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Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to your most commonly asked questions. Need some help? Please contact myhero@myheroproject.org!


Q:  What is the difference between the Guestbook and the Create Program?
A:  The Guestbook gives students the opportunity to write brief comments about their hero while the Create Program gives students the opportunity to build a Web page about their hero with text, images and links.
Q:  Why doesn't my entry show up in the Guestbook right away?
A:  Sometimes the MY HERO "Swearing Screener" software will pick up on words with double meanings and send entries to a holding folder for staff to review. The staff reviews entries several times everyday and activates all appropriate entries.
Q:  How are inappropriate Guestbook entries screened and prevented from being launched live?
A:  MY HERO uses very sophisticated and sensitive "Swearing Screener" software to screen entries to the Guestbook.
Q:  What kinds of entries are deleted from the Guestbook?
A:  Entries that contain swearing, and promote violence and hatred. Sometimes the staff will delete personal information such as last names and birthdates to protect someone's identity.
Q:  What is the purpose of the Guestbook?
A:  The Guestbook is an interactive journal designed for students to post brief entries to honor their hero.
Q:   What is the timeline for activating essays once they have been submitted to MY HERO?
A:  Please plan to allow approximately two weeks for essays to be activated and launched live on the site. Our staff edits approximately 5,000 essays a year and on occasion, they all seem to come in at once. However, if you require your stories to be activated sooner due to an important deadline (parent conferences, for instance), please notify MY HERO through an email message and we will be happy to accomodate you.
Q:   Do you suggest using the Create template to draft an essay or do you recommend writing an essay and saving it as a Word doc first?
A:   We encourage students to keep a record of their work by drafting their essays and saving them in a Word doc, and then to copy and paste them into the Create template.
Q:  Can MY HERO provide me with support in teaching English as a foreign language?
A:  Yes, we provide several resources that may help you. In the Create program, many of our stories have been recorded on Audio so that students can read along. Several of our stories have been translated into Spanish, French and Chinese and are found in our Selected Stories for students.
Q:  Can my students write their stories in a language other than English?
A:  We accept stories written in Spanish and French only at this time. However, we are happy to receive stories written in another language if the students' English translations have been provided in the text of their stories. We also require that the teacher review each one as appropriate for readers of all ages. This method is also useful for English-speaking students when learning to write in another language.

Examples:
Maori and French

Q:  What is the difference between stories in "Featured Stories" and "Guests Stories?"
A:  Essays are "featured" when they are written by staff and professional writers. We also feature stories by guests whose stories are exceptionally well-written, inspiring, accurate, have an original voice, and exemplify the mission of MY HERO. Students whose essays are featured receive a t-shirt prize and MY HERO Certificate.
Q:  Is there a way to review my students` work before it is submitted?
A:  Students who register on their own can make printouts of their work for teachers to review before they submit their stories. Teachers can assign a list of usernames and passwords. Teachers can register under a single classroom username and password for all of their students, or register for each classroom period of students. (Student names would need to be inserted into the story Credit Lines).
Q:  What do I do if we run into technical problems using the Create Program?
A:  We are here to support all teachers and students who use this free, collaborative project in their classroom. Please email us at support@myheroproject.org about technical problems encountered using MY HERO. Be as specific as possible and include URLs. Please provide the school name, teacher or student`s registered name and the name of the hero. Also, whether the writer was using Windows or Mac, and what web browser (ID, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc) was used.
Q:  If my student discovers an error after the story is submitted, is it too late to make a change?
A:  Not at all. We will be happy to return the story. When the corrections have been made, the story can be resubmitted and we will reactivate it.
Q:  What is your policy on protecting students' privacy when writing personal stories?
A:  MY HERO editors will remove the birth dates of living private persons. We will not publish stories that express anything hurtful to a private person.
Q:  Some of my students are not sure which Hero Section to choose for their heroes.
A:  The Directory of Stories under Content tab on the homepage has short, helpful descriptions of each type of hero.
Q:  How should we use your Bibliography?
A:  The Bibliography is an excellent place to include books, periodicals, personal interviews and encyclopedia articles that require a login. We prefer that internet website resources be placed into the Related Links so that our readers can click on and view them. In order to learn citation standards, some teachers instruct their students to provide their resource information (Work Cited) at the end of their last story paragraph.
Q:  What are your standards for resource websites?
A:  We will not accept links that contain inappropriate content (including youtube or blog comments), pop-up advertisements or commercial videos, lead only to a login prompt (encyclopedia/Ebsco logins) or open only to a generic webpage, such as Wikipedia, instead of to the hero page on that webpage.
Q:  Will all stories be accepted?
A:  MY HERO will accept stories about personal or public heroes who inspire us with the best of humanity, as well as thoughtful essays discussing the theme of heroism. MY HERO will not accept stories that contain hatred, intolerance or gratuitous violence. All stories must be in a student's own writing.
Q:  If a student discovers an error after the story is submitted, is it too late to make a change?
A:  Not at all. We will be happy to return the story. When the corrections have been made, the story can be resubmitted and we will reactivate it.
Q:  How will I know if my story has been published?
A:  The writer will receive an automated letter, sent to the email address provided, and will provide the story url. Also, once you know the story has been activated, it can be searched by hero name in the MY HERO database. Be sure to use the exact name of your hero as you entered it (John F. Kennedy or John Kennedy will bring up different search titles) After your search, be sure to click on Guest Stories if your story has not been chosen to be one of our Featured Stories.
Q:  What if I get stuck uploading images to my Web page and my account freezes or refuses to work?
A:  Send an email to support@myheroproject.org describing the problem. Attach your images as JPEGs or snail mail them to MY HERO and we will upload them for you. Our mailing address is:

The MY HERO Project
1278 Glenneyre #286
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Be sure to include the name of your hero in your email.
Q:  How do you check a student`s essay for plagiarism?
A:  We simply copy/paste a sentence or two of the student`s essay into the Google search engine and see what comes up.
Q:  When do you check a student`s essay for plagiarism?
A:  We generally check for plagiarism if the student`s writing seems a little "different" than his/her personal style of writing, which is usually found in the introductory and concluding paragraphs. We are happy to accept published sentences, or even a small paragraph, if the work is properly credited to its original source and if the majority of the essay is in the student`s own words. What we at MY HERO like best is to hear how a hero inspires the student personally.
Q:  Can my students create their essays on my Organizer page?
A:  Your students will need to create their essays using the Create Program and upload their original artwork through the Gallery Program. Your Organizer web page is an index and display page only.
Q:  How do you determine who wins a T-shirt Prize?
A:  The MY HERO staff reviews every essay submitted to the site and selects essays that are not only well-written, but also speak to the heart of both the writer and the reader.
Q:  How do you notify students that their essays have been chosen for a T-Shirt prize?
A:  We notify the student through the email address provided in the story registration. If it is the student address, we will copy the teacher as well if the teacher has registered as an Educator.
Q:  How can registered guests add text to their original artwork?
A:  Once you have uploaded your original image, you will see a space provided for a title, caption and description. Please utilize these areas when writing text to accompany your original art.
Q:  What kinds of hero images are appropriate for the Gallery?
A:  Original portraits of personal or community heroes and/or depictions of heroic events make excellent hero art subjects. In addition, artworks that symbolize the characteristics of heroism that we all admire (i.e., extraordinary courage, responsibility for another, consideration for the planet) are also acceptable.
Q:  When can I view my hero art online in the Gallery?
A:  After the Gallery Curator has reviewed your art entries and approved them for online exhibition.
Q:  Can I upload more than one artwork for exhibition?
A:  Yes, as long as your work is original. We accept five individual works per participating artist.
Q:  Can I create my original art directly on the MY HERO Gallery Create template?
A:  At this time, you will need to upload a JPEG or a TIFF or a GIF to add your original art to the Gallery. There is no program to actually compose art on the MY HERO Web site at this time. Use your digital camera or scanner or Adobe Photoshop program to add your art to the Gallery.
Q:  How do I access the database of MY HERO Virtual Gallery art?
A:  Click on BROWSE at the top of the Gallery page to see a menu by medium, artist, etc.
Q:  How do I submit a film to the Short Film Festival?
A:  You must apply by following the Short Films link and then click on Submit and complete the online form. Mail your film in as a Quicktime file burned to a disc to:

The MY HERO Project
1278 Glenneyre #286
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Q:  Can I send a DVD that will play when it is put in a player?
A:  No. Please send data DVDs only by burning a Quicktime or Mpeg file to the disc.
Q:  Does my film have to be about a hero?
A:  No. You can make a film about the concept of heroism as well.
Q:  Can I send you a movie longer than ten minutes?
A:  Yes, you can, but please be aware that MY HERO may ask you to re-edit your project, take a smaller section of it, or split it into two parts for use on the website. We ask that submissions be ten minutes or less due to bandwidth constraints.
Q:  If all of my students each want to submit a film, do I have to send in an entry fee for every one of them?
A:  MY HERO is happy to waive fees for classes ~ please contact us directly at media@myheroproject.org to discuss your situation.
Q:  Will MY HERO accept films in a language other than English?
A:  Yes, if you also submit a version with English subtitles.
Q:  How can MY HERO be integrated into my classroom curriculum?
A:  A number of Lesson Plans are available in the Teacher`s Room, under the Educator tab, to assist you in integrating MY HERO in your curriculum.
Other programs include:
The Organizer, primarily used by teachers as the index page for their students' work, is also a helpful tool for organizing content on the website for theme-related lessons in a variety of disciplines - environment, peace, science, and others. The Guestbook is a program where students can give a short shout-out to their favorite heroes and the Forum can provide a platform for thoughtful discussion in the meaning of heroism. Students can contribute Stories, Art and Film that celebrate their personal heroes, to share with others. Teachers can work on Projects with other teachers, to share and collaborate on specific activities. Also, participating in the MY HERO Learning Circles is a wonderful experience and is a great example of collaboration with our partner iEARN.
Q:  When can I sign up for the Learning Circle?
A:  There are two sessions each year, September - January and January - May. Please visit the MY HERO Teacher's Room Community tab and click on Learning Circle to see the upcoming dates.
Q:  Can MY HERO provide me with support in teaching English as a foreign language?
A:  Yes, we provide several resources that may help you. In the Create program, many of our stories have been recorded on Audio so that students can read along. Several of our stories have been translated into Spanish, French and Chinese and are found in our Selected Stories for students. Please let us know if you require any other assistance at myhero@myheroproject.org.
Q:  May I have students write their stories in my Organizer page?
A:  At this time, we prefer that students write their stories in the Create program so that they will be searchable in our archive of stories.
Q:  How do I create an index page of content on MY HERO?
A:  Register for an Educator Account for access to the Organizer page. A step-by-step online tutorial is available to guide you in building your Organizer page. The Organizer is a tool that allows you to create a customized index page of your students` MY HERO essays, artwork and short films so students can share their work with their classmates and families. Your Organizer page can also be linked to your school Web site or classroom page. Partners may use it to share their nonprofit work with others.
Q:  Why would I want to use the Organizer program?
A:  The Organizer is a tool that allows you to create a customized index page of your students` MY HERO essays, artwork and short films so students can share their work with their classmates and families. Your Organizer page can also be linked to your school Web site or classroom page.
Q:  What do I do if I forget my password?
A:  Email myhero@myheroproject.org.
Q:  Who do I contact if I am having difficulties using the Organizer program?
A:  Email your question(s) to myhero@myheroproject.org.
Q:  Why would a student`s completed hero essay not come up when I do a search?
A:  Completed and incomplete essays are kept in our "Unsubmitted Folder" with a pending code until students click on "Submit" to officially submit their work for review and activation by the MY HERO staff. Essays in the "Unsubmitted Folder" can only be accessed by the author with his/her username and password. Another possiblity is that the spelling or name variation might be a factor. Calista Pierce will not be found if the name is under Calista M. Pierce.
Q:  How do you decide which book comments to activate?
A:  We activate comments submitted by guests who have read the specific book and would like to share their reviews.
Q:  Do you ever publish negative book comments?
A:  Yes, if they are not mean spirited and they are thoughtfully written.
Q:  Does the Library sell books from its collection?
A:  No. MY HERO recommends that you visit your local library or bookstore to check-out or purchase a book.
Q:  Will you accept suggestions for books I think would be welcomed by your website?
A:  You are welcome to use our Suggest a Book prompt on the home page of our Library. Please keep in mind that content should be appropriate for all ages.
Q:  How do you choose what news stories to feature on the homepage?
A:  MY HERO chooses AP stories that feature heroes around the world, as well as stories based on heroic themes and works.
Q:  Are there other Forum topics besides "How Do We Choose Our Heroes?"
A:  Yes. If you scroll to the bottom of the Forum page, you will find other featured topics.
Q:  Are Forum entries posted live?
A:  Entries are sent to a holding folder for staff to review. The staff reviews entries several times every day and activates all appropriate entries.
Q:  How are inappropriate Forum entries screened and prevented from being launched live?
A:  MY HERO uses very sophisticated and sensitive "Swearing Screener" software to screen entries to the Forum.
Q:  What kinds of entries are screened/deleted from the Forum?
A:  Entries that contain swearing, and/or promote violence and hatred.
Q:  Can I access the Create, Gallery and Audio programs using my Educator Account?
A:  Yes. You may also access the Organizer tool to build index pages of your students` work.
Q:  I teach at two institutions and wish to use The MY HERO Project for both institutions. Do I need to get an account for each institution, or can I use one account for both?
A:  We would prefer that each school be registered separately under your name so that we can establish the correct information unique to that school. However, if this causes you any difficulty, we would be glad to work with on this.
Q:  When will I know if my registration request been accepted?
A:  Your account will be approved once it has been reviewed by a staff member as having the standard information needed, and that you are a teacher at your school and not a student (or spam). Once approved, a letter will be sent to your email address containing the directions to help you get started. Once you have finished your project, you will be asked to fill out a Post-Survey to let us know about your experience.
Q:  My school district has some restrictions on releasing private information about our students. Will MY HERO allow for some privacy restrictions and oversight?
A:  Although we always have our visitors' privacy concerns in mind, please let us know if you need specific care in this regard. As a matter of policy, we remove all birth dates and any negative reference to private citizens. The story credit line in the Create program will automatically catch the first name and town provided in the students' registrations and will display them in the Add/Edit Credit line. This information can easily be edited, if needed, by the student or teacher. All stories not selected for featuring (T-Shirt Prizes) will be found under the Guests Stories tab when searching the hero name.
Q:  Will my account ever expire?
A:  Accounts will remain on file. However, if your account is more than a few years old, your account may have been suspended in order to ascertain that your information is still current. If your information is the same and you still wish to keep your original username and password to access older content such as classroom Organizer pages, please contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
Q:  What are MY HERO`s Terms of Use?
A:  All submissions must be the students` own, original work. MY HERO will not knowingly exhibit any work that has been plagiarized or reproduced from another website or from any other source. MY HERO will not exhibit any work that promotes hatred, violence or prejudice. All work must be appropriate for all age viewers, including students and children.The student will give MY HERO non-exclusive rights in all media, solely for educational use.
Q:  Should my students register through the Educators tab?
A:  No. Please advise students to register as students though the Participate tab, or in the registration box on the MY HERO homepage. The Teacher's Room is reserved for Educators only, including the Organizer page. Exceptions may be made for college students.
Q:  Is an Educator Account registration different than a Student registration?
A:  Yes. Only Educators will have access to the Organizer page.
Q:  How do I register?
A:  Teachers should register for an Educator Account through the Teacher's Room, or from the homepage START menu - Teachers. You will be asked for some details about you and your school. The complete name of your school is preferred (rather than initials, or the school district name, if possible). You will also be asked a few Pre-Survey questions. After you have completed your school page, you will also be asked to provide us with a short Post-Survey which will help us continue to improve this FREE project-based resource in order to better serve you and other teachers.
Q:  What does MY HERO provide to partners?
A:  We provide an online platform for organizations to share their work with our large international viewership of teachers, students and other viewers
Q:  Who qualifies to be a partner to MY HERO?
A:  MY HERO welcomes nonprofit organizations of all sizes, nationalities and subjects that celebrate the best of humanity across the spectrum of the environment, community work, science, art and music. A partnership is very much like an Educator Account for teachers, but with details that are specific to your organization rather than to a formal classroom environment.
Q:  How do I become a partner?
A:  We invite you to become a Partner by registering at the Start program. Once you have submitted information about you and your organization, we will review and then approve your account.
Q:  Should my participants also register through the Educators tab?
A:  No. Please advise your participants to register as students though the Participate tab, or in the registration box on the MY HERO homepage. The Teacher's Room is reserved for Educators only, including the Organizer page. Exceptions may be made for college students.


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