The Savvy IT Consumer
(An Infopeople Online Learning Course)
September 25, 2007 - October 22, 2007
It's 11 AM, and a frustrated five-year-old asks you to reboot game computer number three for the eighth time today. Every Internet-equipped terminal, including those for staff, is moving at a snail's pace and you don't know why. You've just received a heartrending email plea for assistance from a very nice-sounding gentleman in Nigeria and are unsure how to respond. You don't know the difference between RAM and hard drive space, but your manager expects you to keep an eye on available memory on all of the public computers. You wish you could get help, but you don't know where to look, and the thought of calling your software and hardware vendors induces a panic attack.
Welcome to being an IT person by default! This is a beginner-level course for library staff working as Jacks & Jills of all trades.
Workshop Description: This four-week online learning course will provide you with the basic technological know-how to understand and use computer jargon, free your library's computers from malicious software, fend off phishing attacks, and develop and maintain good relationships with vendors. The instructor will provide a comprehensive webliography, foundational readings, and exercises designed to assess and hone your ability to handle a variety of computer issues.
During the course, you will be doing exercises, taking quizzes, and building your own IT caretaker's toolkit. You will also participate in convivial online discussion forums as part of the online learning process.
Preliminary Course Outline: : Using your web browser and your Internet connection, you will log in to the Infopeople online learning site and complete the following learning modules:
- Module One: Introduction and Basic Concepts
- IT is everyone's job
- Terminology and basic concepts
- Diagnosing large and small problems
- Module Two: Things That Go Bump in Cyberspace: Spyware, Spam, Phishing, and Security Issues
- Know thy enemy: spyware and malware
- Identifying phishing attempts
- Module Three: DIY Tech Support: Finding, Selecting, and Using Online Support Resources
- Get help without picking up the phone
- Choose the resources that are right for the problem at hand
- Keep track of resources
- Module Four: Communicating with Vendors
- Making friends with your vendors
- Learning to speak knowledgeably with vendors
(Optional) Pre-workshop assignment: Prior to the start of this course, please open an account with http://del.icio.us. Del.icio.us is an online bookmark site that will allow you to access your bookmarks or favorites from any internet-equipped terminal. Your del.icio.us account will also let you share your IT finds with your classmates.
Online Learning Details:
This four-week course will be taught online using the web. When you register, you will receive a registration confirmation that will include the URL to get to the course, as well as a username and password.
Every student proceeds through the online learning modules at his or her own pace. Students should expect to commit to spending a minimum of 2 to 2½ hours per week on this course in order to be successful. You can work on each module at your own pace, at any hour of the day or night. However, you will be expected to log in to the course each week to do that week's assignment. We ask that you log in sometime during the first week of the course to begin the course work.
Your instructor will be available for limited consultation support for two weeks after the official end date of a course, and the course material will stay up for an additional two weeks after that, to give those who have fallen behind time to work independently on the course. However, you will be expected to accomplish the majority of the course in synchronization with your peers during the first four weeks.
Who Should Take This Course: Anyone from the library community who must respond to common computer problems, including support staff.
This course is taught over the web. You must:
- Have an Internet connection and Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher.
- Be able to save Microsoft Word .doc or Adobe .pdf files to your computer and print them out. (For .doc files, a free Word Viewer is available at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/search.aspx?displaylang=en. Search for "Word Viewer." For .pdf files, a free Adobe Acrobat Reader is available at http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/main.html).
- Be comfortable navigating on the web and navigating back and forward on a website that uses frames.
System Requirements: The online learning product that Infopeople uses is called Angel. The following are minimum system requirements for using Angel. You will need access to a computer that has at least these specifications to participate in an online course:
- Internet Explorer 6.0 and above, Netscape 7.1 and above, or Firefox 1.5 and above
- Mozilla 1.4 and above (which is the same engine as Netscape 7.1), Safari 2.0 and above, or Firefox 1.5 and above
- OS X and above (OS 9 will NOT work with our online learning product)
If you are not comfortable with any of the above, please consider taking this course with a colleague who does meet these requirements.
Fee: $75 for those in the California library community and $150 for those out-of-state.
Course Start: This 4-week-long online learning course starts on September 25, 2007.