Online Collaborative Tools using Google and Google +
Post on 29-Dec-2015
Online Collaborative Tools using Google and Google +
Online Collaborative Tools using Google and Google +Tools Overview
Google DocsCreate and share word documents, spreadsheets, presentations, forms, drawings, tables, etc... Shared calendar can be used by a team
Google CalendarEvent reminders are sent via email
Event invitations can be sent to others
Sharing documents allows for real-time synchronous editing Tools Overview
Google+ CirclesCreate groups similar to a mailing listVideo Conferencing for up to 9 people
Google+ HangoutsCreate a Hangout for a group
Share calendars and documents with a group
Google+ HangoutsGoogle docsIn Google account, click on Documents Tab to open Google DocsSelect a current document by clicking on the title or create a new documentGoogle docsIf creating a new document, select the type of document to create from the drop down menuGoogle docsOnce Document is created, you can share it.Can share by entering email address or selecting circles.Select the Document to share and click on either share icon.
As a student, the software common among all courses is Blackboard. This tool will allow you to upload assignments, write journals, post to discussion boards, view all announcements in one page and communicate with fellow students. Additionally, there are views for grades, calendars and tasks. Most instructors post syllabi, assignments and comments through Blackboard. The software, if used effectively, can make student work more organized and checking on assignments quick and easy.
When logging onto Blackboard, the student will enter his university issued user identification and selected password.
Blackboard Home Page
Upon entering the site, the main screen holds the following: Tools, My Announcements, Blackboard Announcements for Students, On Demand Help, My Calendar, My Courses, My Organizations and My Tasks. Homepage Tools
First we will explore the Tools module that appears on the homepage. Please note you will find another Tools module within Blackboard which will be explored later.(screen shot of Tools without any highlighting)As you will see from the insert above, the homepage Tools module contains Announcements, Calendar, Tasks, My Grades, Send Email, User Directory, Address Book, and Personal Information. A general rule for Blackboard is that an underlined word will have further drilldown for additional information. Please note all the subcategories of Tools are underlined.
Homepage Tools Announcements
Click on the underlined word, Announcements. This single click will take the user to every announcement from every professor the user has had that have been posted for the courses taken by the user. Please note that students do not have privilege to write a general announcement. Only the professor can post an announcement.
Sort AnnouncementsTo sort the announcements available, click on the dropdown box and select the course desired for the announcements posted for that course then click Go to the right of the dropdown box. To return to the Tools module, click My JMU at the top on the folder tab selection.
Home Page Calendar ToolsThe Calendar tool works much the same way. A single click on Calendar will take the user to a single day view with information loaded for that day.
Calendar ViewIn the upper right corner of the calendar day the view can be changed to see the week, month or year as well as the single day view. The day view is by the hour. The one-week view is by day as is the monthly view. However, the month in a view is in a calendar style with notes calendar activities posted by all professors on a day-by-day block. Users can add activities to their individual calendar to assist them in maintaining their schedules. To add to your personal calendar, click on the Create Personal Event tab right above the calendar on the left. Note, the user can add a personal event on any of the calendar views.
View by YearOn the one-year view, the twelve months are in calendar order. If an activity is posted on that date, a little block will appear to the left of the date of the day. Simply place the cursor on the date and click. The day view for that date will appear on the screen. While in the one-year view, to return to a date, click the date. To return to a month, place the cursor on the typed month and it will appear underlined. Remember the rule of Blackboard. If the word is underlined, the user can drill down farther on that word. So clicking on the month of March, will take the user to the month view. To sort the events on the calendar, go to the dropdown box on the left side of the screen to eliminate all other calendar events except the course desired.
Homepage Task ToolsA click on the Tasks module under Tools will reveal a list of tasks assigned by professors. Note that not all professors use all the tools available so do not rely on these modules alone for information on your assignments. Because you are able to add to your tasks and calendar, you are responsible for keeping up with all tasks and assignments as they are assigned. The Tasks module works in much the same way as the Calendar module in Tools. Personal tasks can be added by clicking on the Create Personal Task tab. Tasks can also be sorted by course. For additional information regarding a task, place the cursor on the underlined task and click. This drilldown will take the user to the highlighted task where more information, if posted, can be found.
My GradesMy Grades is the module within Tools that will allow you to check any grades your professor has posted to your coursework. Simply place the cursor on My Grades and click. Each of your courses will appear on the page. To find the grades for the desired course, place the cursor on the course name and click. The view on this page will include the following: Item Name, Details, Last Student Activity, Last Instructor Activity, Grade, Possible Points and Comments.
Additional Grade InformationOf particular interest to the student are the categories of Grade, Possible Points and Comments. If the professor has viewed the assignment but has not assigned the grade, the student will be able to see the activity through the Last Instructor Activity line. IF the instructor has assigned a grade, it will be posted in the Grade column. If a grade has not been assigned but has been turned in through Blackboard Assignments (this will be covered a bit later), there will be a small green box with an exclamation mark in the grade column. This simply notifies the professor that the assignment needs grading and allows the student to see the assignment still need to be viewed and graded by the professor. Once a grade is posted, the professor may or may not include comments to the student in the Comments column. The Icon Legend in the lower left-hand corner can also assist the student in seeing if the professor has just checked the assignment or if the project is exempt of a grade. These two events would be noted by a green check or a blue box, respectively. Homepage Email ToolsSending an email to your work group or the entire class is easy from your homepage on Blackboard. In the Tools module, place the cursor over the words, Send Email. A list of your current classes will appear.
Send Email from HomepageChoose the class for which you wish to send the email, place the cursor over the selection and click. Click and a new menu will allow you to choose from the following: All Users, All Groups, All Student Users, All Teaching Assistant Users, All Instructor Users, All Observer Users, Select Users, Select Groups and Single/Select Observer Users. Path for DeliverySelect the path for delivery of the email, place the cursor over the selection and click. If selecting All Users, the form to complete the email will appear in the user screen. The To section will be in-filled with all members of the class and all registered instructors. Fill in the subject and type in the message in the body of the email form. Once the email is completed and ready for delivery to the recipients, place the cursor in the top right of the screen over Submit and click to send the finished message.Sent to All GroupsWhen sending an email to All Groups in a class, place the cursor accordingly over the appropriate selection and click. The To area of the email will in-fill with the names of each group that has been created in the course by the instructor. Fill in the subject and the message for the email then click Submit to deliver the email. This email will only be delivered to the instructor if he or she has been included on the delivery list within the group.
Email just to StudentsAll Student Users will only deliver the message to students and not the instructor. All Teaching Assistants will deliver to those individuals assisting in the instruction and paperwork in the class and All Instructor Users will only send to the instructors on record. Follow the same instructions as noted above for any of these selections.
Email to IndividualsTo send an email to individual users within the class, click Select Users. At this point you will see the entire list of all students and instructors in the class appear in a box to the left of center in the To column. Select the individuals you wish to email by highlighting their names in the column, one at a time or by highlighting a group. In the center of the To column you will see an arrow that points to the right column and one pointing to the left column. Once a person is selected to receive the email, click the arrow pointing to the right column and the persons name should move from one column to the other. After selecting all the recipients and moving them to the column to receive (the column on the right), fill in the subject, write the email and send by clicking the submit button.
Select Groups to EmailIf choosing Select Groups, the same rules apply to selecting groups that apply to selecting individuals. Highlight the group, click the arrow to the right to move the group from the left column to the right column and complete the subject and body of the email then submit.
Additional Information about EmailPlease note, anytime and email is sent to a group through Blackboard email, the option to Reply All will not allow actually allow the receiver of the email to reply to all members to whom the email was sent. All students and faculty at James Madison University can be found through the User Directory in the homepage Tools module. Place the cursor on the User Directory line of the Tools menu and click. The screen will offer the opportunity to select by User Name, First Name, Last Name and Email. To select by last name, use the dropdown box and select last name. In the box to the right, select Contains, Starts With or Equal To. To find a person who has a last name that begins with M but the spelling of the last name is questionable, click on Last Name, Starts With and in the third box type in the letter M. Click on the word GO just to the right of the box and the individuals with last names beginning with the letter M will populate the screen. The list will be short but to see more or to see all the names at once, scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click the words, Show All. All students, faculty and staff with the last name beginning with M will appear on the screen along with their email address and their hometown.
Address BookThe Address Book section of Blackboard is for the student use. If the user wishes to create an address book that will stay with the Blackboard account, click on Address Book and add individuals to the address book but entering the pertinent information on each entry. First, select Create Contact then enter information on each line. Once the entry is complete, hit submit. Once contacts are created, the user will be able to find contacts by selecting either the Last Name or Email as a course of reference. Then choose Contains, Does Not Contain, Starts With, Equal To or Not Equal To. To select all contacts with a last name that begins with the letter, P, select Last Name then Starts With and type in the letter P into the selection criteria box. Then click Go. The information will populate the screen. Information will contain Frist Name, Last Name, Email Address and other information saved in the creation of the contact can be shown or hidden dependent on the users preference. The user can click on Hide or Show for each contact separately. Again, depending on the number of contacts meeting the criteria selected, the list will fill the screen or, if the list is longer than the amount of information that fits the screen, select Show All at the bottom right corner and all contacts will be visible.
Personal InformationThe last Tool available on the homepage box is for Personal Information. Once the user has clicked on Personal Information, he or she will see the following: Edit Personal Information, Change Password, Personalize My Places, Set Privacy Options and Change Personal Settings.Under the heading of Edit Personal Information the student can edit the content available for view on Blackboard. He or she can add phone numbers and business contact information as well as titles and suffix information.
Change PasswordTo change the password for Blackboard Only, the user should use the box titled Change Password. Note that James Madison University has all student software connected to one password. That password allows students to log in to email, Blackboard, My Madison and other student sites. Changing the password in Blackboard will only affect the Blackboard login and is not recommended by the IT department serving student accounts.
Homepage Course ViewTo control the number of courses available through Blackboard at any given time a student can personalize the information by selecting Personalize My Places. Here the student can see all courses and organization he or she is or has been involved in and select the ones to appear on the Blackboard Homepage.
Set Privacy SettingsTo personalize the Blackboard site, a user should open Set Privacy Options. Setting these options will allow the user to personally select if he or she will be viewed in in course and email lists.
Your Course HomepageEvery section of every course on campus has an independent homepage or entry point into the course content. Every course homepage is designed by the Instructor of Record for the course, therefore every homepage is going to look a bit different. Stop now and review the homepages for courses you are taking to see how each professors style is unique.
It will be important for you to explore each of your courses for a better understanding of how each of your instructors will be using Blackboard. Most instructors require some posting to Blackboard whether it be assignments to a digital drop box, uploading assignments or journal entries. This format of loading items onto Blackboard is far easier than it sounds for most students and it makes checking of assignments very easy for the instructor.
Sample HomepageIt will be important for you to explore each of your courses for a better understanding of how each of your instructors will be using Blackboard. Most instructors require some posting to Blackboard whether it be assignments to a digital drop box, uploading assignments or journal entries. This format of loading items onto Blackboard is far easier than it sounds for most students and it makes checking of assignments very easy for the instructor. Upload AssignmentsPost to Discussion BoardsCheck Grades