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More about Technology Tools and Course Websites 


Returning students: Please read these notes about what to do for this assignment. 


This assignment is a lot like the assignment you just did... but this time, it's all about technology tools and websites. Just like with the assignments, there are some core tools and sites that you will be using, and then there are also extra tools that you can explore. Depending on your choices, you might be using a lot of different tools in this class, and I hope what you learn about these tools can be useful to you beyond this class. 


This assignment has three parts: first, a review of the different tools and websites; second, a browser tune-up; and third, a blog post with your thoughts and ideas.


Tools for the futureSome students in the past have asked why I don't put everything in Canvas, and one reason is that you will (probably) never use Canvas again after you graduate. If you use this class to learn about other kinds of tools for writing, reading, researching, and connecting online, then you are developing skills and expertise that you can use in the future. The job I have right now, teaching online, did not even exist when I was a college student in the 1980s and 1990s... but I was able to use the computer skills I did gain in college to be ready to take advantage of this job opportunity. Likewise, I hope you can gain some new computer skills in this class and be ready for whatever the future holds. No matter what kind of job you will have, it is almost certain that you will be using the Internet for your work, especially if working remotely becomes more a part of the career landscape (as it has this year). 




These are all free tools that are easy to use; I hope you will enjoy learning more about them as the semester goes along. 


Blogging. Everybody in class has a blog; many people will be using Blogger, and some people will probably be using WordPress. By visiting other people's blogs, you will get to learn about how different blogging platforms work, and you will get to see the different options that people are choosing as they configure their blogs.


Website Publishing. In addition to your blog, you will be creating a website for your class projects. Google Sites is one option for that, and there are other options too, like Wix, Weebly, Tumblr, or WordPress (which is great for publishing websites in addition to blogs).


Image Editing. If you don't already know how to crop and resize images, that will be a great skill to acquire in this class since you will be working with images to go with your stories. You can also learn how to create your own graphics using simple web-based programs like Canva, Cheezburger, Automotivator, etc.


Twine. This is free software you can use to create branching stories! To see how that works, take a look at these branching stories from last year: Flood Myths: Utnapishtim, Mythical Monsters of the New World, and The Mouse-Bride


These are the main course websites you will be using:


Announcements. There are new announcements every day at the Class Announcements blog, which is also embedded in Canvas as the course homepage there. You'll also see the class Twitter feed embedded there in the sidebar of the blog. 


Class Wiki. You are at the Class Wiki right now; it is made with PBWorks, which is a pretty old service but I've been reluctant to switch to a new service since PBWorks, although clunky, works really well for my purposes. Because it is such an old service, it is just http (not https), so you may get a "not secure" warning in your browser. Don't worry, though: you are just reading pages at this site. You will not be logging on here or anything that would require an https connection.


Content Sites. The main content site for the Myth-Folklore class is the Myth-Folklore UnTextbook, which is actually a Blogger blog (but with literally thousands of pages). The India class has content divided across multiple blog sites: Images and Epics (which also has audio), Reading Guides, and Amar Chitra Katha Comics. Poor Canvas would explode if I tried to put all that content in there. :-)


Support Sites. You will probably also be making use of the support sites for these classes, which are also blogs. For example, the Writing Laboratory has lots of writing tips and grammar help, and the Freebookapalooza is your free online book library. In addition, you will be using the Growth Mindset and Learning by H.E.A.R.T. sites if/when you explore those extra credit options.




The most important tool you will be using for this class is your web browser, and I would like to urge you to do some "browser tune-up" now to make sure you will be ready to make good use of your web browser as you do the work for this class. I've focused on Chrome and Firefox because they are cross-platform browsers for both Windows and Mac, but the same features and options are available in Safari for the Mac.


Turn on the SPELLCHECK in your browser. You will be doing a lot of writing in this class, and having the spellcheck feature turned on for your browser will be a big help! That way you can get the red squiggle underline as you type to let you know where you may have a typo that needs fixing.

Chrome: Go to Preferences - Advanced - Languages - Spellcheck On

Firefox: Go to Preferences - Language - Check Spelling As You Type

... After you get the spellcheck set up in your browser, that means you'll be able to spellcheck your blog posts just by looking for any red squiggly lines that will alert you that there might be a typo or spelling error to fix.


Add a WORD-COUNT extension to your browser. Many of your assignments in this class will have a word count requirement (minimum and/or maximum), so having a word-count feature in your browser is a big help.

Chrome: One option is the Word Count Tool extension (there are others too).

Firefox: The Word Count extension is available for Firefox also (plus other options).


Learn how to use BOOKMARK FOLDERS. You will probably be creating lots of bookmarks for this class, and it will be much easier if you keep those bookmarks in a separate folder. If you don't already have your bookmarks organized in folders, now is a great time to learn how to do that:

Chrome: Go to Bookmarks - Bookmark Manager; more about bookmarks in Chrome.

Firefox: Go to Bookmarks - Show All Bookmarks; more about bookmarks in Firefox.


Have an ALTERNATE BROWSER. Sometimes a website will act oddly with one browser, but it might behave better with another browser. So, I would urge you to have at least two browsers on your computer. For example, if you currently use Chrome or Safari, you might want to install Firefox as an alternate browser.


Do you have some favorite browser features or extensions you want to recommend? Please share them in the post you are about to write! 


Finishing Up: Blog Post


To finish up this assignment, write a quick blog post about your first impressions here. Are you already familiar with some of these technology tools? How is this online environment like/unlike what you have experienced in other classes? Are there any web skills that you really want to work on this semester? Do you have any good browser tips and/or extensions you can recommend?


When you write your post, please include an image of some kind (with image information) too, and use the word "Technology" somewhere in the title. For the label, use "Week 1" as usual, and make sure to proofread and spellcheck.


Also, you'll be learning more about these tools and sites over the next couple of weeks, but if you have any questions right now that you'd like me to answer, definitely let me know: you can email me at laura-gibbs@ou.edu or send me a Canvas message.


When you are done with your blog post, you can complete the Declaration... and then move on to the last assignment for Orientation week: time management tips. That will be the last Orientation assignment, so you're almost done with Week 1 now! :-)




I have published a blog post in which I share my thoughts about technology tools for this class. 

PROOFREADING. I have spellchecked and proofread the post.

IMAGE. My post contains at least one image with Image Information. 

TITLE: I have included the word "Technology" in the title of the post. 

LABEL: I have used "Week 1" as the label for the post.




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