Friday, January 21, 2011

CED0 555 - Professional Portfolio Experience - Blog #3

Happy New Year and welcome to the 2011 edition of Adventures in E-Learning.  CEDO 555 Professional Portfolio Experience concludes at the end of the month and I find that I have been reflecting on the MEIT Program.  No, I am not daydreaming.  CEDO 555 required that I pull together course reflections and supporting evidence of my work.  Thankfully, this very blog helped me go back in time and recapture the experiences and assignments completed.

Looking Back

From CEDO 501 to CEDO 555 I needed to find an artifact which exemplified the course and demonstrated professional growth.  Looking back at my original Social Bookmarking Assignment in 501 Succeeding in Online Learning I seemed so naive.  In the introductory course I had my first experience using Google Docs after years of using MS-Office.  Over the next few months experience and proficiency with online Web 2.0 tools such as Zoho and SlideSix came to pass.  My Digital Portfolio is contained on Google Sites and I used the HTML tool to embed several artifacts for easy viewing.  I have a come a long way from the early days and fumbling with online word processing applications.

The computer I used at the onset of the program has been replaced with my 'Dream Computer' as configured in the CEDO 510 Computer Systems and How they Work.  Tip of the day:  if you configure the same system on Dell.Com and keep saving it, they give-up and send you a coupon.  I received one from Dell for 45% off  and I used other e-coupons to knock the price down even further.  And since I'm handing-out free advice, get a surge protector with battery backup!

Well, the MEIT Program to date can not be covered in a single blog.  I am pleased with my Digital Portfolio and it will provide a more exhaustive and detailed redux of each course.  But now I must look forward and plan a culminating project which challenges and extends my learning.

Culminating Project


I spent a half day at Operation FreshStart and enjoyed meeting the counselors and teachers.  Sadly, their needs are more basic and technology skills are not on the critical path.  Still, I met new people and look forward to volunteering time to help them with at-risk youth. I thought about my fallback position for work with the Hoofer Sailing Club.  But, where is the challenge since I already created a wiki for them last summer?  I decided that I need to truly challenge myself by building a Web-site from scratch. 

Engineering and Architecture:

Throughout my professional career I have dabbled and patched-up HTML, authored a few Web pages but never have I built a Web-site from the ground up.  Frank Lloyd Wright was a visionary architect who tipped the world on its side with buildings that defied established norms and heightened the felt experience of enveloped space.  Wright, to this day, is seen as a great architect but what is seldom understood is that he had a firm grasp of engineering materials.  Cantilevering, as seen in Falling Water,  and the open space of the Johnson Wax Headquarters were all made possible by technological advances in building materials.  Wright understood the technological limits and pushed his creations to the edge.  By the same token, I need to understand the engineering that goes into Web-site creation so that I employ and extend the technology to its greatest use.

Rounding-out my technology tools:

As a professional I need to be able to build a Web-site without relying on free sites that also populate screen real estate with advertisements. Adobe Dreamweaver using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) along with tools such as Photoshop and Flash are widely used by site developers.  The Adobe Suite of products has great market penetration in business and education and many organizations rely solely on the Adobe tools.  Working with them will help me see new possibilities for extending their use in education.  I have been spoiled with all of the free Web 2.0 applications but I am leery of their sustainability in the long run.  To be quite 'frank', the business models rely on advertisers and the gleaning of marketing information and this is of great concern for many organizations.  If it seems too good to be true, then what is the catch going to be? 

Students, employers and even myself will benefit as I acquire the skills which permit me to design and develop educational experiences that are not tied to applications which may or may not be available from one year to the next.   So, excuse me while I roll-up my sleeves and get to work building a Web-site.  The first one may not be a work of architecture, but even Frank Lloyd Wright had to start somewhere.