Web development was essentially a program to help us build a website to hold all of our artifacts for our final capstone portfolio. I have been able to accomplish this task but I also found my website became much more than just a portfolio for my Masters. As I learned to embed content I started putting Google Forms on my site. Instead of sending long share links via email to my staff I instead would direct them to my website. I began sharing my favorite web 2.0 tools on my site, and once again, I would direct people to my site instead of trying to sharing long website addresses. This site is also
In many ways I think that we approach web development like teachers approach students in the classroom. A teacher assumes that they have all the knowledge and that students need to know "everything" that is in the teacher's brain. To accomplish this the teacher drills all their knowledge towards their students. In the same way a paper (journal article or other) takes all the knowledge that the author's possess and attempt to transfer that knowledge to the reader. In reality the audience (and students) only take in what they see as important or imperative. I even find myself skimming through large books to find specific chapters and headers that fit my needs. To help the reader articles and books have in fact included chapters, headers, and even visuals to allow readers to “jump around” to the information that is important. Books however are limited in that the user must spend extra time flipping between pages, jumping back, going forward, and even switching books. This whole process can take a while when compared to how quickly someone can jump around web pages and multiple websites. You can use the “find” function to quickly access keywords within lengthy documents saving the reader “skimming” time and making their search time more efficient.
Although skimming through a book or a website requires similar skills, a web browser ultimately is “faster” for users who can compare multiple sites in minutes using power search terms, multiple browsing tabs, and various search engines. That being said a website must contain the same “amount” of information as in a book but it must be organized in such a way that the user can quickly discern if the information is relevant, and then proceed into further detail if needed. In the article “How We Use the Web” it’s mentioned, “we know we don’t have to read everything” thus we can think of website creation in the same context of advertising (big pictures, videos, that quickly convey information). Once a reader is “hooked” they can click and get more detailed information (the “book” portion) if needed.
There are many similarities between books and websites however, the general web audience wants “quick info” where book audiences lean towards “in depth” information. Both websites and books contain “in depth” information but a web page must quickly and easily convey the information that’s available, and then allow the reader to dive more deeply into the information if needed. Book authors on the other hand, intend for their readers to read everything in context, which can make “skipping” around more difficult. In essence the web has made it easier for audiences to skim material and choose important information than skimming books for key ideas.
Building this website was one of the greatest experiences of the program. It took me a little bit of time but I was able to figure out how to host my WordPress site on BlueHost, which gave me greater control over my site in terms of coding than a traditional WordPress.com site. I used this ability to really dig into the HTML language as I wanted to customize this site to serve my purposes. I started with basic embedding of external code then eventually wound up writing entire pages from code. It is in the power of creation that learning really occurs, something I started to realize that our kids needed in the classroom.
One of the most challenging elements in creation is the idea of simply being creative. I never considered myself good at any kind of creative process like art or music and I found myself constantly with mental blocks, trying to create a vision of what I wanted my site to look like. This made me realize that in education we expect that all kids should learn math and how to read and write, but we rarely expect them to be creative.
Getting my Masters in Instructional Technology has taught me a lot about tools, such as website, and how to use them in the classroom. I realize now however, that tools are generally what we teach in "technology savvy" classrooms and not creativity. It's my mission and vision now that technology should help students become creative, just as building my website helped me.
Below are some more wireframe concepts I developed.
3. Model Digital Age Work and Learning
a. Demonstrate fluency in technology systems and the transfer of current knowledge to new technologies and situations
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Mott, J. (2009, May 7th). A post-lms manifesto. Retrieved from http://www.jonmott.com/blog/2009/05/a-post-lms-manifesto/
Sun, L. and Williams, S. (2004) An instructional design model for constructivist learning. In: Cantoni, L. and McLoughlin, C.
(eds.) ED-MEDIA 2004: World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications, Vols. 1-7. Assoc
Advancement Computing Education, Norfolk, pp. 2476-2483. ISBN 1880094533