23 Things an Online Instructor Should Know

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, formerly known as the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County, created a program to encourage its staff to learn and explore Web 2.0 and new technologies.  The program included 23 brief exercises, or 23 Things, for its staff to complete.

Since its inception, the program has been replicated in libraries elsewhere.  As a librarian, I participated in a version of 23 Things.  I already knew and used much of what was discussed in the program, but it still, nonetheless, was worth the time I spent reviewing and exploring something new now and again.

Online instructors certainly would benefit by exploring many of the tools in the original 23 Things program.  Of course, there other things online instructors should know to be successful in their own development and in that of their students.  This is not an exhaustive list, just a start.

  1. Online classes.  Take an online class every now and then.
  2. Content Management System.  Know your CMS and the CMS support staff for faculty and for students at your institution.
  3. Applicable statutes.  Know the basics and where to look for information about copyright, fair use, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and the TEACH Act.
  4. Plagiarism.  Know what constitutes plagiarism and know your institution’s academic integrity policy.
  5. The Library.  Know your Library’s online resources, chat and email reference availability, and embedded librarian options.
  6. Accommodative Services.  Know how students request services and how you are expected to provide them.  Design your course with accommodative services in mind.
  7. Creative Commons.  Know how to collaborate, share, and locate content.
  8. Tagging.  Understand what tagging is and remember to use it.
  9. Follow a good tech site, like Mashable.
  10. Social Bookmarking.  Explore Diigo or Delicious to organize and share bookmarks.
  11. Professional Networking.  Set up a LinkedIn account or a profile on VisualCV.
  12. Facebook.  Know your institution’s policies about friending students or responding to their friend requests.  Set boundaries if no formal guidelines exist.
  13. Twitter.  Set up an account, follow a few people, and develop a realistic tweeting plan.
  14. Presentations.  Create a Prezi account use a similar tool to add some zing to PowerPoint.
  15. More Presentations.  Create a SlideShare account to embed your PowerPoints.
  16. Google.  Gmail.  Google Docs, Google Sites, Blogger, Google Maps.  Free tools to learn and use.
  17.  Blog.  Create a free blog at Blogger or WordPress.  Keep it current.
  18. HTML.  Learn a little code or where to find code so you can edit your blog or site.
  19. Photos.  Explore photo sharing and editing with Picasa, Picnik or Flickr.
  20. Videos.  Learn how to upload a video to YouTube and how to embed videos in your blog or Website.
  21. Podcasts.  Learn how to create and embed podcasts in your blog or Website.
  22. Screen capture.  Learn how to use Jing or a similar tool to explain.
  23. Professional Development.  Technology keeps changing, so make a commitment to keep learning.