Friday, April 8, 2011

CEDO 599 - Week Two

In the second week of CEDO 599 - Culminating Experience:  Digital Futures, I have the clearance to move forward with my capstone project.  I am building a Website from scratch using the latest version of  Adobe Dreamweaver.  Over the past few months I've been dreaming of building the most fantastic site ever known to The Internet.  My project is to create a Website from scratch using Adobe Dreamweaver.  The Website's intended audience are potential employers and colleagues.  The project will help me gain valuable experience with Website layout, design and coding.  Sure, there were easier ways to go with this but I need the experience to have 'street cred' with technical folks I may work with at a later date.

I completed SMART Objective #1 where I identified all of the content that I will have on my site and placed on my Cardinal Stritch University ePortfolio.  I feel pretty good that I have identified and placed the artifacts on my site. At a later time, when I am doing the actual coding I can go to the source page and grab the artifacts, links and images.  

A the moment, I am working on wrapping-up Objective #2where I create a mock-up or site composition specification. The Digital Storytelling Course and Presentation Zen made a big impression on me.  It was very tempting to start designing the site based on the latest cool features in Dreamweaver.  In other words, start icing the cake before it was baked!  That is a major pitfall and I made myself go offline,think about my intended audience, draw the site by hand, and then create a mock-up in MS-Word.   It feels like there should be more, but that is just the pull of the technology and I am trying so hard  to not obfuscate my site with cool chotchkies and spinning widgets that shine and sparkle.  

Already  I am learning so much.  When I see a great site I let my Web-browser display the source code so I can see how they pulled it off.  It is very exciting to be finally tackle a professional goal I have had for the past few years. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

CEDO 599 - Week One

The final course in the MEIT Program has started along with my Capstone Project to wrap things up.  I will design a Web-site which will serve as a means to later publish my professional portfolio and establish Brian Adams as a brand in the market. The overall goal of the proposed project is to gain practical experience designing a Web-site using an industry standard tool: Adobe Dreamweaver.  I have never attempted to create a Web-site from scratch and it will require learning new software, designing, developing and publishing the Web-site.  The content will consist of public-facing content which describes myself, my career and exhibits materials while demonstrating technical and design skills which are a 'given' for Internet professionals. 

But why use an 'old school' tool like Dreamweaver when there are tons of Web 2.0 resources for building free Web-sites?  In fact, the MEIT Program has explored so many of these tools it almost seems like I am going backwards by using a thick-client to publish a site.  Well, Web 2.0 tools are widely available but business and educational organizations are still heavily vested in thick-client authoring tools.  The project will deepen my understanding of the underlying technology as well as practical considerations when consulting with Instructional Designers and IT professionals. Students, employers and even myself will benefit as I acquire the skills which permit me to design, develop and integrate educational experiences into existing environments.

Upon further review, the goal is a bit too ambitious for the thirty hour requirement.  Dreamweaver is a tricky tool and underlying CSS and its rules reminds me of my days as a programmer.  I decided to pare down the project so that it would be made-up of three truly SMART goals.  It will have three components:  CSS Template, home page, and three sub-pages with content. The Web-site for the culminating project will act as a shell upon which I will build-out my site following the conclusion of the MEIT Program.

I will use the site to showcase past, current and future accomplishments in my career.  Potential employers and colleagues can view my site at any time to see my work and interests.  RSS Feeds, links to blogs, and examples of ongoing work will ideally support my vision and mission statements.   Beyond the initial scope of the project, creating a Web-site lays the foundation upon which I may better understand the Web 3.0 technology looming on the horizon.   Needless to say, I am going to be very busy the next few weeks as I  kick it into overdrive to meet the goals of this project.