Information for School of Education faculty regarding internet, email, and WorldWideWeb access
about WWW services, the Web, and Websites
Basic Information about Computers
Official Brooklyn College Information:
Academic Information Technologies 019
Atrium Computer Lab 1306 Plaza Building
Information Technology Services 0607 Plaza Building
Where do I find a computer to use?
Every faculty member ought to have a computer on his/her desktop. This is not yet in the budget, but you can apply to get a computer in several ways. If you are doing administration, apply to the Dean's office. If you have a research project or just want to develop computer-based, including website, materials for your courses, you can apply to Barbra Higginbotham, Chief Librarian, who is also director of academic computing services. Her Advisory Committee on Academic Computing (AC/AC) makes some computers available to faculty members.
You can get access to a computer in many places. The nearest is 2202 James. The key is kept in the Dean's office. This machine is slow and lacks RAM memory, but it does connect to the WWW and has a scanner attached (sometimes). It needs an upgrade.
There are also very good computers in the basement of the Library. See Nick Irons. They are for faculty use and all connect to the internet and WWW. There are usually people around to help you. See link to Academic Information Technologies at the top of this page.
You can also use computers that are mainly meant for student use: in the Library (first and second floor), including ones that are dedicated to WWW use; in SUBO (first floor next to the cafeteria); and in the James Hall Atrium computer center (with ID card, first floor); see link at top of this page. All should connect to the internet, or request one that does.
How do I connect to the internet?
On campus, all computers should be connected to the campus LAN (Local Area Network). There is a gateway from the LAN to the internet, but not all computers have the software to connect to the internet. You need: a browser program (Netscape Navigator or Communicator, or Microsoft Internet Explorer), a TCP/IP stack, a Firefox proxy server communications program (to get through our campus security barrier, or "firewall"). The ITS HelpDesk will arrange for installation of all this if you don't already have it on your machine (x4188, or x5861 for the computer center).
Off campus, you need normally to have a modem to link your computer to the telephone line, and you need a dialup access telephone number and internet access account from an ISP (Internet Service Provider). CUNY has a discount deal with CampusCW (a division of Cable & Wireless Corp., which bought this service from MCI) to provide basic internet connection, including an email account and general internet access, for about $17 per month (the going rate is $20-30). Call 1-888-855-CUNY. $10 one-time setup fee. You can also get ISP service, depending on your geographical location, from Bell Atlantic, or from specialized companies like www.i-2000.com . These are probably more reliable now than AOL (cheap, easy to use) or Compuserve (more expensive, full service), or MSN (Microsoft Network).
Once you have the connection, you need software to use it. This is usually provided free by your ISP, but may not be the best quality. For email the best program is Eudora Pro, but Pegasus is free and good, and Eudora Lite is also free. Microsoft Exchange will handle email and faxes. For the web you need a browser program, as above. If you plan to manage files on your own website, you also need an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) program, and if you want to access certain distant computers to use them remotely, you want a Telnet program. A special Telnet program TN3270 is used to access the CUNY VM mainframe computer, and the CUNYPlus library catalogue and all its auxiliary databases, including ERIC. You can get all this with an expensive communications suite like ProComm, or piece it together with cheap substitutes. Some cheap programs work very well (e.g. QWS3270 for TN3270 service).
Remember: the internet is just a glorified telephone network; the only difference is that whoever you call is always at home and your 'answering machine' can not only take messages, it can store vast amounts of information that callers can access on demand.
How do I get an email account?
Faculty should apply via the HelpDesk (x4188) or to the Computer Center (x5861) in the basement of Plaza building (center, rear).
You can get email accounts of several kinds. An account on brooklyn.cuny.edu is a LAN account; it cannot be accessed from off campus unless you specify that you want a Microsoft Exchange email account. Microsoft Exchange email accounts are POP accounts (Post-Office Protocol); this means you can access your mail from anywhere on the global internet with an email program such as Eudora, Netscape Mail/Messenger, Pegasus, etc You can also use MS Exchange software, free from the College, in versions that run on most computers, including Macs and Windows 3.1 and Windows 95..
An email account on its.brooklyn.cuny.edu can be accessed from off campus, but is mainly for users of UNIX computers (a more complicated operating system for powerful workstations), to access your mail you need to use Telnet via the internet, and Pine (built in to the campus system). You can also set up a CUNYConnect account (see above) with email via cuny.campuscw.net that is accessed over the internet. You can have more than one email account.
How do I start a website for a course or for my own work?
Right now I am overseeing the School of Education websites. I will be happy to get rid of this responsibility after the experimental period of a year or so. If you want your material linked to the School of Education website, send me (1) the URL address of your website, and/or (2) the text file of your content. Until 1/1/99, you can more easily provide information on disk (your CV, any course information) to Christine Solomon, or the web interns in 2111 James.
You can also get your own website with full personal control and responsibility. See Nick Irons in the basement of the Library (Academic Computing). You will need to be able to (1) create HTML files, and (2) upload them via FTP to the campus computer. If you do this, when you are ready, just send me your URL address and I will create the link to the School, program, faculty list, etc. as appropriate.
How do I get information onto the website?
To put information of any kind on the School of Education website, you need:
To create an HTML file or a plain ASCII text file.
A simple textfile (filename.txt) has no formatting characters in it (no margins, no italics, etc.). It can have upper and lower case and paragraphing and that's about it! Most wordprocessors have a setting to Save As ... plain ascii text. Use this function and give the new file a different name, or the different extension .txt (vs .doc or .wp, etc.)
An HTML (HyperText Markup Language) file has a lot of formatting and can get quite fancy. MS WORD and some other wordprocessors now have a SAVE AS ... HTML function. This can give slightly unpredictable results in terms of how the file will look on the Web, but is better than simple ascii text. To make good HTML files you need to use a specialized HTML editor: Netscape Composer is the simplest, and is built into Communicator and some versions of Navigator. Microsoft FrontPage is more complicated and powerful (not all functions are supported yet on our website, I am working on this). The very best systems like HoTMetaL Pro are for professionals only. In the simpler programs, you use an interface that looks and acts like a wordprocessor, so it's easy, but the program then writes the HTML code for you. In the more professional systems, you have to know how to write the HTML code yourself, though they can also be automated. Learning HTML is a major effort.
To deliver either text or HTML files to me, the best way is to send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org and either include the TEXT file as part of the message, or as an Attachment; or send the HTML file ONLY as an Attachment.
If you have a Mac, set your email program to encode the Attachment as Uuencode or MIME or Base64, but NOT as BinHex (the usual factory pre-set default). (This is a precaution; I may be able to decode binhex, and maybe not.)
Second best is to put the file or files on a diskette (no Mac diskettes, sorry) with a NOTE and a clear LABEL on the disk identifying the file and its purpose, and put these in my mailbox. Double check the diskette for viruses before and after using it. Ideally, use a brand new diskette, and copy the files onto it from a machine you use regularly and are pretty sure is virus-free. Email messages do not carry viruses, though Attachments can carry them (especially MS WORD document files).
How do I get an email discussion group set up?
There are three kinds of email discussion group arrangements. The simplest is a local bulletin board as part of your website or your course website. I do not think we can do this yet, but I would like to try it out. The best method now is to use the Majordomo system on the BC LAN. I do not know the exact procedures, but will post them when I do. Probably calling the Helpdesk (x4188) is the way to find out. There is a new service at BC, using the CAUCUS software program, which runs as part of the Web and is easy to use. It also allows people to post full HTML documents, and therefore, pictures, audio, video (not recommended yet for practical reasons) as well as written text. Contact Bill Goodridge in Information Technology Services (ITS). See link at top of this page. Check out a sample of this system being used for the web component of the Core courses: Core CAUCUS Conferences.
For groups that go beyond campus, Majordomo is still probably effective, but a really major system (national or international) would rely on the Listserv program on the CUNY VM mainframe. This requires a fair bit of work to maintain. Contact the CUNY UCC (University Computing Center) at 555 West 57th Street, or Mark Gold in our computer services center (x5861).
Who has more answers?
If you already have a computer on campus, for any problem or request call the HelpDesk (x4188).
If you have a special request contact David Best (LAN Manager) or Mark Gold (Director of Computing Services) via x5861.
On matters of policy, contact Barbra Higginbotham, Chief Librarian, Director of Academic Computing.
For training in how to use the internet and web, see Nick Irons, Academic Computing, basement of the Library.
For ideas about using email, discussion listgroups, and websites in teaching, research, and other professional activities, contact Jay Lemke, email@example.com , and keep checking the School of Education website.
My office extension and voicemail is 5483, but I check my email more often than my phone!