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Friday, June 21, 2002 - Day Three, Week One

 

I’d love to lead a group step-by-step through every application, but people come in at different times and some people are here one day and not the next, so I need to ask you to do your best reading through the torturous written directions I give  these first few days. After another day or two, you’ll have enough ammunition to sort through things yourself and experiment, while I troubleshoot and answer questions. It’s very difficult for me to foresee all the difficulties you’ll have, so have patience with me and I’ll gladly do the same with all of you. The first few days are always very demanding, but participants in past workshops have always come away, having made some progress, depending on the amount of work they were willing to give.

 

Please do not turn on computer until you come to the indicated point on this handout.. Please read everything in order, or you will miss important steps. There are unfortunately no shortcuts to learning this – or a foreign language, remember! Did you learn French or Spanish in two weeks with someone guiding you through every step, by the way? Or did you work a lot on your own?

 

BASICS REVIEW

At some point (at home) I’d suggest that some of you read over the Immersion Website Introduction section and some of the items on the Basics page to clarify what and, more specifically, where the internet is and how “here” connects to “there”, especially in terms of files you create. The basic problems are usually conceptual and organizational, not technical. You will not learn all this in the 8-9 hours allotted in this workshop – that’s simply impossible. Nevertheless, all the materials that you need to function are on the website; let’s not neglect it nor forget that it’s there to consult at any time. What are the keys to mastering this? Practice, repetition, time and patience, self-initiative and self-motivation. So now let’s review a few basics.

 

What is a Favorite? A Favorite is like a telephone number. You don’t possess the person, you simply have their phone number, which gives you access to interacting with them. Similarly, unless you save (download) a website (and you shouldn’t), you don’t have all its files, but you can save its address as a Favorite (sort of like speed dialing). By gathering links/Favorites and giving them to your students in written form either on a handout, as a single exported file on floppy, hard drive or network, or on your website, you’re giving your students a sort of phone book to find what they’re looking for.

 

Where are your Favorites? Your Favorites are tied to the actual browser on the physical computer you’re sitting at. When we Export them, we compile them into a single file, which can then be transferred (saved) and viewed from either a floppy disk, the network (which has the advantage of allowing access from every computer) or the hard drive (C: drive), which is where you save everything on your home or school computer and can only access at that particular computer. The Internet, or in this case, the web, is like a glorified, universal network and it is all connected almost exactly like a phone network. Files must be taken from “here” and uploaded or sent to a place “out there” where they can be commonly accessed by the world.

 

Webpage vs. Website?

Many of you have already created a viewable / executable webpage. Strangely enough, it seems preferable to me that you only create individual webpages and NOT worry about creating an actual overall website “out there”, unless you’re committed to seeing it through. Why? It takes a large amount of time to make it work and much follow-up, meaning most of you will start now and quit once this workshop is over. You could easily continue to gather Favorites and Export them into a file, though. Furthermore, there are several billion websites already out there – there’s no need for more unless you’re going to create something specific and/or unique for your students. Perhaps the best thing is to learn how to find good sites and organize them, as we’ve begun doing so far. Finding the correct resources for your particular students takes an incredible amount of time and iniative in and of itself. You can simply make Favorites webpages / Word handouts with links that will achieve the same thing. I hate to sound skeptical, but students won’t really look at your website at home; they don’t even do the homework you give them a lot of times. In my opinion, and you may disagree, the main battle is won at school – you could follow the procedures described thus far and function at a much higher level than 99% of all teachers. You’ll understand the dangers and difficulties of creating a website, once you try. You also can’t rely on your tech people, so you’ll need to do it on your own to make it work, meaning you must be ready for a long, hard battle.

 

Again, if the next step of creating an actual website “out there” consisting of several webpages doesn’t work for you, just surf for the sites you need and make handouts: type up the addresses of the links on a handout along with your questions and directions. Low-tech is often the best approach. The problem with handouts is that students will eat up your class time incorrectly typing in the website addresses. If you have a mistake, like I did yesterday, you’ve got even bigger problems. Why not just make a document with links and put it in the student directory or on a floppy – then they only have to click the links you’re offering.

 

Now please turn on your computer, insert the disk and access the A: drive (floppy disk) through My Computer. The file is weather.htm How did I create this? I could have either viewed websites/exercises, added Favorites and collected them in a subfolder entitled Weather, exported them to a file named weather.htm and edited the file in WORD or I could have simply written down and then typed up all the links that I found and then created a webpage in Word. If you’re going to use floppy disks, it’s best to start by collecting all favorites and saving all Spellmaster exercises to A: from the outset. For Spellmaster exercises, view them from the A: drive and Add a Favorite to it. Always save and create to the same place (floppy or network), otherwise the links on your Word webpage might not work and will have to be re-made. It is extremely important to understand that links tell the browser to read from certain places (disk, network, hard drive or internet) and must be formatted to connect to the place where the files are located.

 

Also, let’s forget about Front Page for the moment, unless you’re absolutely comfortable with it. Don’t be deceived by my collection of links on weather.htm, by the way – it took some time to find all those resources. This is a simple collection of links to other pages and other people’s exercises as well as some of my own making. In general, the smaller or at least the more specific and focused an activity is, the better. You can make such activities as elaborate or as simple as you wish; make them in the target language for higher levels, limit the number of resources to view depending on time constraints, etc. Much discussion would go on before and after undertaking this activity, of course. Also, students (pardon my French) don’t give a damn about the image you spent hours finding and re-sizing. They’ll either look at it for half a second or ten minutes, neither of which is desirable. Also, you’ll have immense headaches trying to make them appear on the web, so don’t bother. The Spellmaster exercises might prove troublesome as well, so you might prefer to use Interactive Exercise Makers for the moment, since it produces a website that’s already “out there” – you simply must note the website address it gives you for your file created and then create a link to that address in your Word file.

 

So you just viewed a single webpage, called weather.htm. Now please view my website, which is “out there” on the web: http://www.serve.com/shea/work.htm All the side topics are nothing more than Favorites or links collected into a subfolder and then exported or presented into individual webpages via creation inWord in the framework of my overall website. This is more than most sane people create, so just master all the above and you could become very proficient in using the web.

 

But most aren’t satisfied with this, even though I strongly recommend it as someone who’s given workshops for years and seen the problems most teachers have. So if you want to move on to creating a website and having a real web presence “out there”, go to http://www.tripod.com and maybe even forget much that I’ve taught you so far. Fill in all the forms, giving bogus information if you’re not comfortable with giving out personal information.

 

New to Tripod? Sign Up! Click on this.

 

Choose Tripod Free and Continue

 

Create a short, easily-remembered user name, all in lower case, no spaces Ex: shea20020

Your webpage will be http://yourusername.tripod.com - so keep it simple for your students to remember

Choose only one interest (I suggest Travel), because this will determine the ads that pop up on your webpages

De-select all offers for free offers and email notices

Enter Confirmation Code given and submit

 

Click Build Your Homepage Now

 

Choose FileManager . Minimize your Internet Screen for the moment. We’ll come back to that after a while. Now we need to move files from “here” to “out there” by uploading it, but we haven’t created anything yet, so you first need to create some-thing to put “out there”.

 

First create a webpage using Word and following my original handout. If you make an exercise or want to add an image, you should type the full address when you make a link. For example, if I want to link to my weather exercises, I need to know it’s full name: weather.swf for Spellmaster (these are all .swf) and for Interactive Exercise Makers, simply note the address of the exercise you create - weather_cloze.htm, for example. You probably see that you’re working forwards and backwards all at the same time, which is why I always say this is a conceptual challenge rather than a technical one. So I would make my link in my Word document to http://shea20020.tripod.com/weather.swf or to http://shea20020.tripod.com/weather_cloze.htm

 

Once you’ve created your webpage file and any exercises, return to the Internet. You should still be at the File Manager. If you closed the Internet, simply return to http://www.tripod.com and click Log In at the top, if you’re not given the option of going directly to the File Manager.

 

Choose Upload viasingle files

 

File 1 – Browse to your file (weather.htm in my example, bookmark.htm, index.htm or whatever you’ve created

Always select Make Lowercase and Allow overwrite

If you have or exercises or images, they must also be uploaded – File2, File3, etc.

Scroll down and click on Upload

If I uploaded weather.htm it would be located at http://shea20020.tripod.com/weather.htm

When finished uploading, click Close then right-mouse Open in New Window on your filename to view it

Write the address down on paper, memorize it, and Add a Favorite

 

Create further webpages in Word and start making subpages or a main page. Shea’s page (index.htm) which contains a link to my weather page (weather.htm). On my site http://www.serve.com/shea/work.htm I’m simply linking to myself over and over with each topic. If you name your main file index.htm, you don’t even need to type it in – it’s the default file. In other words, http://shea20020.tripod.com/index.htm =http://shea20020.tripod.com/ Also be aware that index.htm and index.html are two different files. Choose to name ALL your files with .htm or .html and stick with it one or the other.