EnvironMentors Community – Users’ Guide Version 1.0 (Beta Launch) November 30, 2010 1. Online Community Overview The EnvironMentors Community (http://environmentors.net) is the virtual home for the network of chapters and students around the country involved in EnvironMentors. This is a place where: • You can share info about yourself and your project through text, photos, and videos. • You can communicate with other members of your chapter and get info from your chapter coordinator. • You can communicate with other EnvironMentors participants outside of your chapter. • You can find resources to help with your project. This website is a work-‐in-‐progress. It was designed with lots of input from EnvironMentors students and will continue to evolve based on your feedback. We also plan to add useful features for social networking and collaborative learning in early 2011.
2. Registering with the Community The EnvironMentors Community is a private social network, meaning you can only access the site if you are a registered and approved user. Here’s how to register: 1. Go to http://environmentors.net/user/register 2. Enter: • Username – this should be something you can remember for when you log in again
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Email address – you must have one connected to your account (if you don’t have an email address, let your coordinator know and we can create one for you) • Password – keep this private, but also make sure it is something you will remember • Captcha – enter the letters and numbers (this prevents spam) 3. Click the “Create new account” button •
Each new account needs to be confirmed as a chapter coordinator or student before the rest of the site is “unlocked” to you, but you can get started right away creating your profile. 3. Creating your Profile The Profile is where you share some information about yourself. Once you have registered or signed in, click on the “Profile” tab (or you can click on the underlined Profile link to load your profile page and then click on the “Edit” tab). Your profile has the following fields: 1. Picture – click the Browse button to find an appropriate photo of yourself on the computer you are using (you need to first download a photo to the computer from a site like Facebook or take a photo and load into onto the computer from your digital camera) and then click the Upload button. 2. First name – you must enter your actual first name. 3. Last name – you must enter your actual last name. 4. Age 5. Location 6. School 7. Chapter – if your chapter doesn’t appear in the list, leave this as None for now (your chapter coordinator will need to create the chapter page first). 8. Year (Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior) 9. Favorite books 10. Favorite TV shows 11. Favorite movies 12. Favorite music 13. Favorite quote When you save these setting your Profile page will load and now you should see all this info in the left column. You can edit the content at any time by clicking on the “Edit” tab above your photo.
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4. Your Profile Page There is more you can do on your profile page. Status Update: This is a lot like the feature on Facebook – type a comment in the box that says “Add your comment here” on your profile page and this will become your status (old status updates are archived in the “My Status History” box). If you make a comment on another user’s profile, this will appear as a message to them in their “Messages” box (all your messages to other users are archived on your profile in the “My Message History” box). Your status could be what you are doing or thinking about (only post appropriate content, please). Photos: Post photos on your profile page – bring a camera to your next meeting with your mentor or the next time your chapter gets together and take a bunch of photos to post to the community. For the first photo, you need to need to click on a link near the bottom of the left column – “Upload a Photo” – and then Browse to it on your computer and click Upload. The Description will be the photo caption. Click Save and you will see the photo page (click on My Profile in the top menu to go back to your profile page). Now you will see a small version of the photo in the My Photos box and a link there to “Add a photo” if you have more to upload. Videos: Your chapter should have a video camera (or digital camera that can record video or a web cam) you can use to record a message to the community, or interview your mentor, or bring along to your field site or research location to capture your project in action. After you record your video, you’ll need to load it onto a computer so you can upload it to the EnvironMentors Community YouTube channel (chances are someone in your chapter has edited and posted videos before, but if you need help feel free to contact the EM Community tech support at firstname.lastname@example.org). Here are the steps once your video is ready to upload: 1. Go to http://www.youtube.com and login with the username “environmentorscom” and password “chapters”. 2. At the top of the page click the “Upload” link and then click the “Upload video” button (or you can record directly from a webcam on this page). 3. You should now see the video being uploaded – on this page, enter a title for the video (you don’t need to add a description – you will do that on the Community website), and set the Privacy as Unlisted (Note: this is very important – Privacy
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must be Unlisted to keep the video invisible on YouTube and available for the EnvironMentors Community site). When the video has completed uploading you will see a URL (a link or web address) that you can use for sharing – select the link and copy it. Now go back to the My Profile page in the EM Community. If this is your first video, click on the “Add a video” link near the bottom of the left column. On the new video form add a Note: Be sure to set the Privacy as Unlisted Title (this should match or at least be similar to what you called it on YouTube), paste the URL from YouTube where it says Video, and enter a description of the video. Click Save and you will see the video page, and if the click My Profile in the top menu you’ll see the video listed in the My Videos box, where you’ll also a link to “Add a video” if you have more to post.
Friending: In version 1.0 we are also testing out some “friending” features (like Facebook). While we are still sorting this out, you can begin to friend other users. When visiting another student’s profile page in the left column you will see a link “Become [username’s] friend” which you can click to set that user as a friend. The students you friend will become your personal network – this will be the My Community page when it fully launches. 5. Creating a Project The second main place for you to share info about your EnvironMentors experience is on your Project page. To create a project, click on the “Create a project” link in the bottom of the left column. Here are the fields for a project: 1. Project name – You must give your project a name (you can always come back and edit this if you project changes over time). 2. Picture – Add a photo that represents your project (if you are studying a particular species a photo of that animal, or testing water at a specific location a photo of your research site, etc.). You can only enter one photo on the project page, so if you have lots of photos of your project in action be sure to post those on your Profile page. 3. Project topic – click as many categories as apply to your project (ask your mentor or coordinator if you aren’t sure).
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4. Project description – add a short summary of your project. 5. Tasks – here you can check off assignments as you complete them. 6. Location – click on the location link at the top of this form to enter in an address or latitude-‐longitude for your research site (this will show up as a Google Map on your project page). Click save and you will see your Project page (there will also now be links to your project page from your Profile page).
6. Your Project Blog On your project page you can also blog about your project – share informal updates about why you are interested in the topic or how things are going. You can treat this as a journal to reflect on your project (which will only be visible to other EnvironMentors participants). This is also a place to share the tech lessons that you have completed.
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To create your first blog entry, click on the “Create blog entry” link in the bottom of the left column. For each blog entry all you need is a title and the text for the post. Click Save and you will see a page with just the blog entry. Click on My Profile and then My Project to go back to the Project page where you will see the blog entry and a new link “Post to your blog” for future posts. There is also a place for other users to comment on any of your blog posts. 6. Other Features for Students Through the top menu (the orange bar) you can navigate to other sections of the site: • Members: See all the other EnvironMentors students and click on the name or photo to see their profile page where you can leave a message. Click on their project page to comment on their project blog. (Again, we expect you to only post appropriate content.) • Chapters: Follow the My Chapter link to visit your chapter’s page and get info from your chapter coordinator or leave a message for your entire chapter. If you want to visit other chapter pages, click on the Chapter button in the top menu to see all the chapters and click the photo or name to see the chapter’s page. • Photos/Videos: If you want to see all of the photos and videos that have been posted to the site, click on these links. • My Account: This takes you back to the login page where you can edit your username, email address, or password. • Log Out/Login: Use these links to log in or log out so another student can log in. Coming soon: • Community Wall: This page will show you the latest content from students and chapters, the most active students and projects, and conversations based on the different project topics. This is where you can take the pulse of the entire community. • Resources: This page will be where you can find resources to help with your project and other info about scholarships or college access. • Scientist of the Week: Soon you’ll also start seeing profiles of scientists (old and new) that have been prepared by the National Office of EnvironMentors. When you see the profiles you can click “Like” if you think it’s interesting (another Facebook-‐ like feature). 7. Chapter Admin Instructions Each chapter needs one person (could be a chapter coordinator, director, graduate student assistant, or teacher) who will manage the Chapter page on the Community website. Only this user can post content (chapter description, alerts, calendar items, photos, videos) to the chapter page. If you have multiple people who will play this role, I would suggest creating a generic account (like CSU Admin) that multiple chapter staff members could use. If you have a clear person who will be taking this role, that user can set up a personalized account. So, the first step is to register as a user of the community (see the instructions
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above). You should also send a message to email@example.com that you should be set as Chapter Admin (the default approved role is Student). As chapter admin, you will see all the menu items and options as students, as well as higher level admin options. You can enter profile info (favorite books, etc.) but this is not required, as the user doesn’t show up in the “Members” menu (at this time). Note: We may adapt how the chapter admin is set up based on feedback, so please let us know how to make this easier from your prospective. To create a new Chapter page, go to your Profile page and click on the “Chapter” link under “Create content” near the bottom of the left column. Each chapter needs: 1. Chapter name 2. Chapter description (some general info or the chapter mission) 3. Picture (could be the school mascot, a group photo, campus shot, etc.) Once you have created the chapter page, it will now appear in the Chapters menu. It will also be available in the drop-‐down menu students see for chapters when setting up their profile. Note: It is best to create the chapter page before your students begin registering, but if you have students that have already registered (and weren’t able to select the chapter in their profile) be sure that they edit their profile and select the chapter. Otherwise they won’t show up as members of the chapter. 8. The Chapter Page If you navigate to your chapter’s page you will see a similar layout to a student profile with a few extra features. Similar items include: • Messages – any site user can visit your chapter page and leave a message. This is also a good place for the coordinator to facilitate an informal conversation within a chapter on the site. • Photos – all photos posted by the chapter admin will be visible here (see instructions for students above). Be sure to take photos of chapter events and post to the site frequently. • Videos – all videos posted by the chapter admin will be visible here (see instructions for students above). Be sure to capture video clips regularly of your students in action and post to the site. Items disabled (or not recommended) for chapter admin: • Projects – chapter admins should not create project pages as this is a student-‐ specific function. • Blog -‐ The blog is disabled for chapter admin, as this only relates to student projects.
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Three special features are only available on the chapter pages and controlled by the chapter admin: • Contact – the “Contact the coordinator/director” link/form on the chapter page will send an email to the chapter admin’s registered email address. • Chapter Alerts – these are more formal alerts or assignments you want to broadcast to the chapter (to distinguish from what you might post as a more informal or conversational message to the chapter). Chapter alerts appear in the left column of the chapter page. To create an alert click on the “Chapter Alert” link near the bottom of the left column. • Calendar Item – you can also post events or deadlines to a calendar for the community. Upcoming calendar items will appear in the left column of the chapter page. To create a calendar item, click the “Calendar Item” link near the bottom of the left column.
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Features in the 2.0 Launch: • We will have some form of “Online Classroom” where coordinators can post assignments and students can submit work for evaluation. This could take different forms: the ability to upload files to the chapter or project pages, a form students fill out for each assignment listed in the manual, a more advanced Blackboard-‐like interface where coordinators/teachers can create/edit assignments and manage evaluation, or integration with other info sharing services like Google Docs. Please send your preferences to firstname.lastname@example.org. • Let us know what else would be useful or could be improved from your perspective for Phase 2 of the EnvironMentors Community. 9. Technical Support Do not hesitate to contact Bill Finnegan at Tamarack Media if you run into any problems or need help with the site: email@example.com or 802-‐238-‐9355. We plan to roll out Version 2.0 in early January 2011, at which point we will send out a revised Users’ Guide.
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Published on Sep 8, 2011