Sunday, December 6, 2009

Portfolio-Reflctive intro

General: I will explain what is going to be included in the portfolio, each entry i will include and why. i will also talk about the development i have made as a writer

project: I will tak about each project i chose and why. I will also talk about what changes that will be made and the overall ideas i have for each project. Also, I will talk about how each project has help me grow as a writer and how the class as a whole has shaped my writng and in electronic environments as well.

web portfoio-ideas themes

The themes:
Growth as a writer- both discussing how writing has changed and mindset about electronic writing
new experience- dicussing how learning about electronic writing has changed the way i write
new knowledge- how the experiences in WRT 235 have help me shaped my future in writing

Friday, December 4, 2009

Revisions to Projects

I am planning on revising my teaching blog and my wikitravel page.

For my teaching blog, i want edit all the posts, make them easier to read, add more details and feelings and reactions to them, as well as adding links and and pictures. i chose to revise this because i still plan on using this blog after the project is over.

For my wikipage, i chose to do this project because I still feel there is more i can add and make it more of a full page. for the revisions i need to do some editing, adding picture and links, add overall more content and fix some of code for the wiki page.

kimbal reading

after doing the reading about web portfolios i relflectd back on my past experiences with them. i have had many since highschool and now in college. with one of my majors being writing i am very familiar with doing end of the semester portfolios, and find it is a great tool to look over my work from the past semester and see the growth in my writing. During the semester at times you could feel like you didnt learn very much, but with doing a portfolio you are able to see the change in you writing. I have also done an extensicve entrance portfolio for the education department. It was one of the things i am most proud of and worked the hardest on in college. I really like it beciae i was able to physically hold and see the efforts of my work,
My experience with web portfolios is very limited, i have worked and seen some but i have never created own full one of my own. I am a little reserved with web portfolios, i find it easier for my to physically put together all the aspects of it. i find is sometimes confusing and less afftective learning experience by just using everything on a computer. While it opens up more options for the portfolio i am still unsure of how i might react and work with web portfolios.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Finishing toucheds-ning

So the project is winding down. As I talked about earlier I was concerned with how the site would look and read in the end. After the break when I returned to the site and started to do some of my work i was pleasantly surprised not only with the amount of work all my group did but the quality as well. The site looked really good and everything was starting to look like an acutal sns.
I feel like the group was a little unsure at the start of the project about were this site was going to lead us and what we were going to include, but overall i feel like we did a really good job. All the changes everyone made to their own work and working together on a few of the pieces really added depth and multiple views about the subject. Also, since everyone came from a different view or standpoint on the subject it made it very easy to come up with different topics to discuss and was very interesting to see how everything turned out.

How do I do anything on NING

Doing simple task on ning just are not as easy as they should be. First of all you have to add some of the basic functions to your page that I feel should already be there. I also had so much trouble with adding music, like some many others, i had the hardest time getting it to work. One of the main problems I had with the music is the formating. Ning only allowed mp3 files to be played and i was still unable to get any off my itunes to work, i got a song to play but it wasnt the desired one that I wanted.
Another problem our group faced was with the blog and discussion post. We were experiencing that some of what we were saying in them started out to be different but towards the end started to sound like the same thing. We decided as a group to go back and look at what we wrote and edit it accordingly.


So our group started working on our project, our first task was to figuire out what we were gonna do for a topic. we all figuired out that we all had the same interest in literacy/education, so there was our topic. Then we divided up the tasks and decided to work on everything together. Everyone in the group is really relaxed and easy to work with, which is nice thing because group projects can be a hastle.
When I was first exploring the ning site i was so very confused and concerned about how our new page was going to look and actually work out after. I really liked the concept of the site (ning) but couldn't see how all the parts were going to pan out and look after all the work. There are some many different functions and options on ning that is it hard to get a grasp on what to do first.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

NIng First Impression

Wow, so first of all to sign up it didnt work for me the first time I tried. So not such a good start for ning. After that was fixed and I started to look around the site I was to say a little overwhelmed. As I have said throughout the semester with all the sites we have worked with I am not very tech savy. So being introduced to Ning was the least bit a little stressful. There seems to be some many options and different things you can do on the site, which is good, it seems to be exciting to work with and I am curious to see where its going to take me on this project. One thing I am concerned about is that because of the mass amount of options and little gadgets that that might distract from the actual content of the site. Overall, I am curious and interested in to see how this project will turn out.

Compare Contrast SNS Articles

The first article invovling SNS site and political views is more concerned with how SNS site are only being used for individual pleasure. When SNS site first became popular the idea of using them for more political, informative use was brought up in conversation. Well those groups that have wanted to use those site for political purpose have realized, as the article states that the users of these sites are more concerned with updating and modifying their pages to make them more personal. SNS sites seem to have become more of an online playground for users rather than an informative outlet. The second article about digital natives is more concerned with the idea that our society today is using the internet more and more, but the site being used are becoming less and less informative sites but rather site for pleasure like many SNS sites site. They believe that the generation today is being less invovled with the political issues and news information being generated by social media. Both of these article are talking about how society today is becoming more and more distracted from information being distributed via different media services but instead spending more time on SNS pleasure sites.

Friday, November 13, 2009


I really found this article about SNS very interesting. I have been a user of SNS for many years but never knew much about their history. I was shocked at how many different SNS there are/ have been. It is also amaing that with all the different site the creaters of the sites are still able to come up with a new catch that will attract new users. I think why one of the reasons SNS are continously popular because in society today if you are not invovled in a SNS you are missing out and not part of society. I can only think of a few people my age that is not invovled in any SNS. I use SNS to stay connected and keep in contact with people i know acroos the country. SNS is a great tool for that purpose. Now I think some sites are taking it to far by invovling advertising based on the screening of info on your profile, i think that is going to far. the sole purpose of these site is a way to meet and stay in contact with people. These sites have increasingly made these site better and more efficient with the changes in privacy. overall I think SNS are very useful.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

5 Issues

global warming
hate crimes
equal education to all kids
air/water polution

Monday, November 9, 2009

illness inhibits redesign

So last week during the heart of the project I came down with what was most likely to be the flu. During the week I was unable to accomplish anything regarding the project or any other work at all. This made me feel as though I fell behind in in project and might have given my group members the feeling as though I was not contributing as much to the project as I should have been. But I was, I was doing everything for the project that I was asssigned and agreed upon by the group. This project overall was not the most difficult one but I did take alot out of it. I came to learn in the project how to analysis different websites and how to change them for the better. This project gave me new insight into the actual process of designing websites but also a new outlook on working with groups. This project was made easier while working with a group because of my lack of understanding of making websites it helped working with people that did to help me better understand the basics of it. By the end of the project Ii believe I have a better working relationship with the template for designing websites that we used in the project.

The chosen website

The actual project went pretty well too. From begining to end the whole group made descion really easily. There was little to no arguing about any aspect of the the project. Within minutes the group decided on a website to design, luckily it was mine. I was really happy with this because I feel it allowed me to bring a new perspective to the project that helped us in deveolping an overall better feel and cohesivness for the site. In the redesign I think we made the site a whole lot better and easier to use. Our main focus of the project was to make the site easier to navigate. The old site was extremely hard to find your way around, even for someone who used it daily. The links were an area that we focused on aswell, many of the pages were inconsistent with the links. If you were to click onto a page the link on the left hand side would change according to the topic of the page, an overall poor design. We changed all of that and made the whole site a lot easier to use and better to look at aswell.

website re-design

to start this project i was very unsure of how it would go. first of all i really dislike working in groups, I find it hard to communicate and especially hard to get the same style and tone of writing down within the group. In this project how ever I really did not experience that. Working in this group went alot smoother than I thought. I would like to think it was all contributed to the group really working hard together, but I feel I must give some credit to the online classroom, sakai. It did make it very easy for the group to work together and communicate with each other outside the classroom and show the work each member was working on with out meeting.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Explore Google Sites

After messing around with google sites for a while I am still working on how to work it well. I am not to good with computers and creating webpages. My concerns with this site is that its capabilities are very simplistic and may not be able to accomidate all the ideas for the updating of the site we want to do. From just a quick view of it i am still trying to figuire out how to actually post things live and how it will actually look when the page is created. now it really just looks like a word document and im wokring on trying to figure out how the layout will look when it is done.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Article organizational examples

The site that I found to be a good example of everything the aricle was talking about is: . Not only is it very informative but it is also very well organized. There are smooth tranistions between pages and the tab bar on the side make the site easy to navigate from one topic area to the next.
The site that I found to be lacking is, first off the site is very minimal. It is simple and still seem to be under construction, yet there is no information about that. The organization is somewhat exhistant but some of the links are dead, while others bring you to a page with extremely low information. The site seems to be lacking the cohesivness of a well crafted site, it seems throwed together just to put a site out there and little thought into how user friendly it will be.

website design article

I found this article to be very interesting and informative to read. My technology skill are pretty limited for my genereation, I have enough trouble keeping my computer working much less designing a website. Considering what the article said about all the aspects of designing a webpage I really have never thought of it that way before. I of course have been using computers and webpages for a long time now, but I really never put much thought into the actualy work and thought process in the design of the site. There are alot of small details that you use everyday when using the internet but never really put much thought into them. I never knew any of the offical names for tools on websites, I would be like "oh that was cool how that pics enlarged when the mouse went over it" but never really understood why or how that would happen.
The section I like the best was about the site organizational structures, once agian I havn't put the thought into the organizational structure of the sites. I have seem site that I notice how hard they are to use, or how confusing and boring some cam be. while other are easy and attract viewers to their page. The different ways of formating a site really seems to have an impact in the overall success of the site.

wikitravel topics

So once i was able to figuire out the whole wikimarkup mess i had to start writing. Once again not as easy as i thought. I know i have only really lived in this town for less than a year but i have been there many times before. I ended up having to talk to a family member to refresh my memory about what there was actually to do in this town. once i got one or two ideas everything came back to me and the typing just starting. this project was a pretty interesting one because i was able to see how lacking my town really was and how truly it was too.
Another aspect of this project i have to talk about was the peer review, i was very disapointed about the lack of effort from my group. i only got 1 review, i changed my plans on friday in order to make sure i gave all my group memebers a good review and expected the same in return. FAIL on thier part.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Wiki travel-causes trouble

So when I started working on my Wiketravel page for Northfield Il, I thought it would be an easy project oh was I wrong. I have had trouble from the start I thought it would no problem to create a webpage from nothing, again wrong. I think I am pretty tech savey but it took me a while to figuire out how to get the whole writting in code or wiki-markup down. I first started with actually typing out all the symbols and everything and it took forever. It was so boring and hard to concentrate on writing all those symbols I couldn't get any work done. So I finally messed around on the site a little and came to the conclusion that when you log onto yo profile and go to edit a page you can choose an option to add a listing instead of having to eidt and type in all the mark-up. SO MUCH EASIER! Life again went along alot smoother.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Ideas for wikitravel posts

Get in: Many ways in, IS a suburb of the city of Chicago. Two airports to get into the city of Chicago. There is public transportation, can take a train The "el" to get to another suburb, then must take the "metra", public bus service. Could always take a taxi from the airport, EXPENSIVE. Another way to get there is via personal vechicle, watch out major traffic in the city and in Northfield during the rush hours, highways get to busy people take side streets through the town.

DO: On weekends from late May through early September there is a famers market where local farmers sell their goods. These include all sorts of frst fruits and vegetables. Also fresh breads and pastrys from local bakeries. Fresh flowers and more.

See: Local forrest preserves. Lots of local protected forrests with miles of bike trails going through them. Also the Skokie lagoon ( part in northfield even though called skokie) where fishing, kayaking, and canoeing in popular.

Tips from wikitavel manual

The reading of the wikitravel style manual was interesting. Everytime I read about wikitravel there seems to be more "rules". There are all these guidlines that they recomend that you follow and say if you do it will make you page more successful. The more I read into this site the more confusing and complicated I feel creating a page seems to get.
A tip I learned is that if you have trouble following the extact style and format wikitravel is looking for you should just post the way you want and another person will come along and make you post more wiki-readable. Another tip was that when posting wiki wants you to just talk and give info about a place, dont push it positive or negative, stay general and neutral. Lastly, when using currency or phone numbers it is important to use their standard layout so that it makes sense to everyone, its a general format that people from all around the world can understand.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Wiktravel ideas

1) Northfield IL,
2) Wilmetter IL,
3) Sitka, Alaska
4) interarie- raodtrip from IL to RI
My first two places are where I have lived a good portion of my life and wikitravel page doesn't exist for them. For that reason I feel it would add a significant amount of value to the sight, to see another city added by someone that lived there. The third choice is a place a spent a few weeks camping. While a site already has been started I was thinking about adding more to it about the angle in which I experienced the place.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


I like the idea behind this site. The old fashion way of travel books is well, old fashion. We are living in the age of technology so why cant our travel info be too? It seem pretty easy and layed out exactly what the site is trying to accomplish. One thing that was intersting to me was the amount of "rules" they had for the site. The creators want this to be a different form of travel guide. While many guides just offer the "good" about a place wikitravels gives travelers teh opportunity to wrtite about the not so glorious aspects of their travel. A view in which I think is lacking. It should be fun to look more into this site and see what it really has to offer.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Revisions, re-writes

So nothings perfect the first time, the second or ever. Thats my moto and least when writing. After working with group about what was good and bad with my blog I sat on it for a day or so, just didnt work on it. Not because I was lazy or didnt want to work on my blog I just like to think about my writing and not acutally write for at least a day. SO after my "thinking time" I started to read over my posts and get to work on them. It was hard I admit. I am not found with reading my own writngs, this might sound wierd to some but well then I guess Im wierd. I decided to combine two of my post and write a whole new one. This work out pretty well, I was able to focus my attention to what I acually said I was going to write about in my description and about me section.
Also while re-writng my posts I tried to add in more to the layout and visuals, it was and still is hard to come up with ideas for picture, I cant take any in the schools so I have to be more creative, but at this moment the creative juices are not flowing so well so I am going to work on those early tomorrow morning. But I did try and include some links to help the readers understand some of the educational terms and topics I was talking about, but didnt feel the need to write in my blog about. Right now I am happy with my blog, but I still have some things to work on. Writing is always a work in progress!!!

Group revisions

So we had to have a group look over our blogs and talk about it. Not my favorite thing to do, I like to write. But I dont like watching people read my writing and talk about it in person. Its just something that has to be done so I do it.
I do have to admit that the group revision thing actually does help. It really gave me new insight about my blog. I thought that my ideas and topics for my posts were not only good but made sense and were easy to undestand. Well I guess not, through talking with the group members I realized that while "I" personaly enjoyed and were able to understand my posts they were a bit difficult for others to follow. I was able to conclude that my topic was to BROAD. My idea for the blog and about me section was right on but I was unable to succeed in my post so far what I wanted to write about. After the discussion I became re-focused and and was able to come up with new posts ideas and a new way to re-format the blog to make more sense to the readers.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

How I Started

Finding a topic for my blogs wasnt that difficult. It has acutally been the easiest part of the blog so far. The hard part was a title. I wanted to find something that was cachty, creative but got the point across. The first thing I did was I made a list of possible titles that were somehow related to the topic of the blog. SO I just typed out whatever the hell came to mind. Some of the ideas that I had I thought were really good at the time I wrote them, then there were others that I really didnt like but I still wrote them down.
My next strategy for coming up with a title was to not think about the blog for an entire day. I always do this while working on a piece of writing, come up with a basic plan for the paper and then not work on it and clear my head for at least a day. It always seems to help me reorganize my thoughts and lets me see my past ideas in new light. It just helps.
The last thing that helped me choose a title was my peers. Meeting in class and talking about the blogs really helped. First off that is how I actually got the ideaf or my blog. As for the title I just read my group my list of possible titles, and one of the group members stoped me at one and told me they really liked that one and others agreed. I looked at it and realized it was exactly the type of title I was looking for so there we I got a title for the blog. Now I just need to blog!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

enthusiast blog - what makes me credible

People should listen to what i have to say in my blog about becoming a teacher because it is actually happening to me. The whole point of my blog is to inform people of my experiences about deciding to make the decsion to become a teacher and show my feelings and the process of it. There is no better way to to prove to an audience your credibility than by talking about events, experiences, and feelings that happened first hand. Another aspect that will make my blog interesting it that unlike some others blog about teaching is that I will be talking about the whole process from start to when ever teaching ends.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Enthusiast blog brainstorm

Topic: Topic of my blog is going to be my experiences in teaching. I plan to focus on my weekly visits to an elementary school for one of my classes. While in the school I observe, help teach, and plan lessons. I will also be conducting studies about what I observe while in the school. In the blog I plan on talking about my experiences while teaching, observing how the classroom works and also my personal thoughts and stories about what goes on during my placement in the school.

Audience: The audience I would like to attract can be very diverse, I would like to see fellow education majors read the blogs and possibly comment on shared experiences. I would also like to see more of the general populatio read the blog, especially people who think the teaching career is not hard. Another interesting audience I would like to share my thoughts with are fellow teachers, people who already went through the training and opbservations that I am now going through myself as I write. I think this audience would like to see all aspects of teaching not just the glory parts when a student has that a'ha moment of learning something you taught them, but more of the down and dirty aspect of teaching, all the grudge work that most dont know about.

Personality: For my blog I think I am going to start writing like a daily journal entries. It is not going to be formal at all. I plan on writing how I would speak to somebody, while that could pose a problem while being difficult to read I am hoping the Audience can connect in someway. Depending on the way that day went the style of writing might change with the mood i am feeling after leaving the school. So right now the style and personality I am leaving to my feelings at the time of the writing.

Possible Titles:
Child's Play
Back in the Classroom
Elementary School through and Grown Man's Eyes
Returning to my Childhood
I never thought I would be a Teacher Well Here it Goes.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Clubhouse blog ideas

1) Rowing- the sport and my experience
2) Kayaking/ instructor
3) Traveling- places i have been
4) Living on my own for first time
5) Studying to be elementary ed. teacher

Stefanac Response

The reading of Stefanac blog/article was very imformative to me about blogging in general but especially about enthusiasts blogs. While still being really new to blogging Stefanac's blog was able to give me a good idea of what a future blogger, such as myself, should be expecting while writing a blog. I learned that while blogging is free and open in any form, where as it pertains to writing there are not neccessarily guideline but more adivce on how to be successful. One of the ideas that struck me the most was the point were Stefanac was making the point about the people in particular who write blogs. Also said was that is a writer (blogger) was looking to find an outet to express themselves and make a living off of it blogging wasnt the content area that person should focus on. As I thought about that some more and thought back to past class discussions, it hit me that those people that take a career in writng and have not found an outlet that works for them, or are having trouble with a particular piece of writing should stop all together and start a blog. Even if the blog was just to be in use for a short period of time, it seems that is helps get the writing process going. Take this post for example, at first I wasnt sure what to write and now am writng more than I planed about more topics than i thought. It got me thinking not only about the article but about blogging and my ways and habits of writing.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

My blogging experience

I have never blog or even thought about blogging before. As a writing major I have always been told to write down your thought about anything you might want to write about or just thoughts in general. Well I never do, I can say now that I felt like some things I wanted to write down where things i didnt want other to get a hold of and found out i wrote it. Now with my formal introduction to blogging I think i will continue this after the class is over and be able to put up and paper topics or just thoughts in a safe place where i can access it when i want and have control of who sees my posts and control my identitly as well.

Rebecca Blood's blog

When i first started to read Blood's blog I was lost and confused about where the topic was and where exactly she was going to take this argument. After further readings it became more clear that she was trying to explain blogging as a whole. To be honest the first half of the blog about the history of blogging was somewhat important to the rest of the blog, but with its great amount of detail it led me as the reader to become bored and confused.
I do realize the blog is called history and perspective but the mass amount of detail to little parts of the history seemed to be a little overdone. The perspective aspect of the blog was very interesting. I did not know there was a difference in "web blogging" or just "bloging". After reading about them I came to the conclusion that even though one type of blogging came first and might not be as popular, they are both an affective tool in the use of getting thoughts accross.
I think the idea of blogging was amazing, just to have a space where someone can publish any thing they want and not have to be judged by what they say. I think people tend to feel more comfortable and confident while blogging. They get to say publicly what they want to say while in most cases there is not direct in person risk of harmful feedback. I feel that blogging can be a safe and healthy place for some people to be able to express themselves while remaining a sense of identity.

Friday, September 11, 2009

What is Writing?

Writing is the process of physically putting thougts, ideas into words. It alows someone to be able to leave a trail of their thoughts for others to view. Writing is now a major means of communication between people, it alows people to be able to communicate from far distance and with great detail, and also with writing what ever the author wants to be told is true, instead of verbal communication where ideas can change.

Where most of my writing takes place is either in my room late at night or in the back corner of the library, most of my writing is done in the dark, the only light is the computer screen.