Math and Science In Your Life

Science, Math and Technology Resources at Empire State College

Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Student Tech Guides

Working Knowledge: Tech Guides for Adult College Students

If you take on-line courses you are using advanced technology. The Internet, your web browser, and the course management system did not exist 20 years ago. And much to the dismay of some, this relentless march of technology is ongoing and accelerating. The technology of distance education continues to advance and, as a distance student, you will regularly encounter the use of new technologies. Sometimes it gets to be a little overwhelming.

The How To Guides provided here are designed to help. Our approach is provide what we call “working knowledge.” In many cases, to make effective use of a technology you need a little bit of context and a few key points. Sure there’s usually a lot more to know, but if all you want to do is make something go, you need working knowledge. We keep this distinction in mind in these guides and we stick to the point.

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Tech Guides for Empire State College Students
Books Online: Tips for Easy Reading Improve your on-line reading experience – and efficiency – by mastering page navigation. Tips on using the ESC on-line library e-Brary reader.
Creating a Screen Capture Everything you need to know to create a screen capture and save it to a file
Digital Image File Formats GIF, JPEG, PNG: What are these image file formats and the criteria you should use when selecting among them
Drawing Diagrams Using Your Word Processor You don’t need a fancy drawing package to create diagrams to help you turn data into information
Flash, Java, and Media Players: Making them Work Help with some of the technologies you’ll find in on-line learning resources
Free Open Source Software for Students Need a word processor? A spreadsheet? A drawing tool? You don’t need to buy expensive software. Open source software is free and can meet all your needs.
Make Your Own Web Page Sometimes you need a web page. The very basics to help you get started.
Web 2.0: Mashups, Wikis, and Social Networking An introduction to the new technologies that are transforming the Internet.

Spreadsheet Tutorials


Spreadsheets are useful for:

  • organizing and presenting data
  • for visualizing data using charts
  • for data analysis of all kinds.

In this series of tutorials we demonstrate spreadsheet skills and techniques that you can use for data management and analysis using Microsoft Excel 2000. Much of the material covered here is conceptual and will apply in any version of Excel, or some other spreadsheet. In a few cases what you’ll see in your spreadsheet may be different and you’ll need to find the equivalent command or feature in your spreadsheet.

The introduction describes the terms used throughout the series.

Terms and Techniques
The Introduction

Basic Skills: Organizing, Formatting, Importing Data
Part One: Moving a table

Part Two: Formatting the table

Part Three: Organizing and Sorting

Making use of data copied from a web page in Excel

Intermediate Skills: Working with Functions

Basic Techniques

Cell Referencing

Intermediate Skills: Charting
Create A Basic Chart

Understanding the Chart Wizard

Line Charts: the basics

Line Charts: Advanced techniques and comparison with XY charts

XY (Scatter) charts: the basics

XY (Scatter) charts: plotting a function

Pie Charts

Histograms Part One: Creating a histogram manually

Histograms Part Two: Using the Data Analysis Toolpak

Installing the Data Analysis Toolpak

Pareto Charts: Create a Pareto chart

Advanced Skills: Statistics and Data Analysis
Summary Statistics

Inference From Charts: Trend Lines and correlation

Regression Analysis

The Least Squares Method


On-line Resources: Visualization

Scientific visualization is more than just a tool for understanding data. Our perception define our reality, so understanding how humans perceive and use information is central to understanding what we can know. Some of the most intriguing and active areas for new research in all of science are rooted in visualization.

aaas image   Multimedia Resources From the AAASPodcasts, video, interactives: these are just a few of the emerging ways for learning about, and doing, science via the Internet. The AAAS has assembled a variety of resources on a single web site.

But lest you think that all you’ll find here are long winded recorded lectures on arcane topics, you might want to take a look at the Gonzo Scientist. The regular feature on the site tends to cover the use of games and other technologies not typically associated with science. In this article, Author Jon Bohannon covers a virtual scientific conference convened using World of Warcraft (WOW) – a popular massive multiplayer on-line gaming environment (if you are not sure what that means, ask a teenager). Be sure to watch the video segment embed ed in the page. If you’ve never seen WOW in action it’s quite impressive.

If your tastes are a little more, let’s say reserved, take a look at the 2008 Visualization Challenge slide show. This resource provides assess to some of the best science visualizations of 2008.

Another highlight: Video Forests in Flux

GIS and GPS Resources

On-line Resources: Geotechnology

The U.S. Department of Labor has identified geotechnology as one of the three most important emerging techno-scientific fields (nanotechnology and biotechnology are the other two). Opportunities for learning about geotechnology are expanding and so are opportunities for rewarding careers. Geotechnology is playing a increasingly prominent role in fields including; environmental science, homeland security, natural resources management, sustainability science, public administration, utilities management, and many more.

Of Special Note: For students with a interest in this topic, The Empire State College Course, GPS and the New Geography, is for students who want to learn about this topic first hand. Students in this course use GPS and other new geography technologies as part of a larger study of environmental science.

Are you familiar with Google Earth? WorldWind looks a lot like Google Earth but adds capabilities for downloading and analyzing a wide variety of earth sciences data.

For a brief overview of what WorldWind is all about, and how you can use it, see this flyer produced by NASA.




On-line Resources: Technology

Software and the Internet are transforming the face of education. As a student, you’ll save time, and be a more effective, if you know how to use the software and techniques the support on-line learning. The resources found here will be particular value to adult students taking on-line courses.

  google docs intro video   Google Apps: It’s All About CollaborationThe work we do, both on the job, and as learners and teachers, increasingly requires collaboration. On the Internet, YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, Delicious and a host of new technologies are making it possible for people to work together in ways that would have been unimaginable just a few years ago.You can even create and manage documents now using fully on-line tools: word processing documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. On-line documents are convenient and they are easy to share. Google Docs is a leader in this area and anyone can sign up for an account and start working with on-line tools for free.if this all seems a little vague, watch this video from Google, Google Docs in Plain English, that explains the idea. This may be the best thing for students since the pencil.