On Tagxedo and Teaching

My group talked about how we could use Wordle or Tagxedo as a creative tool and teaching method. We came up with a basic plan of asking the students to write a meaningful poem. Then they would upload it to one of the word cloud generators above and switch around the fonts, colors, and shape. After they finished their word clouds, they would pick three or four of the biggest words in their clouds and write about why they were the biggest words. Hopefully this would challenge the children to really think and start to reflect on themselves and who they are. 

On Geocaching and Wiki Pages

I picked geocaching because I have actually been able to experience it, so writing about it seemed like a simple enough task. However, I quickly learned that just because you like something and may have done it, it does not mean that writing a wiki page about it will be easy. There is a lot more to writing a wiki page than I originally thought. I realized that you need background info, resources, and more information than ‘oh I’ve done this. You use a GPS,’ but I had no idea how to put it all together and make it actually look professional and at least semi informative. I never realized that it takes a lot more than just a basic knowledge of something. You almost need to be an expert. And I’m definitely no expert.

I think that wiki pages, Wikipedia, and other editable places of information are a really great thing to use and have in this digital age since everything is constantly changing in both the world and technology. Especially since pages like “O-type main sequence star” are less likely to be edited inappropriately. Whereas pages like “Justin Bieber” might be edited everyday. Informative and I suppose more ‘serious’ pages that students and people turn to, to get actual usable information are extremely helpful, because you never know when an O-type main sequence star could suddenly change or Justin Bieber could get a new haircut.

Overall I would say that I enjoyed writing my Wiki page, but maybe on the next one I’ll try to do a bit more research on how to actually write one.

24 Hours

In this day and age it’s pretty difficult to go without a computer or even the internet in general for more than a few hours. Therefore going without the internet on my phone for twenty-four hours was pretty difficult. It’s almost weird to think that some people go without internet access or even a cell phone on a daily basis. I use my phone to pretty much do everything. When I wake up, I check all of my social media. When I’m walking to class, I’m using perusing Twitter for the latest tweets from the few dosen celebrities I follow.  It’s kind of a problem.

So I started not using my WiFi or 3G (unless it was calling, no WiFi games, or texting) at 9 pm until about noon the next day. It was challenging to go without internet when I realized just how much I actually use it whenever I want to do something on my phone. I also realized how annoying it kind of is when other people can use the internet and you can’t. When I was in class, obviously I was okay with not using my phone, but I then what was I supposed to do with my time that I wasn’t in class? I find it funny that when people talked about giving up the internet for 24 hours, they all tried to plan it on days when they were particularly busy, so they wouldn’t get the chance to miss it. I guess I chose the more difficult 24 hours when I had pretty much nothing going on. Definitely gives you a new appreciation of what it means to grow up in the digital age.

In relation to the article “Damnit, Jim, I’m a Writer…”

I read the “Damnit, Jim, I’m a Writer, Not a Graphic Designer! (Or, Who Gives a CRAP?)” article. Let me start off by saying that this website is sassy, and I love it. It is straight to the point while offering links and telling you several other websites that can help you. One of the big things that I learned was CRAP:

  • Contrast
    Elements that aren’t the same should be very different so they stand out, making them “slightly different” confuses the user into seeing a relation that doesn’t exist. Strong contrast between page elements allows the user’s eye to flow from one to another down the page instead of creating a sea of similarity that’s boring and not communicative.
  • Repetition
    Repeat styles down the page for a cohesive feel as if you style related elements the same way in one area, continue that trend for other areas for consistency.
  • Alignment
    Everything on the page needs to be visually connected to something else, nothing should be out of place or distinct from all other design elements.
  • Proximity
    Proximity creates related meaning: elements that are related should be grouped together, whereas separate design elements should have enough space in between to communicate they are different.

(Read more at: How C.R.A.P is Your Site Design? – Treehouse Blog http://blog.teamtreehouse.com/how-crap-is-your-site-design#ixzz2JzKVwoIt)

I think that this falls under critical literacy because it is knowing the subject extensively, being able to explain simply to someone else, and then practicing it and perfecting it for your own devices.

Then I learnt somethings that I will most likely use in my life more than the CRAP fundamentals  I found some free online photo editing site that I hadn’t known before, and they’re a lot better than just using an Instagram filter. I actually downloaded the Aviary photo editing app for the iPhone, and I plan on trying it out. I also downloaded Gimp to try out for a bit. As you can tell, I really like to edit photos, so finding good software that will allow me to do that is like a really awesome birthday present when it’s not my birthday.

The page about fonts was also very interesting to read. I love finding fonts and using them to spice up documents so learning what certain fonts mean was really helpful. The main thing was about the difference between serif and sans serif which I had never heard off.

Serif: A serif is the extra little stroke, those little curves, at the ends of letters:

Examples of Times New Roman, Palatino Linotype, and Georgia Serif Fonts

Sans Serif: “Sans” literally means “without,” so a sans serif font does not include any extra stroke at the ends of the letters:

Examples of Arial, Helvetica Neue, and Tahoma sans serif fonts

I believe that knowing fonts can be a functional digital literacy because they are simple to learn and see the difference between, as well as easy to use.

These are the few things I learned that had the biggest impact on me, and I may go back and read some other articles on the Web Writing Style Guide because they were extremely easy to read and they kept my attention.