|Instructions for this Report||Oral Presentation 1: Darin Kawamoto's Driver Support Group||Oral Presentation 2: Internet 101||Oral Presentation 3: SeniorNet|
|Navigation Table||Oral Presentation 1 Written Questions||Oral Presentation 2 Written Questions||Oral Presentation 3 Written Questions|
My report was simply a review of Darin Kawamoto's Driver Support Group. This webpage was designed to be a type of support group for drivers with road rage or any violent acts, ideas, etc. The webpage was designed in an easy-to-read design. The idea of the page was for visitors to send in stories or experiences relating to driving situations. I think the original intent was to provide a forum for venting frustrations and annoyances. Darin provided his email address and asked visitors for submissions. Unfortunately, there were only three posts, which were rather short and probably authored by other G3 members. The posts were relating to tailgating and cutting off other drivers. To me it seems like an early attempt at the forum discussions G13 currently participates in, but much less successful. There was no advice given to the authors of the posts to correct their negative reactions to other drivers and situations. If I were to host a support group I would try and provide some type of behavior modification or at least provide an area that would allow other vistors to post their opinions and advice.
I liked the concept for this site, but unfortunately it didn't seem to really work. I suppose that advertising would be neccessary in order to draw a larger number of visitors and increase the posts. If many were to subscribe to this site, I believe it could have been a great forum for discussion and probably provide neccessary relief from tension caused by driving disaster for all people. I also believe that making support groups online would work if they were easy. I think that using the message board style in which all the posts and replies are visible would work best. This way the visitor is not required to click back and forth between messages and threads -- everything is immediately visible. Of course the difficulty here would be the time it takes to load the board, but I think people would prefer to wait that extra minute or so rather than switch back and forth between messages.
After reading Darin's support group page, I used the link to access his home page. His home page was also easy to read, but had a different design. The background was black and he used bright pink and blue lettering. The page loaded quickly although it had quite a few graphics. Darin used graphics next to each link that he appropriately sized to correspond with the link's text. These graphics added variation to what would have otherwise been common boring text links. Darin had quite a few links including Dr. James' homepage link, the Support Group for Drivers link, links to his reports 1 - 4, Violent Links, Cool Links, Traffic Psychology Links, and finally links to other Psychology 459 generations.
I first accessed Darin's reports which were basically his experiences on the internet, surfing through other generational reports, a driving self-modification plan, and resistance to traffic psychology. These were quite interesting and each page followed a design similar to the homepage.
Next I tried the Violent Links. I was taken to a page with 4 links, 3 of which were not working. Cool Links was primarily comprised of links to different versions of a search engine called Netsurfer, but surprisingly the link labeled search engines didn't work. Darin also had another heading of links called Traffic Psychology Resources which contained several inactive links. Finally he provided links to other generational reports.
When I gave this presentation I was rather unsure of what to say and how to present it. I was a bit intimidated by the class and Dr. James. I basically commented on the appearance of Darin's website and the links that were provided.
After I spoke the primary question was whether or not I believed people would benefit from a driving support group. I am a firm believer that this would benefit many people and the question that next arises is how to get people to participate. I am not too sure how to do this, but I would have to say that the best way to increase participation is to make the process easy and fast. I support using a message board style which shows messages and replies immediately and all on one page, rather than a webpage that requires visitors to submit their stories and later be posted. Another question voiced in class asked what I would do to change the website. I believe that I would like to allow access to some type of behavior modification, either provided by myself or other web visitors.
After reviewing the questions from classmates it seems many people wondered if the inactive links I encountered were frustrating. To be perfectly honest, they weren't. I was actually happy that I didn't have to comment on additional pages, but had this been for my own personal info I would probably be annoyed. Afterward I tried the hints provided by Dr. James (removing the /com/ from the end of the URL) and this made no difference - the links were still inactive. Many people also asked what the overall theme of the page was -- I can't really say that he had one. It was just a simple site designed to comply with the assignments.
1. How would you design the page to promote responses?
I believe that the lack of responses was due to poor promotion of the page rather than a problem with the page's design. I would try to register my page with as many search engines as possible. I am almost positive that the three responses Darin received were from other members in internet psychology classes or friends.
2. Were the icons aimed at a theme or were they arbitrary?
The icons were simple and quick to load. I remember thinking that they were cute, when I was reading the page. I especially liked the happy face graphic under the title of Darin's homepage. However, there was no unifying theme among the icons.
3. Did the problem of dead links irritate you?
Actually I wasn't too bothered by the links which was unusual. I encounter this problem quite a bit when I'm searching the internet and it usually does annoy me, but I believe in this case, the number of links on Darin's page was almost overwhelming. When the links didn't work I was almost relieved that I didn't have to explore all those additional sites.
4. What was your overall impression of having a cyberspace support group on driving?
I think that a cyberspace support group is a good idea. The problem here was that there was not a sufficient response to the site. I think a support site would be highly beneficial -- even if all it does is allow visitors to vent their frustrations with others. Once people are able to relate to one another and realize that others share their feelings its makes it a little easier to cope with the situation.
5. Do you think a support group for drivers would work? For whom?
I believe that anyone willing to actively participate in a support group would benefit from it. The problem then arises, as to how to get people to participate. That is a question that I am not sure I can answer. One way would be making it mandatory to participate, but if you force the community to participate chances are they will begin to feel resentful and there will be no benefit from the group.
6. Did you find it a useful site?
I think that if the site had been maintained for a longer period of time and had received more repsonses it could have provided at least a forum for people to voice their concerns and frustrations.
7. How would you do the site differently?
If I were maintaining the site, I would probably have promoted my site through search engines to increase the traffic to my page. I would also have allowed the other visitors to post reaction comments and made it more of a message board. That would provide feedback to the author from many different viewpoints and hopefully one of the suggestions would work for him/her.
8. What kind of ideas did the sight suggest for violent drivers?
There was really no kind of help or advice for violent drivers. This site was mainly a page that encouraged people to send in stories about bad driving experiences. I suppose the primary idea was to just provide a forum for people to vent.
9. Do you feel that the simplistic structure of the page contributed to the lack of responses?
No, I don't believe that the overall structure of the site had much to do with the lack of responses. I firmly believe that there wasn't enough promotion to the site.
10. Was there an overall theme to the webpage?
The page was relatively simple with a plain background and simple font. The few icons did not really relate to driving, but were similar to one another.
My second oral presentation was a review of a website called Internet 101 which is maintained by the center for Asynchronous Learning Networks (ALN). This website provides a free online course which is designed to provide a basic rundown of all common terms and tools used on the internet. There are seven quizzes each comprised of 10 questions. In order to pass each quiz the user must accurately answer all 10 questions. Once all 7 quizzes are complete, the organization will mail a certificate of completion to the subscriber. The ALN also offers online courses on how to get started creating online courses, strategic planning for online courses, methods for 3D visualization, and a tutorial course in Front Page 2000.
Quiz 1, a basic introduction to the internet, begins with the history of the internet and its creator, the U.S. Department of Defense. It also provided some very useful information regarding passwords and internet security. ALN suggests using passwords that include letters, numbers, and punctuation to provide the highest level of security. The information also includes such topics as shareware, free software downloads that allow users to test out programs; telnet, a system that allows users to log onto to remote machines; and common acronyms such as ISP, internet service provider, and ARPA, the Advanced Research Projects Agency.
Browsers were introduced in the second quiz. It was a very detailed discription of both Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator. I think this was a good idea to include both browsers and require each participant to learn both rather than have them select the one which they have on their computer or the one they plan to use.
The third quiz explored three different email programs -- Eudora Light, MS Outlook, and Netscape Mail. It also provided information about web based email providers. These accounts like Yahoo! and Hotmail provide access to the account through any computer connected to the internet.
FTP, or file transfer protocol, was the topic of the fourth quiz. FTP transfers files from your computer's hard drive to your server. There is a detailed tutorial for both Mac and PC users.
The remaining 3 quizzes were rather simple topics -- newsgroups, multimedia, and chatting online. A brief explanation of newsgroups was provided. These electronic bulletin boards, called newsgroups, allow people to post messages and reply to other comments as well.
Multimedia is the combination of text, sound, and 2D or 3D graphics or video. Media players are used to stream video and audio. Streaming is a term used to describe software that plays files while they are still being downloaded. Some common software programs which stream files are Real Player which is used for audio files and Windows Media Player which is used for video files.
The final topic discussed was how to chat online. There was a brief citatation which talked about user names or nicknames that people use while in chatrooms. There was also a chat dictionary which provided a list of commonly used abbreviations. I thought this was a nice thing to include because chatrooms are often intimidating and a bit scary especially when you don't know the terms and vocabulary used by others.
I was quite impressed with this website. I think that anyone who uses the internet will definitely benefit from taking this course. I was pretty accustomed to using the internet but I still learned a great deal from this site. I would recommend that everyone try these quizzes -- I'm sure that you will learn something.
1. Do you think that learning via the internet is easier than a classrom?
I think that nothing can replace the learning received in a classroom. The student teacher interaction is much more rewarding and beneficial to learning. I think that some concepts are acceptable to teach online, but its not my favorite method of learning.
2. Are there things you learned about the web by taking the quizzes?
These quizzes made me realize that I don't know enough about the internet. I do know basically how to use it, but I think I'm not taking full advantage of its resources.
3. Were the quizzes comprehensive enough to measure internet literacy?
I think if a person is able to pass this course he will definitely be ready to use the internet. I thought I was pretty competent online and this course still taught me a lot.
4. Which quiz did you find most helpful?
I didn't take all the quizzes, but I really think that the first quiz was probably the most beneficial. It provided a solid background to the internet and would probably enable a person to use the internet just throught that info alone. I think that if a person could only take one quiz they should at least try number 1.
5. Did the results you received from taking the quizzes change your perception of your own internet literacy?
I believed myself to be pretty adept at using the internet. I have had an email account for a few years now, do most of my school research through online data bases, etc., so I thought this course would be a breeze. I was wrong. I can see now that I'm able to use email and search engines, but I didn't know how they work, or what terms, concepts, & acronyms meant.
6. Is the Internet 101 class made for beginners or is it also valuable for people who already use the internet extensively?
This course provides a great deal of information that is quite useful for novice and intermediate users. It is highly detailed. I would definitely reccomend it to students who are planning to use multiple computers, like using their personal computer at home and using one in the clic lab on campus. This course will familiarize the user with all the different browsers, email services, and ISPs.
7. Is the site updated regularly to keep up with the changes?
I believe that the site is constantly updated. I am not positive, but offering courses in Front Page 2000 which was only released recently, provides a good indication that the site is current.
8. How would you define internet literacy?
I would define internet literacy as the ability to use search engines to find specific topics and to be able to send and receive email.
9. What are good strategies for becoming internet literate?
The best thing I reccomend is to practice. I was always afraid of my computer. I thought that I would break it, but I just kept messing with it and I finally figured out how to use it.
My final presentation was a summary of a website called SeniorNet. This site provides people 55 or over knowledge of the internet. The classes offered are primarily directed toward older citizens who are just learning to use the internet. They also provide articles on issues commonly dealt with by seniors, like fitness for older people, investing, home safety for seniors, and health topics.
The site didn't really provide online courses like Internet 101 did, but rather provided organizations throughout the United States that hosted these courses for seniors. Typically, these centers host 6 - 10 computers and are managed by senior volunteers. The courses are also taught and coached by senior volunteers. In Hawaii, there are 3 learning centers in Hilo, Maui, and Honolulu. The Honolulu based learning center operates out of Honolulu Community College and was founded in July of 1988. It is operated through a grant from The Hawaiian Eye Foundation and is sponsored by St. Andrew's Cathedral. Every year thousands of seniors learn basic internet skills through this course at HCC. Each individual learning center sets its own price for the course and there isn't much information provided on the website regarding prices. The phone numbers and actual locations of each learning center is provided online.
The learning centers primarily provide low cost courses in basic computer technology like word processing, spreadsheets, and internet use. Some centers, however, do provide courses in advanced topics like genealogy, graphics, financial management, and tax preparation.
There were also a bunch of links provided through SeniorNet. First was Keen.com. I accessed this site and was surprised to realize that it was a type of ask the expert site. The website allows members to advertise their special skills. Other members are then able to call a particular person and ask for advice. Each member sets his or her own price for this expert advice, it seemed that the average going rate was approximately $0.50 per minute. Once a member decides he would like to speak to another member, he clicks onto the "Call Now" button next to the member's profile. Keen then initiates the call between the two members. It is private and Keen does not give out any phone numbers. Keen charges a 30% commission fee to the expert member.
Other links provided were to the World War II Living War Memorial, Investing Centers by Charles Schwab, Enrichment Centers dealing with scams, fraud, and consumer education, and Book Discussions.
1. What special internet literacy problems do seniors have?
I think that the biggest problem seniors face is the fear of technology. Its like that old saying "You can't teach an old dog new tricks." I think that some seniors feel that they're too old to learn new skills and feel intimidated by such new ideas.
2. Do you think it's legitimate to charge seniors for the learning center courses?
I suppose that the centers need to charge a fee in order to maintain their services. I am not sure how much these courses run because they didn't provide that info online. I am hoping that these courses aren't too costly and if they are, perhaps they can find aid for those seniors who can't afford it. Ideally, I would like to see these services provided for free to seniors.
3. Is SeniorNet ultimately a free site or do you have to pay for services?
SeniorNet is a free site, but they don't really provide any service. If you are interested in taking courses to learn about computer technology a senior must enroll in a low cost course based at a learning center.
4. Do you think there are enough sites that cater to the interests/needs of seniors?
I really can't answer this question accurately because I haven't looked for other sites for seniors only. I have to say that I'm sure there could always be more information provided online for seniors and hopefully people will address this issue.
5. What makes the computer technology class for seniors unique (compared to other computer classes)?
I think that these classes are unique because they are run by seniors for seniors. They make it easy for the teacher to relate to the student. I think sometimes older people may feel intimidated in a class of younger people with a teacher half their age. This way they are all equal.
6. Are the centers nationally run?
They have centers throughout the country providing these courses to seniors. I think that while the organization is nation-wide, each individual center has some freedom in determining costs, which courses to offer, etc.
7. Overall, how effective/helpful is this site?
This site was probably not as effective as I would have expected it to be. I had to use the search command on the site to access information about the learning centers. The homepage had many links, but nothing really related to seniors. I think they should make the information regarding the learning centers more accessible and easy to find.
8. Do you think that seniors are enrolling in these courses on their own accord or with the encouragement from friends and family?
I don't think that really matters, I think the important fact is that they are learning these new skills. Once they become part of this new online community they open a world of opportunities.
9. How do the internet tutorials for senior citizens differ from those for the younger adults?
I think the main difference is that these courses are taught by seniors. Other than that I can't really say because I have never taken one of SeniorNet's courses.
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