phishing warnings on your browser
- Use a firewall
- Telltale signs of Internet fraud
- Phishing emails that look like they are official & warn of a problem with your account, bill, etc...
Then take you to fake sites where they can steal personal and financial information
Request for password or other personal information
- Warning signs of Phishing & Fraud emails
- Unsolicited offers
- If it looks too be good to be true it probably is
- Generic Salutations
Misspelling or grammar errors
Invalid or no Security Certificates
Offshore or inaccurately described server locations
Searching & Search Engines
- Use the best Search Engine for the Job-
- Use more than one search engine- Every search engine is different, and will give you different results. If you can't find what you're looking for quickly with the first search engine that you try, there's plenty more out there including specialized searches. For a very wide assortment of different Search Engines visit www.searchfindknow.com/100-web-serachingsites.html
- Use Meta Searching- One search engine is great, but a dozen search engines - at one time - is even better.
- Don't even know where to start? Use Topic Indexes or Subject Directories to help you get started or with younger students- More like an Encyclopedia, Table of Contents or Book Index. Some peoples personal searching preferences better match method of starting with Indexes and then drilling down to more specific subjects.
- Know how to use the Features of your chosen search site
- Visit the Help Page of the search engine for tips and tricks- Know your favorite search engines inside and out. It's easy to skim the surface of your favorite search engines and only use the most prominent features; however, most search engines have a wide variety of advanced search options, tools, and services that are only available to those dedicated searchers that take the time to search them out. All of these options are for your benefit - and can help make your searches more productive.
- Learn how to set or change your preferences- Search preferences can be set globally on many search engines (safesearch, limit number of results, chose default language, etc.)
- Auto Complete can speed things up.- There are multiple types of Auto Complete- some within search engines and some in your browser, history, recent searches, etc.
- Turn off personalized searching and/or use a search site such as DevilFinder which does not collect cookies.- For example- Google automatically pushes certain content at you that it assumes you will be interested in. This is based on: 1. Where you are (geographically) and 2. What you have searched for previously. For more information visit- http://support.google.com/websearch/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=35892
- Three tools that are intended for people maintaining websites can also be useful to searchers in identifying trends, alternative search terms, and research into key players and competitors in a sector.- Google Trends for Websites http://trends.google.com/websites - looks at search trends for individual websites or you can compare several websites. In addition it shows what people ’Also visited’ and ‘Also searched for’. Google Insights for Search http://www.google.com/insights/search/ - advanced options for identifying search trends including countries and categories.
- Use the country versions of Google for information that is country specific- This will ensure that the country’s local content will be given priority, although it might be in the local language. Useful for companies and people who are based in or especially active in a particular country, or to research holiday destinations. Use Google followed by the standard ISO two letter country code, for example http://www.google.de/ for Google Germany or http://www.google.no/ for Google Norway.
- Keep up on changes in the Web & Search Engine World. Learn how search engines work & about the search engine industry.- Just as the Web itself, Search Engines come and go and change features.
- Use the Best Words in your search & know which words to avoid.
- Use unique, specific terms. Use specific words rather than generic categories.- Whenever possible use "unique keys"/"golden words"
- Never search for single words!- You probably will not find what you want and will very often be shocked by what you find!
- Use scientific or trade names for items not common name or nicknames- Use your first couple of searches to find best words (one great place to find these words is Wikipedia).
- Carefully phrase your query- The more specific your query is, the more success you're likely to have. After all, "why is the sky blue" is easier to understand than "sky blue question". For more information on how to craft a more specific query, read article titled "Looking for a Specific Phrase" at http://websearch.about.com/od/internetresearch/a/phrasesearch.htm.
- Don’t use common words and punctuation- Common terms like “a” and “the” are called stop words and are usually ignored. Punctuation is also typically ignored. But there are exceptions. Common words and punctuation marks should be used when searching for a specific phrase inside quotes. There are cases when common words like “the” are significant. For instance, “Raven” and “The Raven” return entirely different results.
- Realize that some words are not searched for- Known as "Stop Words" certain words are automatically excluded by search engines. These include words such as “the”, “is”, “at”, “which” and “on”. (This is similar to the rules you learned for sorting book titles). Use +, " " or operators such as Verbatim will force inclusion of these words.
- Drop the suffixes- It’s usually best to enter the base word so that you don’t exclude relevant pages. For example, bird and not birds, walk and not walked. One exception is if you are looking for sites that focus on the act of walking, enter the whole term walking.
- Use synonyms or alternative search terms. - Be creative or use a thesaurus for ideas. Type thesaurus in the search box to find an online thesaurus
- Ctrl-F to find a word within the found page- Depending on the specific browser you use the Ctrl-F box will open in a different area of the page
- Quickly & Effectively Review/Skim pages found.
- Just because an item is listed first does not mean it is the best resource. - In fact, on many sites the first 5 to 10 entries are there because their owners paid the search engine company to put them there!
- Learn how to quickly skim a search engine’s description of a page, in the search results- Pay particular attention to the site address for clues. You can also install browser add-ons or extensions to get thumbnail views of the first page of each site found.
- Evaluate more promising result pages found - Use the Who, What, Why & When Criteria and Hierarchy of Source criteria. The "smell test" and other evaluation rubrics/schemes.
- Learn & Use the Query Syntax of Search Engines
- Although many search engines have added features to automatically help you get the right combination of words you may be searching for knowing and using Operators and other Syntax in your search give you the best results- The easiest way to use many special search features without know the proper syntax is to use a site's "Advanced Search Page"
- Learn simple operators:
- The minus sign, - will exclude words, " " will give exact phrases, + will force inclusion of "Stop Words" (see above) in your search and the ~ will include synonyms. AND will give you results that include both words but OR will give you results with either word. You can also use | in place of OR .
- Most complex operators can really help you refine a search, but they may be harder to remember unless you use them often. A "cheat sheet" of operators is a quick way to start incorporating them into your searching- https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0An6huy2QVY59dDVaa2U3R0VaeWhKTHhSVi1yZWxQenc&output=html
- Learn how to Glean, Bookmark & Find pages again.
- Understand how to use Bookmarks or Favorites- Many "Social Bookmarking" online sites will allow you to have your bookmarks follow you to other computers or share bookmarks with friends or students.
- Learn how to copy specific items, save text or data, etc.- You may want to install Browser Add-ons/Extensions to allow right click sensitive copying menus.
- Understand how to paste the information you have copied into your own documents.- Copying and pasting tables into spreadsheets is a very good tool to understand, as it will allow you to analyze, sort, filter or do calculations on the information.
- Understand how to use browser history to find pages you have already visited
- Use the Invisible Web
- Understand that many resources are not found by traditional search engines- Invisible Web Directory: Many individuals and institutions have put together invisible Web directories, which you can use as a jumping off point to surf the Invisible Web. There are also specialized search tools for blogs, news, data, etc.
- Learn about URLs & Directory Structure
- Pay special attention to the addresses of sites- especially the part following the "dot" which gives some indication of the type of site (.com, .gov, .edu, .net, etc.)
- “Learn how to Climb Up & Down the Tree”
- Practice RWS (Recursive Web Searching™) Techniques to get more from sites (www.searchfindknow.com/rws.pdf)
- What is a file?
- Document versus Application versus Operating System files
- Operating System Files - The files that allow a computing device to work (see section on Operating Systems)
- Application files, also known as Programs, Executables or Apps
- Application/Program files are further divided into:
- Executables, the files that are “run” by the computer
- Installers are files that copy applications and all of their associated files onto the storage disk and integrate them with existing operating system
- Support files may...
- Directly support the Application
- Integrate with OS
- Keep user preferences, provide shortcut access, etc.
- Interface with other programs
- Connect to outside devices, network, Internet etc
- Support functions such as printing, backup, etc.
- Provide import/export capability
- Document Files
- Contain user created content
- Hidden- Macros, Hidden Text or Cells
- Contain information on formatting
- Fonts, text attributes, paragraph styles, etc.
- Backgrounds, borders, headers, footers, etc.
- Page Layout
- Printer Settings
- Can contain historic information on the creation of the document
- Undo info, revision history, etc.
- File location on user device
- Time stamps
- Versions numbers
- User that created file
- Images can have GPS coordinates embedded telling where photo was taken
- Contain data associating them with specific applications (this test the computer which default program to use to open them
- Characteristics of all files
- File Type (association with program type)
- Attributes (writable versus read only, etc)
- Writable versus Non-Writable
- Based on files properties
- Based on storage media properties/state
- Based on current or previous status
- Already open on the computer
- Locked files- shared files already in use
- On network and opened by another user
- On local computer or network, currently in use by another program
- Hidden versus Non hidden
- Creating a file
- Saving/deleting files
- Save versus Save As
- Overwriting an existing file with same name
- Renaming a file
- Copying & Deleting a file
- Temporary files
- Editing a file attachment from an e-mail
- Recovering a deleted file
- Directories versus Files
- File Hierarchy
- Root Directory
- Directory (Folder)
- Sub-directory (Sub-folder)
- Files versus File Shortcuts
- Temporary storage (working copies)
- Drive Letters
- Non-removable Storage
- Hard Drive (Hard Disk)
- Removable Storage Media
- Network Storage (Mapped Drives)
- Authentication/Log In
- Create New (Write)
- Change (Write to an existing file and save changes)
- Local Access versus Internet Worldwide Access (Cloud Storage)
- File Transfer
- Copy to another device or removable media
- Copy vs. Move
- saving email attachments
- Internet / Web Page
- File downloading
- File uploading
- Peer-to-Peer file sharing
- Risks associated with file transfer
- Interception (theft)
- Malicious (attachment or embedding)
- S.A.M. (Spyware, Adware & Malware)
- Safety in Document/File Storage
- Damaged Media
- Lost media
- Theft and Privacy
- Backing Up files
- On same computer or storage media
- On separate computer or media, but located in same building
- Off site
- Backup Types
- "Complete copy of all documents (don't forget application add-ons such as bookmarks/favorite, address books, etc.)
- Incremental backup- only files that have changed since last backup
- Multiple version copies of the same document
- Recovering lost data
- Reversion to Previous Version(s) such as in Google Docs
- During copying or moving files- use Ctrl-Z (undo)
- Restore from Trash- only effective if trash has not been emptied
- Recover accidentally deleted files using special software required
- Nefarious Recovery of Data
- Even files that have been deleted can be recovered with special software
- Documents often contain hidden information
- History of changes
- Information removed in editing process
- Graphics files (Pictures, PDFs, etc.) can often be "undone" to reveal portions that have been purposely "blacked-out" or covered.
Using Productivity Tools
- General Layout
- Work Area- the area where you enter and/or edit your text, images, etc.
- Menus & Commands
- Dropdown Text Menu (“file menu”)
- File Menu (Working with Documents)
Create new blank document
Select from starting templates
Open an existing document
Save / SaveAs - save your work
- Page Setup
- Printing & Print Preview
- User Settings
- Recently opened documents
- Exit program
- Edit Menu
- Help (usually also available with F1 key)
- Icon Shortcuts-
Small pictures that let you carry out menu functions with a single click
Which items appear
Based on tasking you are currently doing
Based on user's preferences
- Location on Tool Bar
- Some toolbars can be "undocked" and floated in work area
- Status Bar (usually at bottom, gives status of what your are doing)
- Contains information about...
- The document you are working on
- Number of total pages, current page number, location document
- Current Font, styles, etc.
- the status of keyboard (insert versus overwrite, etc.
- Context Specific Menus (“right-click mouse menus”)
- Usually brought up by a single right clicking of the mouse on an item or space in the document (accessed differently in Macintosh OS)
- Menu items listed depend on what you can do to the item you clicked on
- To select menu item single left click of mouse
- Keyboard, Mouse and Selecting/Highlighting Shortcuts-
- Highlighting/Selecting tricks
- Double click a word to highlight
- Highlight first part of selection using mouse, then press shift and use the up and down arrows or up and down keys to highlight the remainder of desired selection
- Selecting multiple items from a list
- To select items that are together in a list-- click on first item, press and hold Shift key, then click on last item and then release Shift key
- To select items spread throughout a list-- click on first item, press and hold Ctrl key, then click on each desired and then release Shift key
- Keyboard Shortcuts- If you do not know how to copy/paste without a mouse, you are not computer literate. Sorry! Every operating system has some universal keyboard commands, and while knowing them won’t add 30 minutes back into your day, it will take a lot of the “friction” out of using a computer. Learning these commands is more a matter of routine than anything else; a short tutorial done once a day for a week will probably be enough to put you in the habit, and it will make you a happier user.
- A combination of keys being pressed at same time (usually Alt or Crtl keys plus one letter key)
- Many keyboard shortcuts are the same or very similar in most programs
- The two most important Keyboard Shortcuts are:
- F1 key for Help.
- Ctrl-Z keys to Undo
- Commonly used Shortcuts include: (see chart of Keyboard Shortcuts below)
- Variety of left, right, single and double mouse clicks can provide a different actions (see Context Specific Menus, above, for one example.)
Spreadsheets & Databases
- Components of Spreadsheet Program
- Data & Formula Entry/Editing Bar
- Functions Bar or Button
- Worksheet Grid-
- Rows & Columns
- Sheet Tabs – at the bottom of the sheet and tell the user which sheet you are currently using. For example: Sheet 1, Sheet 3, or Vacation Budget, Tools Inventory (you can change the names to something more meaningful)
- Working with Cells, Rows, Columns, Ranges and Worksheets
- Naming conventions
- Cell References
- Relative/Default Cell References (A9) will change if you add rows or columns, copy or paste formulas, drag & drop or use auto-complete
- Absolute References ($A$9) will remain the same even if copied & pasted, move or auto-complete is used
- Semi Absolute References- one part of cell name is absolute while the other is relative ($A9)
- Range References
- By cell names (A9:D24) indicate the first cell in upper left corner and last cell in lower right corner
- Ranges can also be given "text" names such as table, students, grade-scale, etc.
- Worksheets References
- References to cells on another worksheet appear with a "!" in the name (i.e. Sheet3!B2)
- Adding, Deleting and Moving- Cells, Rows, Columns and Worksheets
- Cell “Handles” for Moving or Copying (extending range
- Resizing Columns/Rows
- Using mouse, place cursor at the border of a column or row label and cursor will change shape
- To manually adjust hold down button & slide mouse left or right
- To automatically resize to fit the widest item in a column double click
- Data and Formula Entry
- Adding data to cells-
- Click in a cell & type in data. Press the Enter key or an arrow key to complete. Pressing the ESC key cancels input
- To enter numbers or symbols such as =, /, +, * or @ as text instead of as a number value or formula start with the apostrophe symbol ( ' ) then type in the desired text
- Simple formulas-
- Choose cell you would like formula (it does not have to be adjacent to your data cells
- Click Formula Bar to edit entry or click in cell and retype corrected data
- Functions are premade formulas provided by spreadsheet to speed calculations-
- Click Function button
- Choose function
- Enter requested information
- Copying Pasting and/or Moving Data and/or Formulas
- Simple copy & paste
- Highlight item then use Ctrl-C or select "Edit...copy"
- Can be used for single cells or entire ranges
- Choose location you want and use Ctrl-V or Edit...paste
- Drag & Drop from one cell to another
- Paste Special
- From within spreadsheet
- From outside sources (web pages, word processing, etc .)
- Values- Pastes the results of Formulas or Functions as opposed to simple paste which would paste the actual formula or function.
- Formats- Fonts, Attributes, Shading, etc.
- Column Widths
- Transpose- turns a column of data into a row & visa-versa
- Auto Complete-
- Used to extend a series of numbers, dates, etc.
- Highlight cells at the beginning of a series. Move cursor to bottom right corner & it will change shape. Click & hold mouse button while scrolling down
- Can also "copy down" a formula or cell format
- Can be used vertically or horizontally
- Formatting- Numbers
- Number Type- Do not manually format numbers instead use Num. Format
- Currency provides "$"
- Special- brackets & dashes for Phone, Social Security #s & Zip Codes
- Percentage accounts automatically for the x100 factor
- Fraction converts & rounds decimals to fractions
- Formatting Alignment
- Text Alignment Horizontal & Vertical Position in a cell & Amount of Indent
- Vertical or Angled Text Orientation
- Text Control
- Wrap Text- more than row per cell
- Formatting Cells
- Formatting- Borders, Backgrounds & More
- Line Styles Chooser and Preset Borders
- Custom Borders- toggle desired lines on or off by clicking
- Custom Presets
- Patterns Tab- Includes colors & background patterns
- Merge cells
- Protection Tab- allows you to lock and/or hide cells
- Conditional Formatting
- In conditional formatting the characteristics of cells and their contents change based on a specified criteria. Examples include:
- Cell Value Is...
- Equal to
- Not Equal to
- Greater or Less Than
- Formula results specified return logical value of TRUE (1) or FALSE (0).
- Basic Math Operations
- Addition +
- Subtraction -
- Multiplication *
- Division /
- Multiple cells and math operations can be used in a formula
- Order of Operations follows normal order of mathematics operation
- Parentheses are used to alter order of operations
- Functions are a special "shorthand" version of formulas or operations
- Formulas and Functions can be combined.
- Multiple Functions can be combined
- Common Functions include: SUM, AVERAGE, MAX, COUNT, CONCATENATION, VLOOKUP, IF Statement and COUNTIF
- Entering Functions
- Functions can be manually entered by typing an = sign then the function name
- Functions can be accessed via the = sign or fx on the Formula Bar, then using the drop-down box to select the desired function
- Functions- "More Functions"
- Listed by Category
- Function Names
- Short Description
- Help lists general info about the function selected
- As you click on each argument, help specific to that argument will appear.
- Combining or Separating Data (especially text)
- Concatenation- combining information
- Text to Columns (Parsing)
- Allows you to take multiple pieces of data & separate it into adjoining cells in row
- To determine where to "break" a cell's string of data the SS uses one of two methods:
- Fixed Length (i.e. a break at every 10th character in the string)
- Delimiting Characters
Most common delimiting characters:
Many SS provide a "wizard" to walk you through Parsing
- Many "tables" of data from web pages require Parsing to be useful in SS
- Best rule- avoid combining more than one piece of information in each cell, but if you must, try to include a Delimiting character
- Alternatively, functions- LEFT, MID and/or RIGHT functions can be used to return only the first, middle or last part of the string of data in a cell
- Extraction- Left, Right or Mid
- VLookup- finds data from list using a specific piece of data in cell
- Sorting & Filtering
- Sorting (Ordering)
- Sorting is used to arrange data in a specified order based on the beginning character(s) of one or more columns of cells
- You can sort all data on a worksheet or any subset of data in an area of contiguous cells.
- You select the data to be sorted by highlighting all the cells
- If your cells contain a header row, check the appropriate radio button in sorting dialog box
- It is very important that you include all the columns for a given row of data or they will become "detached" and out of order (the key combination Ctrl-* will select all the cells in a contiguous table)
- Filtering (Separating/Finding) displays only given set of rows (cells) based on a specified criteria. There are two methods of filtering
- Auto Filtering
- Uses a header row or column labels
- It can be toggled on or off from menu (DATA)
- Small drop-down arrow lets you choose filtering criteria for one or more columns
- Only rows with matching data are displayed, all other rows are hidden.
- Advanced Filtering uses three or more extra rows above your data where filtering criteria is entered.
- Charts & Graphs
- Charts & Graphs can graphically display the relationships between various aspects of your data
- Make it easier to spot trends or variations
- Creating a Graph
- Select the data you want to display in your chart. Be sure to include the relevant column and row labels
- Click icon to start the Chart "wizard"
- Select the type of chart you want (pie, bar, etc.)
- Select how you want data plotted (based on rows or columns)
- Add titles for chart, Category (X axis) & Value (Y axis)
- Once the chart is created, you can tweak various aspects (colors, fonts, sizing, etc.) by right click on that element
- Printing Spreadsheets
- Define area to be printed by highlighting the desired range; then from the menu go to File...Print Area..Set Print Area.
- Change how SS prints on your page by going to File...Page Setup and/or use the File...Print Preview
- Page Tab- Change paper size, orientation, scaling
- Header Tab- Setup items to print in header or footer of each page
- Sheet Tab- Set print area, set label row(s) or column(s) to repeat on each printed page
- You can also use many of the AutoFormat function and Styles to assist in preparing your SS for printing (both are found under Formatting menu)
- Page & Cell Protection
- Locking & Unlocking Cells
- Protecting and Unprotecting Worksheets
- Import / Exporting
- By opening a spreadsheet file created with another program
- By copying & pasting from another open spreadsheet
- By copying & pasting from a word processing or other type of document
- Gleaning- See section below
- By saving a spreadsheet to another spreadsheet program's file format
- By copying & pasting from an open spreadsheet into word processing or other type of document
- By exporting as one of the "Common Data File Formats" that most spreadsheet and many other non spreadsheet programs, such as Databases, can read
- Text file with fixed width formatting
- Text file with delimiting character
- CSV- uses commas
- Text- uses tabs
- Database formats
- Gleaning- taking information from a web page, PDF or other document and converting into a spreadsheet
- Discuss potential problems of converting
- Use necessary techniques including, but not limited to
- Pasting Special
- Text to Columns
- Macros- Allow advanced functions and repetitive operations to be automated (see below)
- Define Macro
- Create a simple macro
- Record a macro
- Run the macro to check its operation
- Edit an existing macro
- Window View
- Freeze Panes- Allows you to scroll up/down or right/left through SS while the column and/or row labels remain in place
- Set by clicking in a cell at point of the first column or row you want to scroll (to right of column(s) or below row(s) you want frozen)
- Click Window ... Freeze
- Split Frames creates two frames where you can focus on two different areas of the same SS simultaneously
- Databases (dB)
- Types- There are several types of databases that can be used in real-world scenarios. The most common are--
- Flat-file databases are generally plain text files that can be used by local applications to store data.
- Relational database are databases with related tables of information. Each table has a number of columns or attributes and a set of records or rows. Relational databases are more popular because of their scalability, performance and ease of use.
- Components of Databases
- Database Management System (DBMS)
- Collection of structured data
- Tables for organizing data
- Schema for defining table relationships
- Links to other programs, that provide or use data from dB (Front-end)
- Data Structure is based on records, fields and files
- Record- is a group of information (fields) based on a single item or object in dB
- Field- is a named component of each aspect of a record. Most records have multiple fields
- Files- are collections of records
- Field Characteristics-
- Type of information being stored
- Text (also know as Character, Alpha, Alpha Numeric or String)
- Number (aka Numeric)
- Record Number (aka AutoNumber)
- Date (Date/Time, Time or Timestamp)
- Logical (aka Boolean-- True/False, Yes/No, On/Off, etc.)
- Special Types of information storage
- Calculated (Autoincrement)
- OLE Object (document, spreadsheet, picture, audio, video, etc.)
- Key (dB Key, GUID, UUID, Lookup Wizard)
- Field Length (number of characters)
- Required versus Optional
- Characters (information) allowed in specific fields
- Duplicate Values Rules- Allowed versus Not Allowed
- Hidden versus Visible
- Database Table & Schema
- A table is responsible for storing data in the database.
- Database tables consist of rows and columns.
- A row contains each record in the table
- A column is responsible for defining the type of data that goes into each cell at the intersection with a row.
- In a relational database there is a schema which defines the tables, the fields in each table, and the relationships between fields and tables.
- A query is a question to the database, such as: “What is the zip code for a specific town in a specific state?” “List all history teachers that also teach government”, “List all male students with first name beginning with “J”. etc.” The answers to each of these queries will be a relation.
- Databases have their own programing language and syntax for posing a query. One example is the very popular SQL (Structured Query Language).
- A query is usually made up with three components:
- Select list (aka SELECT)
- Range or Data Tables being searched (aka FROM)
- Filtering Criteria (aka WHERE)
- Some DBMS also have special wizards or tools to more easily create queries without in depth understanding of query syntax
- Queries via a Front-end
- Queries can also be generated on a website and then transferred to the dB via Front-end program such as PHP
- Queries can also be generated via other software programs
- The results of a query are called a record set and can be expressed as a Report, Form (cross tab), Chart or HTML Table.
- Databases versus Spreadsheets
- Spreadsheet Pros-
- Are usually much quicker and easier to setup and use.
- Are usually much quicker and easier at solving calculations
- Have a wider range of functions easily accessed by user
- Database Pros-
- Allow much larger sets of data
- Can keep the data isolated from the end users, making multi-person use safer as data cannot be compromised. A spreadsheet is edited directly by people while a database is accessed by applications that enter and modify data.
- Are usually much faster at manipulating large amounts of data
- Greater latitude in defining relationships between multiple sets of data
- Allow easier and faster bulk updates
- Provide more powerful tools for data entry
- Time Stamps
- ID of person entering data
- Autolookup of field information based on previous field entry (i.e. entering zip code may autofill of city and state fields)
- Data interchange between Spreadsheets and Databases
- Automated connectivity with tools such as ODBC (Open DataBase Connectivity)
- Use of API (Application Programming Interface), a protocol intended to be used as an interface by software components to communicate.
- Specialized Spreadsheets & Databases
- Online Forms
- Google Forms- https://docs.google.com/a/mogadore.net/document/d/15i1AamaA_47cI-9Wc9Rw_A-Tr7h6yM0lp-xofJImgzI/edit?hl=en&forcehl=1
- Web Script based
- MySQL/PHP based
- e Commerce sites
- Commercial packages
Keyboard Shortcuts for Excel & Most Spreadsheets
Move to next cell down and/or complete function
Move to next cell to right
Stops data enter or change in a cell and reverts to original contents
Move up, down, right or left
Select all cells in a contiguous rectangle
Insert Current Time
Insert Current Date
Format cells dialog box
Repeat last action
Recalculate all workbooks
Create name by using names of row and column labels
Display shortcut menu
- Create a variety of documents including the following types:
- Short story
- Menu or phone list
- Your Word Processor is not a typewriter
- Many previous users of typewriters continue to carry for principals designed for typewriting.
- Even people that have never used a typewriter continue to follow these principles, because that is what they have been erroneously taught.
- Many of the rules of typewriting were actually functions of the limitations of the typewriter. For example typewriters had only one font and each character typed took up the same amount of horizontal space on a page.
- Line Wrap-
- Do not press the Return Key at end of each line.
- Allow automatic line wrap. Do not use the Enter or Return Key at end of line unless starting a new paragraph
- Double Spacing-
- Do not press the Return Key at end of each line twice
- Change Paragraph Style or other similar setting, change setting for "Line Spacing" to Double. Allow automatic line wrap. Do not use Enter or Return Key at end of line unless you are starting a new paragraph.
- Numbered List or Outline
- Do not type a digit, then a period and then a space; repeating for each line
- Change Text Style- Use Numbered List Style or desired Outline Style. Both allow easy rearrangement, insertion and/or sorting of all lines of text and your numbering will be automatic
- Multi-column Lists (such menus, price lists, etc.)
- Do not use combination of Tabs and/or Spaces for horizontal alignment and Return key for vertical alignment.
- Do not use column function (it is for the type of columns found in newspapers or books where text begins in one column and at the column wraps into next column).
- Use Table function in your word processing program.
- You can choose to print borders or use no borders and people will not know how you got everything placed just right!
- By using tables you can easily change font size, entered text or number of columns or rows.
- Placing Text a specific point in document (outside the body of the text.
- Do not use combination of Tabs and/or Spaces for horizontal alignment and Return key for vertical alignment
- Depending on your specific needs use Text Box and/or Table function.
- Do not use 2 spaces following periods or question marks. Two spaces were needed with typewriter to create the special offset look of sentence break because each character typed took up the same amount of horizontal space on a page.
- Only one space is necessary following periods or question marks. The proportional text automatically offsets the punctuation marks so no second space is necessary
- Emphasis or special characters
- Do not use Underling (type row of _ _ _under text) to emphasize text or replace italics. This was done on typewriter because italics or special characters were not possible.
- Use Text Attributes or Styles to convey special meanings:
- Bold or Underline- to emphasize text
- Italics- for italicized text (such as book titles).
- Sub or Supra Script, for formulas or chemical equations. (For complicated math formulas you may want to use “equation editor” feature.)
- Strike-thru, etc..- use specific built in text functions.
- Special Characters- Use "Keycaps" Characters or Alt-xxx for number code of special characters.
- Inserting and Editing Objects into your document
- From your own file
- From web
- Page Numbers
- Symbols and special characters
- Equation editor
- Word Art
- Documents, spreadsheets and other program outputs
- Text Styles
- Paragraph Styles
- Line Spacing
- List Styles
- Numbered Lists
- Learn to use the extra features
- Spell Checker
- Autocorrection & Autotext
- Glossary Expansion
- Customizing the dictionary
- Find and Replace- not only words but formatting
- Adding/Editing- Hyperlinks
- Table of Contents
- Themes, Backgrounds, Borders, etc.
- Booklet Creation
- Word and Letter Count
- Methods of distribution
- Sharing electronically for collaboration
- Booklet printing
- PDF creation
- Saved file formats
- Rich Text Format (.rtf.) a nearly universal word processing format
- Proprietary (.doc, .docx, .wps, etc)
- Publishing to web
- Converting to HTML
- Embedding in web page
- As email attachments (see section “e-mail, Internet & Social Networking Etiquette and Safety)
Copyright, Citing Sources and Plagiarism
- See Resources section for more on teaching about copyright & plagiarism
- What is Plagiarism?
- Not always “Black & White” often extremely “Gray & Fuzzy”
- Definitions of Plagiarize
- 1. From the Free Dictionary ("The Free Dictionary." The Free Dictionary. Farlex, Inc., Web. 1 Jan 2010. <http://www.tfd.com/plagiarize>.) a. To use and pass off (the ideas or writings of another) as one's own. b. To appropriate for use as one's own passages or ideas from (another). c. To put forth as original to oneself the ideas or words of another.
- From the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, to "plagiarize" means-- a. to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own b. to use (another's production) without crediting the source c. to commit literary theft d. to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.
- Types of Plagiarism - Anyone who has written or graded a paper knows that plagiarism is not always a black and white issue. The boundary between plagiarism and research is often unclear. Learning to recognize the various forms of plagiarism, especially the more ambiguous ones, is an important step towards effective prevention. Many people think of plagiarism as copying another's work, or borrowing someone else's original ideas. But terms like "copying" and "borrowing" can disguise the seriousness of the offense (list below taken partially from http://plagiarism.org/plagiarism-101/types-of-plagiarism):
- Sources Not Cited
- The Ghost Writer or Clone- The writer turns in another's work, word-for-word, as his or her own.
- The Photocopy or “Ctrl-C”- The writer copies significant portions of text straight from a single source, without alteration.
- The Potluck Paper or Remix- The writer tries to disguise plagiarism by copying from several different sources, tweaking sentences to make them fit together while retaining most of the original phrasing.
- The Poor Disguise or Find-Replace- Although the writer has retained the essential content of the source, he or she has altered the paper's appearance slightly by changing key words and phrases.
- The Labor of Laziness or Mashup- The writer takes the time to paraphrase most of the paper from other sources and make it all fit together, instead of spending the same effort on original work.
- The Self-Stealer or Recycler- The writer borrows generously from his or her previous work, violating policies concerning the expectation of originality adopted by most academic institutions
- Sources Cited (But Still Plagiarized)
- The Forgotten Footnote - The writer mentions an author's name for a source, but neglects to include specific information on the location of the material referenced. This often masks other forms of plagiarism by obscuring source locations
- The Misinformer or “404 Error”- The writer provides inaccurate information regarding the sources, making it impossible to find them.
- The Too Perfect Paraphrase or ReTweet- The writer properly cites a source, but neglects to put in quotation marks text that has been copied word-for-word, or close to it. Although attributing the basic ideas to the source, the writer is falsely claiming original presentation and interpretation of the information.
- The Resourceful Citer or Aggregator- The writer properly cites all sources, paraphrasing and using quotations appropriately. The catch? The paper contains almost no original work! It is sometimes difficult to spot this form of plagiarism because it looks like any other well researched document.
- The Perfect Crime or Hybrid Well, we all know it doesn't exist. In this case, the writer properly quotes and cites sources in some places, but goes on to paraphrase other arguments from those sources without citation. This way, the writer tries to pass off the paraphrased material as his or her own analysis of the cited material.
- Plagiarism & The Internet
- The Internet makes it both easier to commit and catch plagiarism
- Has given students mixed messages on what is property
- Citation of Internet resources is still "murky"
- Multiple ways with minimal standardization
- Often does not take into account the very nature of information on the Internet
- Different writing style
- Fast and ever changing
- Multiple authors
- Hard to determine qualifications of presenters of information and validity of information presented, etc.
- Takes very little money to "publish" which can contribute to questionable authority of authors
- Often more "visual" than "textual"-- Videos, Sounds, Speech,
- Animation's, Hyperlinks etc.
- Copyright Law
- What is necessary to copyright an item
- How long is the copyright in effect
- What can and cannot be copyrighted
- Differences between trademark, patent and copyright
- What is fair use
- Types of Presentations
- Passive Learner
- Slide Show (PowerPoint, Google Docs, etc)
- Online Web 2.0 Tool (Prezi, etc)
- Interactive Whiteboard
- Active Learner
- Nonlinear (use of hyperlinked pages, based on user responses, etc.)
- Online Simulations
- Virtual Reality, role playing or other gaming
- Interactive Whiteboard
- Do research
- Collect information
- Create new presentation from scratch or template
- Create Slides with--
- Variety of new slides with text, photos, charts, etc.
- Embedded content- web links, video, audio, etc.
- Edit, rearrange and tweak text and information
- Format slides, fonts, transitions, etc.
- Present show
- Create sharable copies of show
- Create a presentation using an online Web 2.0 tools (Prezi, etc)
- Create a video presentation
- Outline project
- Write and edit
- Story-board or outline
- Shoot planned video clips
- Edit shot video clips into “chapters”
- Voice over narration
- Sound effects
- Finalize video
- Combine chapters
- Create final recording
- Burn to DVD or upload to video server or a web site
- Create Podcast
- Do research
- Write and edit
- Record and edit script
- Add sound effects, music, etc.
- Edit final recording
- Post to web
- Media Literacy
- Creation & Editing of Original Media
- Still Photography
- Basic of Photography
- Shutter Speed
- Video Recording
- Audio Recording
- Spoken Word
- Recorded Music
e-mail, Internet & Social Networking Etiquette and Safety
- Know Who Are You Sending It To and What You are Actually Sending-
- Be sure you know who are really sending mail to
- Know how of following work and which to use when-
- to: to a specific recipient
- cc: to more than one recipient, but all recipients are aware of who else the message was addressed to (all addresses appears)
- bcc: to more than one recipient, but all recipients are unaware of who else the message was addressed to (only recipients address appears)
- Do not share other’s email addresses with your sent emails by using bcc: to prevent address harvesting
- Reply vs. Reply All
- Double check message & address before hitting send. There is no way to get it back!
- Misspellings of user/address
- Similar looking addressees
- Other addresses included in cc: & bcc:
- Reply to unsolicited-- beware of Phishing scheme & Spoofed addresses.
- Be sure you really know what you are sending
- e-mail Header information- Domains, servers, timestamp, smps, etc.
- Secondary information in attached documents
- Additional worksheets
- Hidden cells of a spreadsheet
- Links to other docs
- Embed information in documents & graphics
- Undo information
- Redacted PDF
- Masked graphics
- Bad Taste / Annoying / Complicating
- Out of Office Replies
- Fancy formatting of email
- “Novels instead of notes”
- Using an attachment when the information could have easily been pasted directly into the body of the email
- Proprietary attachments (i.e. Office 2007 or 2010 .docx, Works .wps, Visio diagrams, AutoCad drawings, etc.)
- If you receive an email to “correct an error with your account” or similar problem
- Do not click on included links, instead go to your browser and go to the bank, PayPal or other companies web site by typing in address. Although the link in the email may look like it will take you to right place closer evaluation of the actual hyperlinked address may be very different!
- Never give responds to an unsolicited email asking for passwords, user names, personal, bank or other sensitive information.
- Never agree to meet, someone you do not know, in-person based solely on email or web invitation
- Offers of FREE money, securities or other items are almost always scams (often referred to as “Nigerian Bank” scams)
- Never install unknown software from an email link.
- Digital Literacy and Citizenship Classroom Curriculum Scope & Sequence- http://www.commonsensemedia.org/educators/scope-and-sequence
Finding, Choosing, Using and/or Developing Software Apps, Online Tools & Simulations
- Types of Programs and Apps based on cost
- Full paid version
- Volume Licensing
- Same manufacturer
- Competitive upgrades from other manufacturers
- Discounted versions, such as Academic
- Light Versions
- Viewer Only versions- does not let you create new work only allows you to open documents previously created with the software.
- Bundled with hardware
- Both software and source code are made available for free
- End users are not only allowed to use the software, but can also use modified source code versions and often individual components of source code
- OpenSource provider may place some restrictions on usE. These may include not for commercial use, not for resale, no deconstruction of source code to use only specific components, etc.
- Free- although OpenSource software is free, Free software may or may not be Open Source. Often the source code is not made available.
- Shareware- software can be tried and if users wants to continue to use it or wants access to all features they must register and pay for software
- “Adware”- software is free but end user is show periodic ads within software. These ads provide revenue to software company. A similar example is seen in software with the Amazon Kindle, where user must pay additional fee to have OS be ad free.
- “Donationware”- software is free, but owner will accept donations from users
- “Nagware”- Software that keeps reminding the user that they want to choose to pay for the software and if they continue to use free version they will continue to get interruptions in form of “nags” or timeouts.
- Types of Programs and Apps based on availability
- Does not require installation, it is available as an online Internet application
- Comes preinstalled on most computers as part of the operating system. Including ability to create a new file, rename a file, cut/copy/paste, rudimentary calculator, rudimentary word processing, ability to read or play a CD/DVD, etc.
- Requires installation on a specific type of computer with a specific operating system
- Requires installation on a specific type of computer with a specific version number of a specific operating system
- Requires installation, but works almost universally on most computers with a variety of operating systems supported
- Is installed on a device that is not a dedicated computer such as a smartphone, e-reader or tablet.
- Web 2.0 Online Tool Definition (do not require installation, are available as online Internet applications)
- Term used to describe web sites that use technology beyond the static pages of earlier web sites.
- A Web 2.0 site may allow users to interact and collaborate with each other in a social media dialogue as creators of user-generated content in a virtual community, in contrast to websites where people are limited to the passive viewing of content.
- Examples of Web 2.0 include social networking sites, blogs, wikis, video sharing sites, hosted services, online tools/applications, etc.
- Cloud based services, such as Google Docs, Microsoft 360, Carbonite Backup Storage, etc.
- Sample Categories of Web 2.0 Online Tools
- Online Calculators- used for wide variety of functions including but not limited to::
- Mathematics, Geometry, Trigonometry
- Standard math functions- addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, square root, exponents, fractions, etc.
- Scientific Notation
- Graphing calculators
- Triangle- solving angles, length of sides, etc.
- Circles- solving area, circumference, radius, etc.
- Area/Content- perimeter, area, volume, etc.
- Time- seconds, minutes, hours, days, years, multiple dates, etc
- Conversion (Units)
- Temperature- Celsius <-> Fahrenheit
- Currency exchange rates
- Metric<-> Imperial (aka- Standard or English)
- Volumes- teaspoon, tablespoon, cups ,quarts, etc.
- Feet, yards, inches, miles, etc.
- Fractions <-> Decimals
- Finance- interest, loans, mortgages, amortization, taxes, etc.
- Calories, body mass index, etc.
- Holiday dates
- Solar- sun angle on specific days at specific locations
- Online displays of information based on user input or selection of specific criteria
- Graphs & Charts
- Travel Maps and Directions
- Demographic Maps showing conditions or information about specific states, countries, etc. (election results, languages spoken, average age of residents, minerals resources, products produced, etc.)
- Astronomy Sky Charts
- Individually numbered available locations/seats on a plane, in a stadium or theater, cruise ship, etc.
- Buying or Selling of goods, services or information.
- Acquiring Apps, Music or other data
- Online Banking
- Payment of fees (car and other vehicle licensing, user permits, etc.)
- Online Income Tax Preparation
- Online Voter registration
- Social Media
- File Sharing
- Simulations & Modeling Programs
- Can be standard installed software but most are now web based
- Can include one or more of the following functions-
- Provide visual display of a process
- Allow manipulation of items by user
- Allow experimentation and/or observation by user
- Allow user to take on a role or to be present in a virtual location and be represented by an avatar
- Safely demonstrate principles and functions of processes and/or items that are either too large, dangerous, involve large expenses, require travel to remote destination, require different time periods, etc.
- A small sampling of Simulations and Modeling examples might include:
- Simple Machines- allows manipulating items that utilize concepts of the lever, wheel, pulley, inclined plane, wedge and/or screw
- Flight simulator allows user to experience flying a plane
- Online chemistry set, that allows combination of different elements
- Building and managing a model city, railroad, zoo, etc.
- Deep ocean
- Dinosaur in their natural environment
- An ancient civilization
- Other planets in solar system
- Constructing and/or testing performance, strength and/or other attributes of-
- Airplane or Spacecraft
- Accessibility- two types:
- Making sure that design of software and web sites are accessible by all users including those with special needs. Examples include but are not limited to:
- Ability to use audio reading software
- Design of alternative methods for entering data or interacting with computer
- See the U.S. Department of Justice’s “Technology and People with Disabilities: The Current State of Federal Accessibility” for more information.
- Special Software and/or special program functions designed specifically to assist user with special needs. Examples include but are not limited to:
- Annotation software
- Use of existing software program’s special features to enhance usability for user requiring accommodations:
- Changing of font size, style and/or color
- Color highlighting tools
- Keyboard Shortcuts
- Developing and/or programing software, apps, micro-contolors, micro-computing devices and/or robotics
- Understand basics of how a software program is written and functions
- Programs & Programing-
- What is a program?
- How are programs created?
- What is an algorithm?
- What is a variable?
- What is a lookup table or library?
- Write a simple program
- Writing scripts using OS’s basic functions/commands
- Programing Languages for Teaching Programing to Beginners or Elementary Level Students
- Logo Turtle
- Microsoft Small Basic
- More advanced languages?
- Create an App
- Create a prototype or pseudo App utilizing diagramming software, spreadsheet or other tools
- Convert a Java or other web script into an App
- Write an App in a programing language
- Utilize a micro-computer, micro-controller or embedded computing device (Arduino, Basic Stamp, PIC, etc.)
- Program functions or use pre-built program to operate
- Design or use a pre-designed hardware interface to utilize the device to perform a task.
- Understand concept of robotics
- Program a pre-built robotic device to perform an action
- Build a robotic device utilize available modules
- Design your own robotic device
- Online Testing (see “Computer-Based Assessment: "Intermediate Constraint" Questions and Tasks for Technology Platforms” for more information)
- Understand concept of “closed/secured” browser
- Navigation between screens
- Use of online calculators
- Viewing Presentation
- Control-- Start, Stop, Pause, Rewind, etc.
- Go to “Full Screen” view and return to normal view
- “Answering” questions-
- Selection of Multiple Choice
- “Radio buttons” for selecting one item only
- “Checkboxes” for selecting multiple choices for one questions
- Selection/ Identification
- Click on an object
- “Lasso” multiple items
- Shift-Click first and last item (in adjacent items)
- Ctrl-Click to select non adjacent items
- Reordering/ Rearrangement-
- Arranging objects into specific positions by dragging with mouse
- Numbering or lettering
- Substitution/ Correction
- Typing in a blank space
- Typing in a text box
- Moving “building blocks” into a desired shape/pattern
- Drawing lines/objects to create shape/pattern
- Copy/Paste “building blocks” from one place to another
- Table of information
- Digital Literacy and Citizenship Classroom Curriculum Scope & Sequence- http://www.commonsensemedia.org/educators/scope-and-sequence
- Searching, Advanced Searching, Recursive Web Searching, Information Literacy, Digital Literacy & Media Literacy Resources- www.SearchFindKnow.com
- Web Literacy Standard a Map of Competencies and Skills from the Mozilla Foundation- https://webmaker.org/standard
- Pre-K-12 Technology Scope and Sequence . Generic version developed by My eCoach and aligned to ISTE Standards and Performance Indicators for Students http://www.my-ecoach.com/scope/intro.html
- U.S. Department of Justice’s “Technology and People with Disabilities: The Current State of Federal Accessibility”
- Tech Writing Handbook- "This handbook will teach you how to create everything from manuals to work instructions. We’ll help you avoid the most common pitfalls of tech writing, from poor planning to outdated publishing"- from iFixIt
- Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)- Contextualizing Plagiarism
- “Seven Outstanding sites for teaching Copyright”- http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2012/07/7-outstanding-web-resources-for.html
- The Ninja Program is a free program for students and educators to learn how to use Google Apps for Education in a fun and social way. Study, take tests, earn badges, and become a Ninja Master-- http://www.ninjaprogram.com
- Using Google Forms- by Eric Curts- https://docs.google.com/a/mogadore.net/document/d/15i1AamaA_47cI-9Wc9Rw_A-Tr7h6yM0lp-xofJImgzI/edit?hl=en&forcehl=1
- Computer-Based Assessment: "Intermediate Constraint" Questions and Tasks for Technology Platforms” Kathleen Scalise, University of Oregon, June 2009 This website introduces a taxonomy or categorization of 28 innovative item types useful in computer-based assessment. The taxonomy describes "intermediate constraint" items. These item types have responses that fall somewhere between fully constrained responses (i.e., the conventional multiple-choice question) and fully constructed responses (i.e., the traditional essay).
- Stop just talking about 21st Century Skills, it time to be doing! A dozen things educators need to do for today’s students- http://goo.gl/Mtlcq
- 20 Technology Skills that Every Educator Should Have By Laura Turner-- http://www.guide2digitallearning.com/tools_technologies/20_technology_skills_every_educator_should_have
- The 31 Educational Web Tools Every Teacher Should Know about- http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2013/12/the-31-educational-web-tools-every.html
- Teachers First Resources- http://www.teachersfirst.com/index.cfm
- Computer Science Education Week & Hour of Coding - http://csedweek.org/
12 Things You Should Know to be Computer/Tech Literate
by Anthony A. Luscre is licensed under a
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Based on a work at www.searchfindknow.com.
2013 by Anthony A. Luscre -
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