Lesson Two: Listserv Basics
Join a new listserv
Review Netiquette Resources
Find additional great educational and topical listservs
Identify the 10 top Internet Collaborative Tools
Identify Free Web services for creating your
own online discussions
Identify key Mentorship Issues and Models.
Lesson Two Required Assignments:
1. Join one or more listservs not related to this class. Send your instructor a private email message with a copy of at least one message you have posted to the new listserv(s) (use cut and paste.) Share with your instructor three URLs which offer you the options to create free listservs, newsgroups, web forums or other collaborative tools. Include sources beyond those in the handbook, if possible.
2. Post to the class listserv your candid reaction to the potential utility of listservs along with an accounting of your current and past experiences with listservs. Post information regarding at least two of the most interesting listservs you have found with a brief description of how you found them and what they offer.
3. Cut and paste information from one of the www.learner.org resources which you've found useful into an email message, identify which service the information is from, and send it to your instructor. Include an assessment of your review of Netiquette guidelines from http://www.studygs.net/netiquette.htm and/or searching for "netiquette guidelines".
4. Go to www.blogspot.com and start a new blog, email the web address to the instructor. Relate any problems or reactions from this exercise to your instructor.
5. Create your own google group at http://groups.google.com First, Take the Tour, then, set up an account. Do not be intimidated by all the options, this task is only a few simple steps. No web page creation is required. Review what others have done with their groups using the additional features (web pages, etc.) Report your experience to your instruction along with your group URL.
To review Collaborative Internet Tools and their applications for K-12 education as listed at http://lone-eagles.com/toolbox.htm and web curriculum authoring tools at http://lone-eagles.com/teacherstools.htm
To learn where to find topical listservs relevant to your teaching, how they function, and related Netiquette issues and guidelines.
To review Internet mentoring models and resources.
A. Begin by reviewing
"Workplace to Workspace;
Using Email Lists to work together online"
By Maureen James and Liz Rykert IDRC 1998
You'll find links to all chapters in the table of contents at the URL above, but you're advised to
buy the book and support the generous author!)
Then explore the free listserv resources at http://lists.topica.com and for thorough tutorials on listservs click on the "help" link at the bottom of the page. Similar free listservs and tutorials are at http://groups.yahoo.com http://groups.google.com and dozens of other sites easily found by searching for "free listservs, mailing lists, or discussion groups."
Additional listserv tutorials:
Electronic Collaboration: A Practical Guide for Educators
This link will give you the 80 page PDF downloadable version.
You need the free Adobe Reader to view this PDF format file.
An outstanding resource from the U.S. Dept. of Education.
Teachers' Guide to International Collaboration on the Internet
New from the U.S. Dept. of Ed., on the importance of International education.
Ten Nifty Ways to Use E-Mail in the Classroom
Reach for the Sky - Beginner's Introduction to listservs
If you search for listservs AND tutorial* you'll find long listings of tutorials for listservs.
Read the"Mailing Lists Handout" http://lone-eagles.com/mailing.htm and note the suggestions for listservs to try out.
Try this with any other topic and you'll get similar long listings. Here's a few more listserv tutorials and directories found in this manner:
Catalist Listserv Directory http://www.lsoft.com/catalist.html
Here you can search, choose by host country or by # of subscribers. Clicking
on a listserve name will give you the host name and features of the
site, such as spam filter and digest.
www.middleweb.com/Lstservinfo.html Listservs for Middle School Educators
http://www.coollist.com/reg/newlist.html Free listservs.
Canadian Community Learning Network K12 Listservs Directory
Netpals Free listservs for Educators
Used for this class! The web-based message archives are outstanding!
B. Subscribe to at least one new listserv
Join one or more listservs not related to this class. Send your instructor a private email message with a copy of at least one message you have posted to the new listserv(s) (use cut and paste.) Some listservs may have been discontinued so you may have to try subscribing to several before you're successful.
IMPORTANT: Be careful where you enter your email address online as your email address might well be picked up by spammers who will send you endless unwanted messages including pornography. When in doubt, don't give out your email address. Spammers pick up email addresses from public listservs and CD's are being sold with 40 million email addresses collected in this way.
Your best solution is to create a disposable free email account at http://hotmail.com or http://yahoo.com for use with listservs in order to protect your regular email address from spammers.
Or you can find a local private listserv, or start your own. If spam is already a problem you need to get a spam filter to automatically delete any unwanted messages. More on spam and your options for controlling unwanted message in Lesson Four.
Listservs are convenient in that all messages are automatically delivered. Google groups and most forums allow responses to individual postings as an advantage over listservs. While many forums allow you to toggle a setting to automatically email all postings to you, they typically require you remember to visit the forum site to review new posts; as an alternative to overwhelming your inbox.
TIP: Be sure you keep notes on how to unsubscribe to a listserv so you can stop the flow of messages whenever you so desire!
C. Have fun with this hands-on learning opportunity. It has become extremely easy to create collaborative
spaces on the Internet.
Go to www.blogspot.com and start a new blog, email the web address to the instructor. More on Blogs and RSS (the way to subscribe to blogs to receive new postings automatically) is at http://web2fork12classrooms.pbwiki.com The short explanation videos will be very helpful if you are new to blogs and RSS feeds.
(60 minutes total, 30 minutes per site)
D. Create your own google group at http://groups.google.com First, Take the Tour, then, set up an account. Do not be intimidated by all the options, this task is only a few simple steps. You are not required to create web pages in this lessons, but will have the option to do so for Lesson three.
Review what others have done with their groups using the additional features (web pages, etc.) Report your experience to your instruction along with your group URL. There is a creative explosion of new free web tools for collaboration and authoring of web-based curriculum.
Google for Educators: http://www.google.com/educators/index.html
See the Classroom Posters and Extensive Resources! And the Tools for Educators. My recommendations are Gmail, Groups, Docs, and Youtube.
Google Apps Education Training Center http://edutraining.googleapps.com/
To fully appreciate all Google offers as individual tools that can all be elegantly integrated look at this listing http://www.google.com/intl/en/options/ (Found by selecting "More" from the google menu, and then "Even More.")
E. We all find the range of collaborative tools overwhelming! Take a break when you feel overwhelmed, and know you can always return to this outline of tutorials whenever you're ready to learn more. Email and Listservs are by far the most common, so focus on those for now, noting web conferencing is the next most important area, with desktop video conferencing becoming more popular all the time, too. How we use collaborative tools in education will ultimately be a far more human issue than a technical issue. Online social and writing skills will be very important for our students' future success!
TIP: You'll find the current trend is online offerings of an increasingly wide variety of free collaborative tools that are easy to use with your students!
TASK: Review the many free, private, collaborative services listed at http://lone-eagles.com/toolbox.htm and the web curriculum authoring tools at http://lone-eagles.com/teacherstools.htm
(One hour, 30 minutes for each of these two listings of tools)
E. Select the Mentoring resources http://lone-eagles.com/mentor.htm (also in your handbook table of contents) and review the resources with emphasis on your preferred topic areas.
TASK: See www.learner.org and cutnpaste one text resource of interest to you and email it to your instructor. Note their new extensive educational videos library.
F. Time suggested for writing your lesson submission messages: (30 minutes)
G. Hot tips about Email:
Free Private Email accounts: Never use someone else's email account when you can have your own private account. Consider keeping more than one email account if you'd like to keep various arenas of email interaction separate. If you give out your email address on web sites, expect it to soon receive dozens of unwanted emails. You can buy CDROM's with 57 million email addresses gathered in this way. "Spam" is unwanted email sent to millions of people without their consent, wasting time and energy.
Let your spouse and kids get their own email accounts free at http://hotmail.com and http://yahoo.com .
Nicknames: Did you know most email programs have a nickname feature where you can make a list of email addresses, and give it a nickname, so whenever you want to send a note to the whole listing you just send one message to the nickname and everyone gets a copy? This is not the same as a listserv since they can't send a message to everyone unless they do the same thing you did.
Mailboxes: Did you know most email programs allow you to save any message to one or more mailboxes for later reference? You can create new mailboxes at anytime and this is a great way of archiving and organizing the best resource messages from listservs, family, etc. I save all lesson submission messages for my classes, and archive the best resource messages from several listservs. I have two dozens different mailboxes that I save specific information in for easy retrieval at any time.
Signatures: Did you know that your email has a signature feature where your email program will automatically attach to the bottom of every message whatever you like, such as your mailing address, work position, or a line of philosophy or humor?
Attachments: Did you know you can attach any kind of file to an email message? Trouble is, if the recipient of your message doesn't have the right software to view, say a powerpoint file, they will just be frustrated that you sent them a powerpoint file. Never post attachments to listservs for this very reason, and always confirm what software is at the other end before you 'gift' folks with your attachments. Whether Mac or PC, you can tell your computer what software to use to open up a specific file type. Search your HELP features for "file type" to learn how to set this up. Then, when you double click on an attachment, it opens right up into the proper software program. Handy!
HTML Messaging: Did you know many of the newer email programs allow you to send messages in HTML format that will also display automatically web page attachments? You can use stationary templates and send really neat multimedia messages, BUT did you know when you send an HTML message to someone without this software your message looks like garbage? Stick with standard messaging unless you've checked to see what email software they have on the receiving end.
What Help Button? Did you know your email program has a help button that explains the above features, and more, in detail. Oh! THAT help button! All software has detailed step-by-step instructions hidden under the help button. Explore the index and contents features until you understand how HELP works. Yes, there's a HELP section on using the HELP button, too. Guess where?
Lesson Feedback: Optional, but much appreciated.
You're invited to privately email your instructor:
1. What areas, if any, did you have trouble with during this lesson?
2. What questions remain now that you've finished this lesson?
3. Approximately how much time did you devote to this lesson?
4. What improvements would you like to suggest?