The Gentle Introduction Resource

The only thing to fear is a bad explanation.

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The Gentle Introduction Resource is a private online social datastream designed for classrooms. It allows students to aggregate instructional material that is directly relevant to classroom topics.

Want to try it out? Click here!


How about a little more detail?
The web is a great place for research, but it does have its own brand of drawbacks. Back when one did research in your typical brick-and-mortar library, the problem was a LACK of access to definitive material. With the constantly evolving internet of today researchers have the opposite problem. There is what seems like an infinite amount of information about almost any given subject littering the web. How can we find the research we want? How do we KNOW it actually is the research we want? Is there a way classrooms can embark on this search together, constraining the infinite in a way that suits any one classroom appropriately? The answer is YES! Thanks to The Gentle Introductions Resource that is!


WAIT! Hold it! Hold it right there...

What are Gentle Introductions Exactly?

A "Gentle Introduction" is not strictly defined, but the moniker is typically used to describe introductions to difficult material simplified to a point in which researchers new to a given subject might be able to understand core conceptual features. Still confused? Here are a few Gentle Introductions our alpha users have submitted:
•    A Gentle Introduction to Version Control
•    An Even Gentler Introduction to XML
•    An Introduction to Photoshop
•    A Gentle Introduction to Programming Using Python


How can you use The Gentle Introduction Resource in your class?
Here is a story to illustrate how this web app can be utilized in a classroom setting:
Jack is a student seeking a Masters Degree in History at Everyman's University. Jack comes from a traditional Humanities background, but is taking a course in Digital Humanities. He hopes to learn how he can inject digital, computational, and web based components into his research. Jack has owned a computer all of his life, so he figured it shouldn't be too hard for him. At first it wasn't, but about halfway into the semester his homework began to seem a little overly challenging...

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Judy is in the same class Jack is in. Unlike Jack, she minored in Computer Science during her years as an undergrad. Not only that, but she actually used XML syntax to markup a Shakespeare play for her undergraduate thesis. She was in Jack's position for quite a while back then (fearful, utterly confused) until she found a paper by a Professor at CBSU (Comic Book State University) that was far more clear and much less dense than most of the material she'd seen...

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Judy logs into the classes private Gentle Introduction Resource. It looks very similar to some of her favorite social networks and news feeds, except only members of her class are allowed membership. Several other people had posted some XML resources, but Judy is sure they can't possibly be as helpful as hers!

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And Jack wasn't the only student in class that benefitted from Judy's submission to the Gentle Introduction Resource. Several other students also felt that the complicated homework material became far more clear after reading the Gentle Introduction suggested by Judy.

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The Gentle Introduction resource is still in its alpha stages, but has more innovations coming if support is found. See the FAQ section for a list of additions that are currently under construction.

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      Rails       This site was designed with Ruby on Rails.

      Heroku        This site is hosted on the live web using the PaaS Heroku

      Github        Full code hosted and accessible on GitHub

      PostgreSQL       PostgreSQL is the app's underlying database.

      CUNY      This site is the foundation for Anderson Evans' MALS thesis at CUNY Graduate Center.