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This page covers Electronic Bulletin Boards, Newsgroups, Web Sites and Web Conferencing.

What are Electronic Bulletin Boards?

An ”electronic bulletin board'' is a place where information/requests/etc. can be sent. Unlike electronic mail, you are not mailing to a single person -- you are “posting'' your message in a public place where it can be read by anyone. Replies are posted on the same electronic bulletin board. There are many reasons for posting messages, including sharing information (“I found a great new web site with health science lesson plans...''); requesting information (“I'm looking for a good web site with health science lesson plans. Any suggestions?''); or, starting a discussion (“What do people think of the lesson plans on the DiscoverySchool.com web site?'').

This is such a powerful tool since the message can be read and replied by anyone accessing the bulletin. There are two (2) advantages to an electronic bulletin board:

1.      Information can be secured from a large number of sources. For example, suppose you were having a problem with running Windows XP on your computer. You could post a message describing the problem to the appropriate newsgroups (yes, there is an entire newsgroup dedicated solely to problems with Windows XP), and receive replies (including Microsoft employees) as to how to best fix it.

2.      You can see things from a global perspective. Since people can post from anywhere in the world, you can participate in discussions with people whose viewpoints, backgrounds and ideas are very different from yours. You may learn a great deal about the world from such discussions.

One thing to keep in mind is that most newsgroups are not censored -- anyone can post anything. This has the advantage that you can post without being edited. However, it also means that you may find some very obnoxious people who post objectionable messages. How can you use Bulletin Boards in your instruction? The following lesson provides an outline:




To provide a way of communication to a large group with a specific topic.


A  medical skill:  Putting in an IV catheter, Drawing blood through a venipuncture.  You would need to show all steps with pictures and telling what each picture means.

High protein, ADA  Diets,  Low cholesterol diets.

A way to talk about a HOSA topic or competition skills.  This is a good way to motivate students into joining HOSA or having the desire for competition.

A community awareness project, to get some outside suggestions.

A timeline for assignments, this would allow students the opportunity to work at their own pace.  This would also give a chance to become organized through planning.


Each student could work at that own pace on a particular subject.  They would need to be given a timeline to follow.

Another  benefit would be the way that the teacher could check for understanding for those students that are too shy to ask questions in front of a group.  They could ask their questions anonymously.


1.  Decide if you want a bulletin board or if you want to do pictures.  The students could have this as an assignment.  They are good at providing pictures for a disease process or a diet.

2.  Research what you want for your information with the assignment.

3.  If a procedure is being shown with digital pictures, you are required to have signed consents from the hospital and the patient giving you permission to photo them and providing them the information of whom would be looking at their pictures.  (We now have HIPPA laws that protect the patients in the hospital and they are huge fines for anyone that does follow the law.)

4.  Then you would need to do a layout of the order that you might want to do.

5.  Last step would be to post it on the bulletin board.

For a copy of this plan in Microsoft Word, click here


What is a Newsgroup?

Instead of a single bulletin board where messages and replies are posted on any subject, there are dedicated bulletin boards called newsgroups.  People with an interest in providing and receiving information about a single subject are encouraged to post to the newsgroup(s) related to that topic.

There are newsgroups for almost any conceivable topic (and many that are inconceivable). Some examples (chosen more or less at random) include:

sci.physics.fusion  rec.bicycles.racing rec.arts.startrek.current
yfn.marketplace      cle.sports        biz.jobs.offered   
talk.politics.guns     misc.kids   bionet.neuroscience

The first part of the newsgroup name tells you the type of group it is:

alt pretty much anything
news information about newsgroups
bionet medical/biological
rec recreation/hobbies
biz business
sci science
comp computers
soc newsgroups related to society
misc miscellaneous
talk controversial topics

This hierarchy can give you a good idea of the “tone'' of a group -- for example, sci.med.aids and talk.politics.aids might both be based on the same subject, but the former is likely to contain objective scientific information, while the later is more likely to contain opinionated arguments.

Some newsgroups are more local to a particular geographic region, and can only be read by those in the region.  These are also indicated by prefix. For example:

cle  local to Cleveland
pgh  local to Pittsburgh
ysu  local to YSU



Introduction to the Internet and Web Sites                                             

The Internet is called the “information superhighway,” and for good reason.  It has changed the way we communicate by adding another option for gathering information and communicating with others. 

Health Science Technology educators are now able to access current healthcare information in a quick and efficient format.  The Internet makes professional interaction easier.  HOSA resources that were costly in hardcopy are available at the HOSA Web Site at no cost. 

As a new or experienced user of the Internet, it will be helpful to understand the following terms:




Cyberspace is used to represent the total universe of all connected computers.  (If you send an E-mail message that never arrives, you might say your message is “lost in cyberspace.”)

HTML (hypertext markup language)

The language of Internet web pages. 


The main menu of an Internet site from which readers will advance to other pages where you keep more detailed information is stored. 

GIF/JPG = Graphics Interchange Format

Different types of image files that are used when creating web pages.  Some are scanned photos.

Link (Hyperlink)

A web page reference to an address on the Internet.  Text links are underlined in most browsers (like Netscape).  Images can also serve as links.


A file on the Internet containing text and multimedia elements, i.e. photos, sound, videos and animation.

World Wide Web

An Internet-based system that allows access to documents that are linked together with HTML.  When information is written in HTML, words and graphics can be highlighted and linked to related pages or text.

Web Sites

The purpose of a School Home Page or HOSA Web Site is to communicate and provide timely information to members and the public.  HOSA members can check the Web Site for current chapter news.  Members will use the web site if it is updated on a regular basis.

Schools are offering web sites.  They are often maintained by faculty members and/or students. If your school does not have a web site, there are many sites on the Internet that provide step-by-step instructions for building a school Web Site.  It is just like following a recipe. An example is:  www.wigglebits.com

If you would like to develop a HOSA chapter page, your best resource may be sitting in your classroom.  You may find that one of your students has already created his/her home page and has the skills necessary to create a home page for the HOSA chapter. One option is to talk to the person who maintains your school’s web site for advice and assistance. Do it yourself?  No problem.  Web sites abound that will help you if you are ready to get started.  One such web site can be found at http://www.pageresource.com/html/index.html

In preparation for building a Web Site, consider the following:

§         Goals – What are you trying to communicate or accomplish?


§         Audience – With what groups are you trying to communicate?


§         Content or Categories – What type of material could the site provide that would attract the target audience and meet the stated goals?  Is   there  sufficient content to warrant a separate category of information?


§         Resources –How much time and money can you dedicate up front and over time to create and maintain a home page or web site?   Contact your school and/or district Web Master to see if you have a district-wide server on which educators can upload (host) school or organization web pages.


  Typing information on keyboard   video on web site


Web Site Recommendations

1.      Do not publish personal addresses and phone numbers of students or staff for security and safety reasons.

2.      Publish the last names and e-mail addresses of high school students ONLY if parental permission has been granted.

3.      Receive permission before publishing student’s work, photographs, and other multimedia pieces showing staff and students.

4.      Permission forms must be specific as to what is being put on the Home Page and the reason for it.  Parents should be invited to review the contents of the Home Page before it is published.

5.      Review your school’s policies regarding Home Page content.


Web Construction Do's and Don’ts



Design your site so it can be viewed by text based browsers or by users who turn off their graphics capabilities.

Overuse--or use at all--fancy "tricks" such as unending animated graphics. They distract from the content.

Use HTML code that most browsers can read; avoid code specific to a particular browser such as Netscape.

Use clichés such as "under construction", "click here", "hot list", "cool site"

Keep the "look of the site consistent throughout, including navigational tools; use a template.

Just copy a brochure for content; what works in print may not work on a screen.

Keep the site current--and note it by including "Updated on dd/mm/yy" or "Links verified on dd/mm/yy" on those pages.

Make pages too long; two to three screens should be maximum--no one wants to scroll forever.

Respond to feedback and comments quickly, within 24 hours, if possible.

Stop publicizing your site once when it is launched; there is a need to reach new users and to let regular users know of new information or features.

Proofread and test everything before going on-line--links, information, calendars.

Ignore security aspects of this connection to the Web; be prepared to repel hackers and crackers.

Graphics Do's and Don’ts



Keep graphics small, c.35Kb or less per page; pages will load faster and look better.

Use backgrounds that are too dark (particularly black) or busy; they make overlying text very difficult to read.

Describe dimensions of graphics--height and width--in pixels, not inches or centimeters; they will load faster.

Change link default colors, if possible.

Use the appropriate format--GIF for graphics and JPEG for photos, usually.

Use excessive animated GIFs; if you do, put them on a limited number of loops.

Provide optional text descriptions and links for all graphics, image maps and navigational tools using the parameter.

Use Java or DHTML since they are not supported by many kinds of user hardware; Java also may pose security risks.

State height and width parameters as part of the image tag so the browser will save the allotted space and go on loading.

Use shadows unless consistent as to the pre-determined light source.

Design for the lowest screen resolution--c.640 x 480 dpi--and for small screens (14").

Mix text attributes, such as size and color; avoid glowing and blinking text.

Be sure background tiles are unobtrusive and seamless.

Use free Internet clip art to excess; avoid cutesy images.

Be aware of the importance of color contrast, especially as it affects legibility.

"Borrow" from other sites without permission.

Reuse graphical images from page to page so they will load faster.

Get carried away with too many graphics; users don't like to wait for loading.

For an helpful page on using HTML, the language of web design, click here. It can be useful to have a rubric for determining whether your web site will be useful. Review the following rubric:

Working on the web

Creating a Web Page


Assessment Area




Needs Improvement

Layout/ Design

Well organized

Uses special features – like table






Art/ Graphics

Photos, icons, and clip art are used creatively and follow a theme






Creatively written and cleverly presented







Links are created with graphics and icons

All links consistently work





Working Together

Teammates work together on all aspects of the project





Following Guidelines

Teammates are always on task






To assist you in planning a lesson for your students for developing a web site, review the following examples:


Developing a Web Site


The World Wide Web has become a phenomenon -- creating an explosion of information on the Internet. The student will design and develop a web site.


TEKS 1D, 2A, 2G, 14A, 14C                                                  TAKS  ELA 1, 3, 4, 6

Mathematics 1,2


I.        The following questions need to be answered when developing a Web site.

A.     "Who"

1.      the Webmaster - the person/team/ committee who actually do the work on the site, before, during, and after its creation

2.      the "target audience" of the site.

B.     "What"

1.      the content of the site-- the most important aspect of a site.

2.      If there is little or no content, even if a visitor accesses the site, there will be no return visits.

3.      Whatever is presented should be very current and very accurate--no dead links or outdated calendars!

4.      Including something unique would be a plus.

C.     "Where" - the location of the host for the completed Web page--the local ISP, the school, the local college/university.

D.     "When"

1.      the project "timeline". Most sites usually take months--and, occasionally, a couple of years--to get on-line. If a timeline is proposed, keep to it as closely as possible--set a definite target date.

2.      the "maintenance" part of the site setup--how often the site should be updated, especially links and calendars, for instance.

E.      "Why" - the reason to establish the site

F.      "How"

1.      the actual construction of the site--the planning, designing, coding, testing, promoting and, subsequently, maintaining the site--indefinitely.

2.      marketing plans and evaluations.

II.     Stages in Creating a Web Site

A.     Plan

1.      Research; learn from what others have done from books, magazines, online tutorials, etc.

2.      Decide on a purpose for the site that everyone involved can agree on and write it up in a Mission Statement.

3.      Determine who will be working on the project--an individual or a group/team

4.      Establish a hierarchy of authority--who has the final approval?

5.      Develop a budget--cost limits can affect what can be done on a site.

6.      Set up a time frame or time line with a final deadline--in weeks and/or months

7.      Arrange a schedule of development meetings

8.      Visit other Web sites on-line to get ideas and find out what you like or dislike

9.      Brainstorm with other team members for content suggestions

10.  Develop a content "wish list"

11.  Start a project notebook and keep it up throughout the project

B.     Design

1.      Determine the underlying structure of the site

2.      Use a storyboard or flow-chart to diagram the page links

3.      Determine just what and how much will be included on the Home Page.

4.      Consider the physical appearances of the pages, i.e., the use of graphics, navigational tools, colors, backgrounds, templates; strive for consistency, a unifying "look".

5.      Decide if a "text only" version of the site will be needed.

6.      Determine the final selection of information to be presented and how it will be presented.

C.     Gather Content

1.      Collect the information to be place on the site--URL's, calendar events, etc.

2.      Organize the data in an accessible manner.

3.      Customize and critically select appropriate data

D.     Create the Pages

1.      Look at the underlying code for sites that have elements that could be emulated by using the "View/Page source" option from the toolbar.

2.      Keep in mind any criteria you have discovered for effective sites

3.      Start coding the material as a Web document utilizing HTML from scratch or employing commercial HTML editors or Web building software.

4.      Verify the HTML code.

5.      Have someone outside the creation process proofread and test-run the site before activating it.

6.      Test the site with a variety of browsers and operating systems--don't forget Macs.

E.      Market/Promote

1.      Publicize the site locally through newspaper feature articles, newsletters, handouts (brochures, bookmarks, magnets), posters, etc.

F.      Maintain

1.      Periodically--on a schedule--check all external links to see if they still work and if they are still appropriate.

2.      Post the latest dates of verification and up dating on the site pages.

3.      Keep the site content fresh, changing and renewing selections, especially in seasonal or topical sections.

4.      Evaluate the site's success in fulfilling the original purpose through e-mail feedback, logs, counters, and other forms of evaluation.

5.      Keep up-to-date with new Web developments via workshops, classes, articles and books.

III.   HTML – Hypertext Mark-up Language

A.     Uses codes called tags which are letters, words, numbers, or phrases that tell your web browser how to display a web page

B.     The tags are placed inside of the text of a document to mark where pictures, graphics, and other links should be placed on a browser’s screen.

C.     Primarily a bookend code – a tag is needed at the beginning and the end of every string of code

1.      Angled brackets < > at the beginning, say “Code starts here.”

2.      Angles brackets with a forward slash </ > says, “Code ends here.”

3.      For example, the tag <U> causes the text to be presented underlined

IV.  HTML Basics

A.     The web page has four sections

1.      Document Type

a.       This is <HTML> and is placed at the beginning of the file

b.      At the end of the file, place HTML>

2.      Header

a.       The area in the document where the title is placed

b.      This is <HEAD> followed by </HEAD>

3.      Title

a.       The name of the document as it is going to show up on the top center of the browser window

b.      It is written <TITLE> and at the end of the text </TITLE>

4.      Body

a.       The bulk of the document or file

b.      <BODY> at the end of the information </BODY>


<HEAD> Header
<TITLE> Title of the Page</TITLE>

Body of the document

B.     HTML is not case sensitive

C.     The brackets are the important aspect – a < or a > or a / cannot be left off or the document will not appear as designed

D.     URL’s, however are case sensitive – a capital letter instead of a lowercase letter can break a link

V.     How to Publish Web Sites

A.     Upload the pages to a Web server computer using FTP software

B.     A school may have web page space available

C.     Free web space is available

VI.  HTML Editors

A.     Microsoft Front Page

B.     Netscape Composer

C.     Claris Home Page

D.     Adobe Pagemill

E.      Dreamweaver

VII.         Graphics

A.     Software Programs

1.      Adobe Photo Shop

2.      Microsoft Image Composer

3.      Paint Shop Pro

B.     Keep graphics small, 35Kb or less per page; pages will load faster and look better.

C.     Use the appropriate format--GIF for graphics and JPEG for photos.

D.     State height and width parameters as part of the image tag so the browser will save the allotted space and go on loading.

E.      Design for the lowest screen resolution--640 x 480 dpi--and for small screens (14").

F.      Be sure background tiles are discreet and seamless.

G.     Be aware of the importance of colors and how they appear on the screen.

H.     Reuse graphical images from page to page so they will load faster.


              I.      Develop a web site for classroom or HOSA Chapter.



Sample HTML

Web Construction Do's and Don’ts

Graphics Do's and Don’ts

Find a Web Tutorial at:


A Beginner’s Guide to HTML:


HTML Reference Cheat Sheet:


A list of HTML tags:


Create course web page


Guide to Color Codes


Castro, Elizabeth. HTML For the World Wide Web.  Peachpit Press.  Berkeley: 1998.  (ISBN: 0-201-69696-7)


Creating a Web Page Rubric


For reinforcement, the student will outline the steps to develop a website. 

For enrichment, the student will update and maintain the website.


 For a copy of this plan in Microsoft Word, click here


The purpose of teleconferencing is to communicate with multiple people by phone at one time.  By speaking on the phone, you can get immediate input and feedback from your participants.

 Teleconferencing does take planning.  Consideration must be given to the following:

É    Contact local long distances phones services and gather information related to teleconferencing.  Compare several options to see which service is the most economical.

É    Contact participants and let them know the date, time, and expected duration of the teleconference.

É    Make sure that all participants get printed materials they might need in advance, including an agenda.

É    For best sound quality, make sure participants have high quality phones.  Speakerphones are acceptable if the sound quality is good.

A helpful web site for teleconferencing is http://www.att.com/conferencing/


Tips for Effective Meetings

1.      Calls must start and end on time due to busy schedules.

2.      Make sure the room is quiet and plan not to be disturbed.

3.      Participants should identify themselves before speaking.

4.      The speaker should finish before commenting.  Do not interrupt!

5.      Background noises (radios, rustling papers, and opening food cartons) can be distracting.

6.      Consider time zone differences.

7.      Speak naturally and directly into the speakerphone microphone.  Use a handset if available.

8.      Do not place participants on hold, especially if music is played while on hold. 

9.      Stay focused on the agenda.

Web Conferencing

A web conference uses the computer and a web camera for communication.  A Web Conference (Webcast) eliminates travel and provides a cost-effective method to educate and involve participants worldwide. 

Web conferences can be recorded and replayed at a future date. 

To access web conferences and chats with experts, visit www.nccte.org where archived chats can be located and viewed.

For more information on Web Conferencing, visit www.callrci.com/webconf.htm

Next, let's go to Module 3: Presentation Tools!

National HOSA
6021 Morriss Road, Suite 111
Flower Mound, TX 75028
Phone: (800) 321-HOSA
Fax: (972) 874-0063

Activities and procedures within Health Occupations Students of America are governed by the philosophy of simple fairness to all. Therefore, the policy of National HOSA is that all operations will be performed without regard to race, sex, color, national origin or handicap. HOSA is in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.