Week Three Reflection

Reflection

The third week of the course is moving along nicely for me. The focus of the week being reflection, I  find the workload pleasently fulfilling because the assingments offer a chance for students to really contemplate their progress in the course. My progress on my e-portfolio continues to surprise me. While I am not as far along as some of my classmates in Web 2.0 technology, I am becoming more and more comfortable with WordPress–enough so that I am able to quickly maneuver through the regular movements and should be able to adventure out to more flashy additions of webpages.

I am in the final stages of having rough draft course and assignment descriptions, along with assignment reflections, for each of the documents I am posting on my e-portfolio. Some of these descriptions are more thorough than others; certain courses were easier to write about, while some assignments proved easier to reflect upon than others. In some cases I was able to provide more background into the value of final product, and in other cases I was able to describe the product in relation to its necessity in professional writing. I set up the course pages differently depending on the amount of text I provided for each assignment.

Some of the pages begin with a course description and reflection, and are followed by the assignments. Other pages have assignment reflections under the corresponding link, with a course description at the top of the page. I hope to have my peers review the page layouts and designs, with emphasis on design and layout preference and comments on consistency. In the coming weeks I would like to play with graphics, fonts, and pictures to make sure my pages are not too text heavy.

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Week Two Reflection

Navigating Web 2.0

My second week in the course is going well—much smoother than I expected but no doubt the craziness will start up again soon. I spent about six hours on Saturday working on assignments for this class: watching Web 2.0 tutorials, uploading previous assignments to Dropbox, investigating the various tools available on WordPress.com. I am pleasantly surprised to note that—while perhaps not my favorite way to spend a weekend day—time went by fast on Saturday afternoon. At least I wasn’t ready to throw my computer onto the ground (no…I’ve never wanted to do that before over a graduate school assignment, I promise!). If the rest of the weekends between now and June 30th move as smoothly as this past one, I will be a happy young lady.

After navigating through some of the readings for this week’s assignments, I ultimately decided to host my e-portfolio on WordPress.com. I am a concrete learner; I need step-by-step instructions when learning a new concept; I follow a black-and-white philosophy towards learning that leaves little room for interpretation outside of literature. Salt Lake Community College’s video tutorials on creating a WordPress blog were just what my non-tech-savvy mind needed to create my first e-portfolio.

The host of the video tutorials explained the steps to creating an e-portfolio in a basic manner and slow tone that easily allowed even me—someone notorious in her undergraduate studies for struggling with computer literacy—to succeed in making my first web page. In addition, before this class even began I was partial to WordPress.com because one of my best friends—someone who, coincidentally enough, is the most computer-literate person I know—has a Christian poetry blog through the site. I figured in choosing WordPress, if I ran into trouble creating my e-portfolio, I would at least have someone to turn to in person.

I am relatively pleased with the development of my e-portfolio. Obviously some of the excitement comes from knowing I even have an e-portfolio, but more than that is excitement in learning—and successfully—implementing some of the technology WordPress.com users can utilize. I feel a great sense of peace knowing my professor is onboard with the way I hope to implement the design and content of my e-portfolio. As of now I intend to create one general e-portfolio that will display both my academic growth and my best content for marketing purposes. Now that I have a plan in mind and my professor’s support, I can truly concentrate on making the most of my e-portfolio.

Week One Reflection

Learning to Love E-portfolios

The first two days of this class have been overwhelming, to say the least. As we’re not supposed to focus on that feeling in this particular post, I’ll do my best to stay away from the subject. However, the few goals I’ve accomplished so far this week correlate with that overwhelming feeling, so I suppose I’ll have to come back to it at some points. I’m excited so far at the progress I’ve made in the past two days–although I still have a long ways to go to catch up with my classmates. Thankfully my classmates and professor–from previous experiences–are kind, considerate, and helpful individuals whom I anticipate will help me improve upon my tech-naivete. I’m looking forward to becoming more comfortable with Blogger and possibly even expanding upon that to truly becoming creative with blogging in order to enhance my electronic portfolio. I love writing–done correctly, I imagine that reflecting upon and discussing one’s improvements on professional work could enjoyable.
Two days into the course I find myself less-intimidated than I was on Sunday afternoon but still farther behind than I would like to be at this point in my graduate school career. I’ve always strayed from technology-focused courses because I don’t enjoy working with computers all that much. While I might have enjoyed less stress over creating cascading style sheets than my interactive media minor friend, I find I have fallen prey to procrastination. Nevertheless, I trudge on and am enjoying studying my classmates’ blogs/portfolios and find myself eager to create something similar myself. My classmates are talented writers and designers (amongst other identities); their blogs/portfolios are attractive, and I have no doubt the electronic versions of their work will help them succeed in their future endeavors. With practice and determination I hope to someday have an electronic portfolio that mirrors my classmates’ creative achievements. Their current portfolios are not only creative but utilize many of the techniques we’ve learned about in NEC’s program. I’m looking forward to implementing what I’ve learned in the program into my own portfolio and blogs.
The last–and only–portfolio I created was my binder of best work completed between my freshman and junior years of college. This portfolio was created in order to gain placement in UD’s English department’s internship course. In 2010 the department was just beginning to talk about switching over to electronic portfolios; I, along with a few other professors and students, was part of the old-school mode of thinking that hard-copy portfolios beat electronic versions any day. I liked having a hard copy of a portfolio—its tangibility was comforting, and I felt professional and intelligent carrying a binder around, neither of which can occur with electronic portfolios. After viewing the videos and completing the readings required for this week’s module I’m beginning to understand the benefits of electronic portfolios. I may not be as quick to pick up the techniques and quirks unique to blogging and creating electronic portfolios, but I am excited to give the activities my best shot.