Schools  Projects  Blogs  Log In 

How to teach awarenet best?

1 First steps in awarenet

1.1 Registration and Login

If you want to work with your group of learners on and with awarenet, you must first register yourself and all the learners. You can do this only with the help of the administrators of awarenet. Contact us via the form on the awareNet front page or talk to your nearest community coordinator.

Grahamstown/Rhini (South Africa): Terri – Lynn Penney

South Africa or Germany: Antje Hering and Rieke Heitmüller

1.2 Teacher Profile

You should make yourself familiar with awarenet before teaching it to the learners. If you have only little experience with the Internet and social networking sites, it's best to contact your nearest community coordinator and join an awarenet class. If you are an experienced Internet user, you may just go ahead by yourself, fill out your own profile page, upload a picture of yourself and click around to learn about the different features of awarenet.

2 Teaching the Learners step by step

Try to introduce the learners to the different topics in the following order:

2.1 Profile Page "Profile"

Everything on this page is personal information about the user. The learners can give as much or as little information as they like. Be aware of the difficulties in publishing personal content and opinions and teach the learners about that issue: It is very important not to publish any kind of secret, embarrassing or insulting personal information as it could - at a later stage in life - become a serious problem, e.g. if the learners are going to look for a job. Nobody wants to hire an irresponsible person! Further, it is important not to reveal personal information on the internet unless one is sure one has complete control over what will happen to it. Because one seldom has that control, it is strongly recommended that one does not share the telephone number, street address or similar details on this or any other website.

2.1.1 Fill out personal information

The first step for each user is to fill out their profile. Go to your profile page (click on "profile" in the submenu). You will see your name and your school. Below that information is a little [edit] link next to some other information about you, which is the date and time you joined awarenet, e.g. 2010-07-15 09:44:06, and the group you belong to, e.g. student. Now, you click on the [edit] link.

A new page will open with boxes and titles. You can write something into the boxes, suitable to the titles. With this profile you share personal information about you with the other awarenet users. You can give information about your

  • birth year
  • interest
  • home town
  • your goal
  • your favourite music and books and
  • other interesting things.

You don't have to fill out those blocks if you don't want to share that information.

When you have finished typing in your information you must click on the button "Save changes to profile". This is very important. If you don't save your text before clicking another link, you will loose your text.

2.1.2 Upload a picture

Teach your learners how to take a picture with a digital camera and how to upload it onto the profile page.

Other awarenet users would like to see what the learners look like. So, let the learners take photos of each other and download them onto the computer. If you don't have a camera, you can contact your nearest community coordinator, he might be able to help out.

Make sure that the learners do not upload pictures of celebrities or similar instead of a picture of themselves. awarenet is promoting the uniqueness of each user and wants everyone to be confident to be who they are. Further, such pictures that are downloaded from the Internet have special publishing rights that awarenet does not hold.

There is a column on the right of every profile page with a place holder for a personal picture. Under the place holder you will find a little [change picture] link. Now you can choose either a picture which you have already uploaded or you can upload a new picture by clicking on the "Attach Files" button below. You can either drag and drop your picture to the cross or switch to basic uploader, browse through your files and select the picture that you want to upload. After selecting, you click on the "Upload" button. Your picture will be uploaded and will show up automatically on your profile page.

2.1.3 Write a comment on the wall

There is something like a notice board on every profile page that is called a "wall". One can write any comment one likes on one's own or someone else's wall, but remember: others will read it! The comment can be funny, arouse interest or describe what you think. Be careful with judgments or aggressive comments towards other people. Do not discriminate other people! If others find your comment offensive it will be removed. After typing your comment in the box, click on the "Add Comment" button. Done.

2.2 Change Password

Security is an important issue. All awarenet users receive their own username and password. The username is public and consists of the user's name. The password is and must stay secret. Teach the learners that they must not give their password away. If third people get hold of a password, they are able to change information or destroy personal and public pages.

One can change the initially given password to a password that can be remembered easier by the user. To change the password, click on "My Account" in the submenu. One must first type the current valid password and then enter a new one twice before clicking on the "Change Password" button.

How to choose a good password?

A secure password consists of a series of numbers, letters and capital letters. Try to find a combination of e.g. initials, house numbers, special dates, short words or names that mean something to you and that you can remember. Example: "N"elson "M"andela visited "d"istrict "6" in "2010" = NMd62010.

2.3 Make Friends

awarenet is a social networking site. A social network is a network of friends, co-workers and/or classmates, etc. On the awarenet site one can create all those contacts. Teach your learners how to make contacts to other learners.

One has to first find other users on awarenet, e.g. by clicking on class in the submenu or by reading the blogs, forums or projects and clicking on the author's name. This is how one can read other user's profiles.

On the bottom right corner of the profile page one can find the title "Make a Friend Request" Below, one can choose - by clicking on the little triangle - if that person is a

  • friend
  • family member
  • scholar or teacher
  • boyfriend or girlfriend
  • penpal
  • teammate
  • co-worker
  • acquaintance or
  • spouse.

One can choose one of the above by clicking on it. Afterwards one clicks on "ask to be added to friends list". The person will be sent a friends request. If that person accepts, he will appear on the friends list on your learner's profile page.

2.4 Understand "My Feed" and accept friend requests

The page "My Feed" appears every time directly after you have logged in. It is a news page. One can read all about new developments and changes on your friend's personal pages or on shared pages like project pages. One can access those news any time by clicking on "Feed" in the main menu bar on top.

If one sends a friend request to another awarenet user, that request will also appear in that particular person's feed. They will be given the opportunity to accept or to deny the friend request. After clicking on e.g. "accept" the acceptation will appear on the first user's feed.

2.5 Information about the Schools

Every participating school has its own profile page on awarenet. The school's profile page should give some general information about e.g.

  • name
  • location
  • type
  • number of learners
  • year of opening
  • history or
  • any other interesting specialities.

The school's profile page can only be edited by teachers and administrators. Click on the little [edit] link and write and paste text and pictures into the box. Then save.

Don't underestimate the value of a high quality school's profile page. It presents your school's ambition, quality and motivation of the teachers and learners. It will make the learners proud of their school. Motivate the learners to write the text about their school themselves. Together with the learners, take good pictures of the school. Help them upload the information and pictures.

2.5.1 Add a tag to your School

What is a tag?

A tag is a keyword assigned to a piece of information, e.g. secondary school would be one key word for a school. It helps describe an item and allows it to be found again by browsing or searching, which means if you would like your school to be found easier by other awareNet members then it is a good method to add tags to your school. Tags will appear under your school's introduction which describe your school in key words. A tag cloud describes all schools that have been tagged by using larger text sizes for frequently used key words and smaller text sizes for rarely used key words.

To add a tag to your school click on your school to edit it, i.e. click on the little [edit] link under your school's informational text. Scroll down to find the tags block. There is a little text field to type the tag before you click on the >> button. You can add as many tags as you like. They will also appear next to your school in a tag cloud which describes all schools on awarenet in key words.

2.5.2 School Picture

Take a good picture of your school with a digital camera. If you don't have a digital camera, please contact your nearest community coordinator for help.

How to take a good photograph of your school?

People who don't know your school would like to get a good impression of your school and see what is interesting about it. Take one or several pictures of the most interesting feature or features of the school, e.g. the whole building including the beautiful trees in the garden, the entrance with the name of the school, the side of the school that also shows a big sign with the name or other information, the school yard with some learners, etc.

Download the photographs onto your computer, e.g. onto the desktop. Name the pictures. Go to your school's page and click on the little [edit] link on the bottom. On the right corner you will find the box "Attachments". To upload a picture click on the "Attach files" button. You can either drag and drop your picture to the cross or switch to basic uploader, browse through your files and select the picture that you want to upload. After selecting, you click on the "Upload" button. After uploading you can insert your picture into the text field using 'drag and drop'. To choose the different image sizes thumbnail, width300, or content width you can click on the "Attach media button". You will find the little icon on top of the text field. Then, you must click save.

Alternatively you can download a picture from the Internet, in case there is already a good picture of your school in the Internet and you have permission to use it. Be careful with copyrights. Don't publish a picture when you don't have permission. Save the picture on your computer e.g. on your desktop and click on the “Attach files” button.

You will see a little picture of your loaded selection. Next to it you can see its name in bold letters. To use the picture you have to drag and drop it into the text box. Depending on which size you would like to use, you click and hold on either "thunbnail" (small), "width300" (medium) or "width570" (large) and drag the information into the text box at whichever place you would like to place it. Then click "save". Check whether you like the look of your school page. You can edit it again by clicking on the little [edit] link.

If you want to delete a picture click on the delete button under it. If you want to change the order of appearance of your pictures, you can click on “move to top” next to the delete button.

You can view your loaded picture in its original size and give it a title, caption and attribution as well as name its license, weight and source url by clicking on the [edit caption, licence, etc] link. Fill out every field that you like and click on the "save" button. If you don't want to fill out any fields or make any changes, you can click on the [<< return to upload form ] link.

2.5.3 Groups

You can start groups on your school.

What is a group and why should I start one?

A group on awarenet is like a real life group. If you have several learners with the same interest, you can start a group for them. Examples for a group are: the Birdwatchers Society, the Soccer Team, the Freshly Ground Fan Club, the Gospel Choir, the Teacher's Association, etc. As a group, you can exchange information and work on your goals much more efficiently.

To create a new group on your school, you have to click on the little [edit] link on the bottom of your school page. On the right, you will find a section called "Create A Group". Type the name of the group you would like to create into the field below. Then click the "Create New Group" button.

On the following page you can enter more information about your Group. You can choose from a list on which school the group is located and the type of your group, e.g. Club, Society, Team, Association, Production, or Group.

In the text box, you can write any kind of information about your group that you think is interesting or useful for the group members or people that want to understand what your group does. Encourage your learners to write an introduction about their group themselves and upload it for them. Let them take interesting pictures that give their group a face and upload them as described above. Then, click safe.

To add new members to the group you will find the “Add members” box. After typing in the name of the student, which you want to include into the group you have to click on the arrow in the green point besides the student. Below you can give the user a specific role, e.g. the president or captain, the treasurer or a regular member. You can determine if that person should have administrative functions. Usually, only presidents, teachers or captains should have administrative functions.Then, click safe.

If you want to remove a member from a group you have to click on the [ remove member >> ] link below the specific current member that you want to remove. Members can only be removed and added by administrators.

2.5.4 Announcements

You can put an announcement on your school's home page. Announcements will be published on the groups home page for every user. Additionally, the announcement information will be send to every group member and appear in their feed.

What can I announce and why?

As a group you might want to inform all your members or other people that visit your site about specific things. You can announce future events, new developments or similar.

To add an announcement, click on the “Make Announcement” in the submenu of your group's home page. Give your announcement a title and type your text body into the text box and click safe. You can also add pictures and change font, size and style as usual. Your announcement will be placed under the general information of your group along with the authors name and date and time of posting.

To delete an announcement click on the little [edit] link in the announcement. Click on the "Delete" button and confirm on the following page.

Also see: Communication on awareNet

Title: How to teach awarenet best?
UID: 195560724916573142
Created On: 2010-06-30 09:37:50
Created By: user
Revisions: 12

by: Rieke Heitmüller
on: 2013-12-17 16:16:27
for: uploading explanation
[show revision >>]