Sunday, September 25, 2005

Chapter 4: The Scope Plane (E. of U.E.)
Pros: If I'm following this correctly, the "scope plane" as defined by Garrett, helps me to set out the functions of the site that I want to utilize (kind of like picking the tools I have to use before I begin to craft). In addition, the "content requirements" seem to be all the fact gathering and background checking that I have been doing lately.

Applications of this chapter (The Scope Plane) in my site development thus far are as follows:
Function Requirements:
  • I will use Dreamweaver Software to produce my "instructional" site.
  • Students, teachers, and others will be able to navigate between essentially 4 areas: Background of site; Pioneer Quilting and Heritage; Quilts of the Underground Railroad; and a project development area.
  • As of right now, the site's intended audience are 5th grade students, however, I would like to see growth in the site in form of a more extensive teacher's version of all 4 sections (possibly as a mirrored site).
Content Requirements:
  • Extensive background on quilting patterns and their associations for each focus group, Pioneer and Slave, will be needed.
  • Photo graphs will be needed of each step in completion of blocks to be produced by students. (Both reproduction blocks and student's own "Journey" blocks.)
  • Step by step in photographs to begin with, later with development, inclusion of Java work could be included.
  • Clipart visuals of historical documents or portraits appropriate for the topic must be secured.
  • Compiled research links will also be included.

Cons: I read this chapter 3 times and each time found the language repetitive and hard to apply to my particular purposes! I guess my "stakeholders" are the ISBE (standards), school curriculum and adminstration, students and their parents as well as any other teachers that may use my site. Other than that, I really found this chapter hard to get into.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Chapter 3: (E. of U. E.) The Strategy Plane

Pros: This chapter just validified many ideas I had been working around in my "plan". Such as: I have already had a few students in my classroom comment on the surface and skeleton layers and we've talked about the usability. I've asked them about sites that they like...and what really catches their attention. There are about 5 students with slightly different "personas" that I can get reliable information from, so I plan to use them more! Also, there are some students from previous years who I have planned to "test drive" the site once more info has been posted.
I also want to put a counter on the different aspects of my site (which pages are more valuable?) and wish I could find the way to measure how often the links (which links?) are being utilized.

Strategy Document:

The site objectives are: 1: to inform students of the roles home arts (then utilitarian) had in the travels and "journeys" (changes in lifestyle and living) of both early pioneers to the west and the slaves following the underground railroad 2: to guide the students as they produce their own "journey" quilts and writings.

The user needs that I've identified so far are: 1: readability and clarity (must fit the reading levels of my students) 2: ease in transition from information segments to activity portions 3: must not be sole means of aquiring information to formulate product (less than 1/2 my students have computers that have internet access for their use at home) but instead offer guidance, information, and support for growth and expansion of knowledge beyond the classroom.

Cons: O.K., the business end is really bugging me...I am constantly changing words in the text to fit my needs (the "Juli" Thesarus).

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Thoughts on webproduction:
I'm planning a web centered around the historical aspects of quilting in both pioneer life and connected with the underground railroad. Both of these historic bases involve interpreting one's journey and so the instruction will focus on this as the students are led to produce their own "Journey Quilts".

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Chapter 2: (E. of U. E.): Meet the Elements (by Jesse J. Garrett)

Pros: Even in my beginning "web" lessons for students, I’ve discussed with them the underlining structure of a website and how important the planning is. But, I really love the visual for this chapter! I’m essentially a visual learner so the entire presentation of the website visual, from introducing the icons to the follow up in different domains really appeals to me. Again, I find this useful...only one suggestion:

Cons: I need an empty! I now am going to have to create a "worksheet" for myself based on this visual so that I can plan and build my site of line (again, a visual learner...must work on paper first!) If I read on to the end of this text and find out that Garrett has created a template on his website that I can easily download and print multiple copies out for my convenience, I’m going to be upset...So, until then, I’ll be working on my paper planner.
Chapter 1: Elements of User Experience: User Experience and Why It Matters (by Jesse J. Garrett)

Pros: I really like the analogy of the day's really helped put the whole "User End" thing in perspective. I think I could use this analogy to help others at my school make better web sites. As part of our school's tech plan, teachers should make and use web sites. We primarily use "" as our form, but still, a lot of the teachers have confusing sites...something to think about.

Also, I'm already thinking how this "new" perspective can help me build my site for the "assignment". My beginnings are humble, but not usable, definitely not "user-friendly" yet...I'll be bringing up this again and again as I redesign my site.

Cons: I hope that somewhere in this book the writer addresses educational sites. I am not composing for a "business" nor do I want to "sell" anything...o.k. I want students to use successfully, and as he(Garrett) suggests, to make them not feel stupid trying to use my site. But still, I'm tired of the business-end language used in this book already.