ELMP-7768 Microcomputers for Administrators


          John W. Collins, Jr., Ed.D. 


Fuller, Floyd. (2002). Computers: Exploring Concepts, with Introduction to Computers CD-ROM, v1.0.. St. Paul, MN: EMC         Paradigm Publishing, Inc., ISBN: 0-7638-1931-X


Comment: I decided to write this journal a little differently than what was probably intended originally. As it was intended to be an exercise in higher order thinking, I think it would be most useful to anyone who happens across it if it gave the reader some insight into what the Microcomputers course was all about and to relay some of the information taught. To do that I have duplicated Dr. Collins' original course outline just as it appears on his website. The only difference is that the whole course is laid out in outline form as opposed to being separated by modules on different web pages.


Module 1

Use these resources to improve your understanding of course requirements and the foundations of computers and technology.


Comment: Thinking I was very bright, I went on Amazon.com and found the text for $7.00 with the CD included. The only thing I didn't know was that the CD that came with my edition was not the same as the CD that everyone who bought their books at the bookstore got. While mine seemed to be from a teacher's edition of the book and had answers to all of the chapter tests, the bookstore edition came with a CD that was full of interactive lessons from each chapter in the text. CD, for all of you who don't know by the way, stands for compact disc and is a means of storing all types of information. For more information on compact discs see Wikipedia.org.


Module 2

Use these resources to continue your understanding of the foundations of computers and technology.


Comment: The first few links that appear in Dr. Collins' course outline lead to the textbook publisher's web site where you can buy the book or get help if you're having trouble navigating the CD-ROM. To be honest, not much that's very interesting here.


Module 3

Use these resources to continue your understanding of the foundations of computers and technology.


Comment: My wife likes to refer to me as a big kid when it comes to things like computers and other technological gadgets and of course the first two web sites listed here are right up my alley. Cnet.com contains product reviews, tech tips and price comparisons on all things gadget-like. PC-Magazine online is the web version of the traditional magazine of the same name (of which I've had a subscription for years). Through it I keep up to date with all the new equipment that's out there for building computers. Then, using sites such as cnet.com and epinions.com I can see reviews on the various components and search for the best price at the same time. Wikipedia.org, which I've already mentioned, is this kick-ass online encyclopedia that anyone can add to. While any reference is only as good as the information it contains, Wikipedia.org is a great place to find all sorts of off the wall information over and above what you would find in a normal reference.


Module 4

Use these resources to build upon your knowledge of word processing and the Microsoft Word application.

Module 5

Through multiple experiences, continue to maximize word processing competencies within your administrative duties. 


Comment: Now we're getting into the nuts and bolts of this course. That is, how to use the various components of Microsoft Office. Microsoft Word is Office's word processor and everyone in this course has to have had some exposure to one of those unless of course there's someone out there that's still doing their papers on a typewriter. My take on Word is this... once you get used to it, you won't want to use anything else. That's because it does practically everything for you. It formats your document, corrects your spelling and even lets you know when your grammar could use some improvement. The only thing I don't like about it is that sometimes it does too much and you find yourself wanting to turn off some of the automatic features of the program. Our project was to write a vita or resume. I opted for the resume in State Police format as it is something that I can use.


Module 6

Use these resources to build upon your knowledge of spreadsheets and the Microsoft Excel application.

Module 7

Through multiple experiences, continue to maximize spreadsheet competencies within your administrative duties. 


Comment: I've probably used Excel almost as much as I've used Word so I'm relatively familiar with it. That is not to say however that I consider myself an experienced user. The problem with all of these programs is that if you don't use them a lot, you tend to forget what you've already learned. The Excel project for this course turned out to be relatively simple and didn't take too much guess work. I do have one advantage with Excel over the other Office components though. My wife runs the accounts receivable department at her company and uses Excel all the time. Whenever I need help with something, I just ask her.


Module 8

Use this experience to advance your higher order thinking skills with the subjects/modules covered to date. 

Module 9

Use these resources to build upon your knowledge of HTML and the Microsoft FrontPage application.


Comment: This is the part of the course I've been waiting for. About a year ago I signed up with Yahoo/Geocities and purchased some space on the web and a domain name (meenbeen.com). Don't ask where the name came from. It's something that my daughter thought up when she was younger and I've been using it ever since. The point is that for a year now I've had a web page, but never really did anything with it. This course gave me the opportunity to put that web space to good use. I plan on posting all of the papers I've written over the course of the graduate program at Seton Hall. I don't know, maybe they'll help someone else in the program. I've also posted the review document that I put together for the qualifying exam and a copy of my exam answers. Same thing... maybe they'll help someone else. There's also some fun stuff and I plan on putting in an "about me" section, but I've already been told by my wife I had better only use the "good" pictures. I'm not sure which those are so I'll have to be careful.


Module 10

Consider ways to use higher order thinking skills with Microsoft FrontPage and your administrative duties.


Comment: Once you get the hang of FrontPage, it's really very easy to use. As with most of the material in this course, I've got some experience with it, but putting together this web page has really taught me some things I didn't know before. I'm even planning on talking to the data manager in my office about using some simple java-based apps on the site. Finally settled on a song by Frankie Goes to Hollywood for the background. It really sounds better than a lot of the midi files you find on the internet unless you stick to classical music. A lot of the popular music done in midi sounds too toy like.


Module 11

Continue your self-reflection activities to maximize the use of this web authoring technology (and possibly others).


Comment: I installed a "last updated" date on the main page yesterday and I'll probably do the same with all the sub-domain pages too. Also changed around some of the links on the main page. Also imported some more into the "Graduate Documents" page. I thought posting all of my papers was going to be easy, but it looks like they're all going to need some minor editing before I post them. It might take longer than I first thought.


Module 12

Use these resources to build upon your knowledge of the Microsoft PowerPoint application for presentations.


Comment: I had originally intended to just use a PowerPoint presentation that I had made for my Instructor's Training class down at Sea Girt, but unfortunately the thumb drive that I had all of my personal stuff on decided to die just when I needed it. Fortunately I have a second one for all my work files so all the projects I have been working on at work are still here. Unfortunately, the presentation was not one of those files and I don't seem to have it backed up anywhere. Looks like the 21st century version of "the dog ate my homework." Now I have to do it all over, but it shouldn't be too hard to duplicate what I've already done.


Module 13

Through multiple experiences, continue to maximize presentation competencies within your administrative duties. 


Comment: Well, the PowerPoint is finished and it didn't take too long at all. Had to play with it just a little to get it to function properly on the web site, but it works now. Kept it very simple, just a short presentation on our authorized off-duty weapons. The good thing about PowerPoint is that you can add to it at any time so I may have need of that presentation later. I'll just have to add some more commentary on our SOP's that really don't need to be put in for this class. I talked to Dr. Collins about some of the course requirements. As this course is directed towards educational administrators, all of the projects deal with issues that educator's would face. As a police officer, I find that I need to use the same technology for similar things, but the subject matter differs slightly. Would've been nice to go over Access as that would really help me with the project I'm working on now.


Module 14

Use this experience to advance your higher order thinking skills with all the subjects/modules.