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[DPRG] Teaching Robot

Subject: [DPRG] Teaching Robot
From: Piper pay_the_piper at shaw.ca
Date: Wed Nov 25 14:10:52 CST 2009

The (anonymous) instructor is an accomplished computer scientist.

I posted earlier on the Harvard teaching machine by Skinner.

If anyone wants to explore the details on how this could work as SW for a classroom teaching robot, perhaps we can take it up on VS-DOT-NET (yahoogroups). I may even wheel it into a BCIT classroom to give Class 1 plus final class for C instruction at BCIT.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Piper 
To: Automated-Teaching at yahoogroups.com 
Cc: rainesco at earthlink.net ; managers at microsoft.com ; VS-DOT-NET at yahoogroups.com ; tomorrows-professor at lists.stanford.edu 
Sent: Wednesday, November 25, 2009 11:24 AM
Subject: Teaching Machine instructions on how to set up and manage your own email list (discussion group) hosted on your own computer

Further to the discussion which has been ongoing since last year on an alternative to yahoo groups. 

Yahoo groups are subject to various kinds of sabotage. An alternative is to set up your own list/group and manage it on your own computer. As long as the volume of activity is not excessive, your ISP will not object. 

The ad hoc lists like those Raines sets up are not satisfactory. People get angry when they are put on such lists and cannot get off very easily. The reason is that if I have been put on the Raines list, as soon as it starts circulating I can only get off if EVERYONE on that list removes me. They are not likely to do so. 

If you have a number of lists with  and the volume is excessive, then the hosting can be farmed out to someone else, eg one of the more active participants on list x.

Consider the material below as an opening teaching machine lecture on a Windows solution called Windows Live.

What kind of questions and answers might be interspersed with the lecture points below to make it perfectly clear?

Could those QAs be built into Windows Live via popup window instructions? This would extend the teaching machine application and it is a question which was also asked re use of Microsoft's VS.NET


    ... "Windows" solution for your discussion lists that is easily set up although it is a bit "kludgey".  It is very much like the "Outlook" program we talked about.

    First, go to http://download.live.com/wlmail and click "Download".  I forget exactly how the install goes but if you are given any choices as to WHAT to download or install, you only want the "Windows Live MAIL' program (they try to push quite a lot of stuff on you).

    When you first run it, it should give you an option to import your mail and settings from your previous e-mail program.  You probably want to do this.  If it doesn't, you can use the File Menu \ Import... to bring in your old mail and contacts from Outlook Express.

    Now, while running Windows Live Mail.  First you want to set up your CATEGORY lists (you will have to maintain these manually).  Click on CONTACTS in the left pane then on the NEW drop down and create a category (any name will do... let's say we want a discussion on Alternative Education, you might create a category called AELIST) and then add the contacts that you want in this mailing list (e.g. jdoe at gmail.com ) to the category.  Remember, the category name, we will use it in the next step.

    Second, on the menu bar, select TOOLS \ MESSAGE RULES \ MAIL and then click NEW to add a rule.  You will be asked to (1) select one or more conditions.  Check "Where the To list contains people" (2) select one or more actions.  Here you check "forward it to people"..  (3) To edit the descriptions click on the underlined words.  Click on "contains people" and enter a list name that people will e-mail (e.g. AltEd) click ADD and OK. Now click on "people" and select the name of the category you created earlier (e.g. AELIST).  Click TO and OK.  (4) Enter a name for  enter a name like AltEdFwd and click OK.  The add rule window should close.

    Everything should be workinf for this list now.  The theory is that if someone sends an e-mail to "AltEd"<pay_the_piper at shaw.ca>  (the AltEd being the name you entered when you clicked on the "Contains People" in the previous steps) that when you receive it, your mail program will automatically forward a copy to everyone in the AELIST category you created.  You repeat the above steps creating one category for each mailing list and setting up a rule (changing the "AltEd"<pay_the_piper at shaw.ca> to a new name each time - for example "Mouse_Eradication"<pay_the_piper at shaw.ca> and setting up a "forward" to the appropriate category then all people have to do is send an e-mail to the address you set up in the rule and everyone in the category group will be forwarded a copy.


    (1) NEVER EVER include your list name mailing address (e.g. AltEd<pay_the_piper at shaw.ca>) in it's corresponding (contacts) category (e.g. AELIST).  You will create an "infinite loop" of receiving and retransmitting the same e-mail, thus probably crashing your PC, the SHAW Mail server and peeing off everyone else who is in the category list as they receive thousands of copies of the same e-mail.

    (2) If you want these lists to be somewhat "Live / Real Time" you will have to leave your PC on at all times.  You can control how often mail to the lists is received and forwarded on from the TOOLS  Options,,, menu.  On the General tab about 65% of the way down is an entry that says "Check for New Messages Every x minutes".  Adjust the time (x) to something reasonable like 5 or 10 minutes.

    (3) You'll have to maintain the lists and rules manually and figure out how people are to Subscribe to the list.  Maybe they send an e-mail to you (not the list) with the subject Subscribe list-name.  You'll also have to figure out how you will advertise to the world (if you want to) how they can subscribe.  So if someone wants to subscribe to a list, you will have to (1) add them as a contact  (2) add them to the proper category and (3) I think you will have to go back in to Tools\Message Rules\Mail, edit the proper rule, click on the "people" link, delete all the names currently there and re-select the list Category name.  It seems that it expands the category name to a list of people inside the rule rather than just remembering the category name.

    Anyway, if you want to test it, set up a contact of yourself at some other e-mail address     e.g.   secretmail at gmail.com     .Create a category called TList and add this contact to it.  Create a rule using  TestList  for the "contains people" and selecting TList for the "people".  Now, compose a new e-mail and in the To field type  TestList<pay_the_piper at shaw.ca>    The subject and body can be anything.  Send the e-mail.  You can speed things up now by selecting the "Sync" drop down and selecting "all e-mail accounts".  If everything is set up OK, you should get your own e-mail back in the inbox and if you check your other e-mail address, it should have a copy of the e-mail as well.

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