Part I In this module, you are to try out and evaluate the new SharePoint system recently made available to Trident students. At this point, you may or may not have actually tried to access and use it – if you haven't, it's high time that you did. Go to Trident's e-mail login URL and enter your User ID. If you haven't received the instructions for logging in and use yet, please contact the Support Group at Trident right away to obtain them. If you've tried it, you'll recognize this as the opening screen: As the project assignment for this module, you are to: •Log into your SharePoint account. Review the purpose of the various tools that you see; in particular, mail and the set of Office tools: Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. By now, you undoubtedly have some familiarity with each of them, probably as stand-alone applications. Try out the online versions and compare them to the standalone experience. •There's another application available here that you probably haven't encountered before: OneNote. Look around a bit and get some instructions for it, and try it out for a bit. Give some thought as to how this app might be of use to you in your future work with the University. •Try sending and receiving some email with this system. How does it compare with other email systems you're familiar with. Try messaging your professor for this course. What do you think of the results? •When you've had a chance to experiment with all these functions at least to some degree, please prepare a brief 2-3 page summary evaluation of what you see as the strengths, limitations, and value of SharePoint relative to other forms of work augmentation tools. •Please include your overall assessment of the value of using “cloud-based” work tools, relative to computer-based applications such as Word and email and/or telephone and/or face-to-face interaction. The last point in the report format above is very important. Be honest and direct; your assessment is helpful to you and to others. If you don't find it helpful, say so and why, and try to explain what you would find more useful in its place. But also do try to remember also that your education isn't yet finished, that things you don't understand now and don't yet see the value of may turn out later on to be relevant and useful, and that the site's creators may know more about this than you do yet. Part II The dominance of Microsoft in general and of Windows as an operating system has led to the emergence of an interesting "cottage industry" based on finding problems with Windows and recommending solutions to them. Some of these problem solvers do fairly straightforward consulting, on a fee for service basis. There are also a goodly number of instances of a rather different business model, a model based on sharing tips and secrets about the systems and applications that are widely used. These sites are generally supported not by direct charges to users, but by serving as portals for advertising, for-pay services, and the like. Some are membership-based, usually free. Collectively, these sites add up to an enormous body of practice wisdom about computer systems. The problem is that they don't always add up, and it is not clear just what is being said at times. For the Case for this Module, you are to research how some of these Windows-supporting advice sites work. A few to start with would include: •PC Pitstop •chami.com-tips •Kelly’s Korner •MajorGeeks.com •AnswersThatWork.com •Annoyances.org And, of course, the recommended list provided by Gizmo, whom you may remember from last module’s SLP. You should have no trouble finding some more as well. Here's what you do. First, begin by identifying some problem that you are having with your computer -- hopefully less than life threatening and more than annoying, if at all possible a problem with a Microsoft product An example might be that the machine is very slow to boot up, that it whirs a lot and doesn't accomplish anything, and occasionally hangs up instead of completing the reboot process. If there isn't anything bothering you about your own computer, then congratulate yourself heartily on being one of the luckiest humans on the planet, and find a friend or colleague who has such a problem. Then, go online to at least three of these or other similar advice sites, and try to get advice about how to solve it. Keep track of the advice you get; but please note: it is NOT part of the project that you should start tinkering around with your machines. We don't have that much liability insurance... But we want you to try to determine the degree of consistency of the advice you're getting from the practitioner community. Then go to the Microsoft website, navigate to their technical support area, and try to solve your problem there, in the same way. [NOTE: obviously, this assumes that you're using a Windows-based computer; Microsoft is notoriously unwilling to provide much technical support for other systems. If you're using a non-Windows-based system such as a Mac, you should go to the appropriate company for advice.] When you're done with all this, write a short (2-3 page) paper summarizing your experience, including at least: •The nature of your problem, and what efforts you may have made earlier to resolve it •Where you went to for advice, other than the parent company, and what advice you got from each source •What advice you got from the parent company, if any •Your assessment of the degree of consistency between the various sources, and what you think that you might be prepared to do about your problem •Your overall assessment of your experiences seeking online support. SLP Assignment Expectations Your paper should be 4-6 pages in length, and reflect your personal experiences with this issue. Combine part I and II on a single paper labeling each part. The important part of all these project assignments is to carefully assess your own experiences with the topic, and then reflect critically on what you might have learned about yourself and about situations through this assessment process. The more that you can use the exercise to develop personal implications for your growth as a potential business person as well as a moral individual, the more value you'll get out of the exercise. If there are reasons why the entire exercise is impractical for you to undertake at all, please explain them to your instructor as early in the Module as possible, so that an alternative assignment can be arranged. Your paper will be evaluated on the following criteria: •Precision: You carried out the exercise as assigned, or carefully explained the limitations that might have prevented your completing some parts (running out of time isn’t generally considered an adequate limitation). •Clarity: Your answers are clear and show your good understanding of the topic. •Breadth and Depth: The scope covered in your paper is directly related to the questions of the assignment and the learning objectives of the module. •Critical thinking: The paper incorporates YOUR reactions, examples, and applications of the material to business that illustrate your reflective judgment and good understanding of the concepts. •Overall quality: Your paper is well written and the references, where needed, are properly cited and listed (refer to the Student Guide to Writing a High-Quality Academic Paper) if you are uncertain about formats or other issues.