What is the iSchool
website, and why should you bookmark it? Good question! When I started
grad school last year, I scrambled to bookmark everything I would need
to get organized and be successful in the program. Not until my third
quarter at the iSchool did I realize that almost everything I needed
was already bookmarked for me. As a grad student, I am always looking
for ways to make my life easier. I could have kicked myself for not
figuring this out earlier.
Around the same
time, Grace Whiteaker sent out an email soliciting development and implementation
of curriculum for the 2002 Technology Bootcamp. I saw an opportunity
to give others a valuable heads-up, so I emailed Grace my idea about
creating a new bootcamp section highlighting the iSchool's website,
fearing that maybe I was just stating the obvious. I also floated the
idea around to several of my classmates. The consensus: "Good idea!"
in this article is similar to what I presented in the both the summer
and fall bootcamps. I am expanding upon it here to reach a wider audience,
as those attending the bootcamps found it helpful. Take some time to
explore the iSchool's website:
Start by bookmarking
the iSchool website and referring back to it often. You'll be surprised
at how often you refer to it and how helpful it is to you! I even went
one step further and made it my browser's default page. Not only is
the site a source of news and events about the iSchool and the university,
but the global navigation menus along the top of the site link to practically
every resource you will need during your academic career. Here is a
- News & events
keeps you up to date with current iSchool happenings, and includes
a nifty news archive and occasional calls to action.
- Programs gives
detailed descriptions of the different degree and other programs offered
in the iSchool.
- Courses contains
links to all kinds of handy iSchool course and general UW academic
information. This section is discussed in more detail below.
- People is your
source of information about fellow students, faculty and staff, and
various student and alumni organizations that throughout the year
will encourage your involvement.
- Services links
you to valuable campus-wide resource information, such as financial
aid, advising, career options, and independent study options you will
have as a student at the iSchool.
- Research is
any university's bread and butter. Find out more about the projects
that your instructors and fellow students are pursuing, things in
which you might have the opportunity to become involved.
provides answers to frequently asked questions about the iSchool's
computer labs, software, networks, and related resources. One of the
most commonly asked questions is how to get access to files on your
H drive from home. Take a look under "Help and FAQs" for
the answer to this and other common questions.
- Links connects
you to sites you will use often as a student: Webpine, MyUW, WebCT,
UW Computing Information, University of Washington Main Homepage,
and of course the UW Library Information Gateway. I personally use
this section most often, having bookmarked most of these links individually
before I wised up.
The Courses section
deserves a closer look. This section is your friend. Here you will find
iSchool course schedules for the current and upcoming quarters, course
descriptions for most iSchool offerings, and the current UW Academic
Calendar. But at least two other areas in this section will be vital
to your survival as an iSchooler.
The first is "Request
a Course Entry Code." Course entry codes are like tickets to register
for a class. After your first quarter, you will need them to register
for classes. Each class contains a limited number of slots, thus a limited
number of entry codes. These are offered prior to registration. Keep
an eye on your email for announcements about entry code periods. Requesting
and returning entry codes is easy, but they go fast when entry code
periods open, so be prepared! This section also allows you to monitor
in real time the status of all LIS classes.
While holding an
entry code guarantees you a slot in a particular class, you must register
for your classes in a timely fashion after your registration period
opens. Entry codes are required in addition to - not instead of - registration.
As an iSchool student, you must do both to get into a class. Keep an
eye on your email for announcements about registration.
The second section
under Courses that is vital to you as an iSchooler is "Course Websites."
Course information, syllabi, instructor contact information and office
hours, PowerPoint lecture slides, and in some cases links to readings
are among the valuable information you'll find on a course website.
BEWARE of the ever-changing course website! Check back often for updates
If your instructors
post handy PowerPoint lecture slides on their course websites, print
them out and review them before class. You'll be ahead of the game and
gain the admiration of your instructors and the envy of all your peers.
Don't print them out too far in advance or they'll be out of date! Please
note, you can print out three, four, or six slides per page by going
into the print menu and selecting "handouts" rather than "slides."
This will save you money and save the iSchool resources.
I hope these tips
and hints are helpful to you. Welcome to the iSchool and best of luck
in your academic pursuits!
PDF files of my
Technology Bootcamp materials are available for download at the following