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Ecto 101

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  • What is Ecto?  
    Ecto is a learning lab! It's a safe place to experiment with learning activities and to create new activities of your own.

    In Ecto, teachers aren't the only ones who create learning activities. Students are encouraged to create learning content as well. One of the best ways to learn is to teach!

    Anyone can create a course for everyone else to view and join.

    Let's move on. Click on the link in the upper right hand corner to go to the next item in the lesson.

     
  • What can I do with Ecto?  
    1. Sign up!
    It's free forever!
    No credit card information is required!
     
    2. Find Learning Activities
    Search or browse The Library for thousands of learning activities - by grade and by topic. Then you can …
     
    3. Copy stuff!
    Once you find activities, just copy them to "Your Study". Once they are in Your Study you can ...
     
    4. Organize stuff!
    In Your Study you can put your learning activities in lessons, folders, and courses.
     
    5. Create stuff!
    Students, teachers, EVERYONE can create learning activities in Ecto.
     
    6. Share stuff!
    Ecto is all about creating and sharing your learning activities. There's no need to start from scratch. Find the learning content you want - then, add, delete, edit - change it to match your needs.
     
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  • Organize Stuff  

    There are five ways to organize your activities.  They are:

    1. Sets
    2. Folders
    3. Lessons
    4. Courses
    5. Schools

    Step 1: Go to The Library
    Click on The Library link at the top of the Ecto page

    Step 2: Search or Browse
    Search for activities using whatever criteria you like.

    In the example to the right we are searching for anything tagged with Hokie. You can also browse using the tag cloud.

    Step 3: Select Activities and Copy
    Once you have your search results, select the activities you would like to copy by clicking on the check boxes to the left of each item. Then, click the Copy Selected Items button.

    In the example to the right we are choosing one multiple choice question.


    Step 4: Pick a Location
    The last step is to pick a location in Your Study to paste the activity.

    Choose the location for your activity from the pane on the left. If you want to place the item inside a set, such as a Homework set or Test set, select that set from the right pane. If you would like to create a new folder or lesson click on the " Create New Folder" or "Create New Lesson" links. Click the copy button.

    You're done! Now get busy learning.

    Step 3: Select Activities and Copy
    Once you have your search results, select the activities you would like to copy by clicking on the check boxes to the left of each item. Then, click the Copy Selected Items button.

    In the example to the right we are choosing one multiple choice question.


  • Join Stuff  
    This page will teach you how to join a school or a course that's open for enrollment - it's easy!  
    Step 1: Find the course.
    You can search for courses and schools with the full text search fields, or you can browse the items in the tag cloud. In this example we're using the full text search.
       
    Step 2: Review the course.
    A list of courses appears in the search results area below the search fields. To review a course, just click on it to take a closer look.
       

    Step 3: Join the Course
    At the top of each course you'll see a "Click here to join …" link. If you click the link, the course will appear in Your Study.

    If the course has open enrollment, you can start right away. If the course has selective enrollment, you'll be notified if you are accepted into the course.

    That's it! Go join something!  
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  • Good job!

    You are ready to start using Ecto to learn.

    To become an advanced user, click on Ecto 102 in the folder tree to the left.

    Also, if you are curious to learn more about Constructivist Learning Theory you should read the resource called "Constructivism" that we have included with this intro course.

    Have fun constructing new knowledge. When you find something that works, please share your activities with the other Ecto users.

    Thank you, and have fun!

  • Make Your Study Pretty!  
    Now you're ready to create something real! You'll start by customizing "Your Study" home page.
     

    When you click on the Your Study icon in the browser tree to the left, you'll see something like the screen shot to the right.

    Ok, this is definitely NOT pretty. Don't worry. We're going to fix that.

    Start by clicking the "edit this page" link. It's in the center of the page.


     
    Voila! Now you have your blank canvas.

     

     
    Now you can type something for your greeting. We've typed "Welcome to my study space!"
       
    Now you can format the text using the formatting buttons at the top of the editor. We've centered the text, made it bigger, bold, and red.
       
    You might want to upload a picture to make your homepage more personal. Locate the media icon - it looks like mountains with a sun. We've highlighted it in the screenshot to the right. You can click this button to upload any type of media - including pictures.
       
    Well, you might not think this is pretty - but it's my creation - and it makes me feel good!

    Remember to save your masterpiece. You can always come back to edit this page, or remove it altogether. If you do remove this page, the default start page will re-appear.
     
    Notice the Save button in the lower left hand corner.
       
    That's all! Why don't you give it a try? It's easy!
©2006 Kolbjørn