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Trail at Tift Farm, Buffalo, NY

There are four software items you will need for my course:
  • 1. a FREE Wikispace Account;
  • 2. a FREE Dropbox account;
  • 3. a Spreadsheet application (such as Microsoft Excel); If you do not have Microsoft Excel, you can use an alternative such as:
    • a. Apple OS X's Numbers or
    • b. Google Spreadsheets or
    • c. Open Office
  • 4. Java

There might be other materials needed for specific courses I teach and they will not be explained in this section.

In order to help you setup the software below and not lose these directions, all links will open in a new tab. Close each tab when you are done using them so you do not get confused.

Setup FREE Accounts

In this section, you will learn how to setup a Wikispace and Dropbox account.

1.) Wikispaces

  • A.) Rationale
  • I do not use Blackboard as a Course Management System (CMS) because at the present time (2016) there are not any K - 12 schools in the Western New York area that use Blackboard as a tool for teachers to use. Teachers develop classroom web sites and most teachers in the WNY region use Teachersites, Schoolwires or some other CMS. I use wikispaces because it is more powerful than Teachersites, it is free, and you can use it when you start working full-time (if your school district will allow it).

  • I use wikispaces because this Web 2.0 technology enables everyone in the course to communicate, interact and collaborate with each other all in one virtual location. Wiki software enables users to interact asynchronously and all revisions to the wiki are kept in the wiki history (Pifarré & Kleine Staarman, 2011), so nothing can get lost.

  • B.) What is a wiki?
  • If you do not know what a wiki, please watch this short video.
  • C.) Setup a FREE Wikispaces Account
    1. Visit Wikipspaces.com
    2. Sign-up as a teacher

2. Dropbox

  • A.) Rationale
  • Dropbox is a FREE service that enables you to store your files in the cloud (a computer somewhere on the Internet). I want you to use Dropbox because it provides the following benefits:
    • It provides US with an organizational tool for your rubrics and the digital work you will produce in my course
    • It enables US to edit the same rubrics without emailing them back and forth
    • It provides YOU with a place to save or backup your own documents

  • B.) Setup a Dropbox Account
    • 1.) TAKE a tour of Dropbox to learn what you can do with it - click here -

    • 2.) Follow the web directions in steps 3 - 6 described below or download this tutorial (some people like to write on their tutorials) and use the links in steps 3 - 6 to setup Dropbox.
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    • 3.) CREATE a FREE Dropbox account
      • a.) Click on this URL - http://db.tt/gXgMk8B - and register for a Free Dropbox Account. Once your account is setup, proceed to step #4.
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Create a Free Dropbox Account

    • 4.) CREATE a new folder; this is where you will save and share all of your rubrics and other digital documents with me
      • a.) Click on the NEW FOLDER button
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Click on the NEW FOLDER button

      • b.) NAME the new folder using your first name followed by the name of the course (e.g. chrisEDU312, chrisEDU375, chrisEDU513, chrisEDU535, chrisEDU609, chrisEDU612, chrisEDU672, chrisEDU690, chrisLAI 573)
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Type in your first name only

    • 5.) INVITE me to your folder so that I can see all the documents you will eventually put into it
      • a.) Click on the space next to your name, this will highlight, in blue, the row where the folder is located
      • b.) Click on the button that says INVITE TO FOLDER
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Click on the Invite to Folder button
    • 6.) SHARE your folder with me
      • a.) Type in my gmail address (shive6@gmail.com) because that is the email I used to setup my Dropbox account.
      • b.) A message is optional
      • c.) Click the SHARE FOLDER button and an invitation will be sent to me via email.
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Share the folder with me

3. Assessment - a Spreadsheet Tool

  • A.) Rationale
  • Every project you complete will be assessed with a rubric. You will be required to assess yourself, place the rubric in the Dropbox folder you shared with me and then I will assess your work. I have chosen to use a spreadsheet program because I can add formulas to the rubrics and they provide excellent organization.

  • B.) Assess your system
    • 1.) If you have Microsoft Excel, you can skip the rest of the directions
    • 2.) If you do not have Microsoft Excel, and you are on a Mac, you might have Numbers (Apple's version of Excel). If you have Numbers, you may skip the rest of these directions.
    • 3.) If you need a spreadsheet program, you have two FREE choices: (1.) Google Spreadsheet or (2.) Open Office[1]
      • a.) Google Spreadsheet
        • 1.) Learn about google docs - click here -
        • 2.) Setup a free google account - click here -
        • 3.) Contact me (shivelct@buffalostate.edu) and I will explain how we will share rubrics and digital work

4. Java - a FREE tool to run simulations

  • A. Download and install this free software
  • B. Download if you don't have java

Navigation Tent - click me -
Next up...
Navigating my course. In the next section of the Base Camp, I will provide you with the procedure that will show you how to navigate my course. You can do this by walking into the Navigation Tent in the Base Camp.


Pifarré, M., & Kleine Staarman, J. (2011). Wiki-supported collaborative learning in primary education: How a dialogic space is created for thinking together. International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 1–19.
  1. ^ At this time I will not explain how to get Open Office. I have used it and it works wonderfully!