The e-learning exercise for the third week of EDUC5860 – Issues in Digital Technology in Education was to develop a website based upon a topic related to the course or your area of study and, once complete, tweet the link to the class hashtag, #EDUC5860. For individual who have never created a website before the assignment was to build a basic site using one of Google Sites, Weebly or Wix and complete the following steps:
- Select a simple template to meet your needs, for example the classroom website or research project website
- Name your site and customize your URL
- Choose a theme, i.e, background image, font style, and font colours for your site
- Once you’ve created your website, upload and share one of the following content – photos, videos, slideshows, or links to documents or other online resources
For those individuals who have had previous experience with website development the assignment required you to design a site using a tool you have never used before and, in addition to the four steps listed above, embed a video into your website.
For this assignment I decided to finally fulfill my longtime desire to create a website with three overlapping purposes:
- Document my progress through graduate school at York University
- Act as a platform to blog about and discuss developments in technology, higher education and e-learning while also providing a living resource of related tools and services that I have experimented with, found useful and wish to share with others
- Document and track the work I do at York University involving social and digital media strategies and online community building in the arena of student affairs
Though I have used WordPress in the past it has always been the free blogging and website building service at WordPress.com. For this site I wanted something polished and professional where my content would be secure and for this reason I chose to purchase space from a web hosting service and download, install, and set up WordPress myself from WordPress.org. Through this process I was also able to purchase and secure the unique domain name that I desired, ideasoup.ca. My plan for this site is that it will exist and be used well beyond the scope of this class.
When users arrive at ideasoup.ca they are first presented with my blog that will feature regular posts about a range of current web, social media, technology and higher education topics. The blog portion of the site is also where I will be posting my weekly reflections and log on the e-learning tool exercises for this course, EDUC5860 – Issues in Digital Technology in Education. I have set up an EDUC5860 category to make post related to this class easy to find. The EDUC5860 category can be easily linked to via its entry in the list of categories included in the right hand navigation panel of the site.
I have included an About page that provides a little background about myself and the purpose of the site. Here, interested individuals can also find a link to my art and illustration focussed Tumblr blog.
Via the Graduate School tab visitors to my site will be able to find a record of all the Master of Education courses I have taken thus far, including brief course descriptions and some samples of the work I’ve completed for each course. Some highlights currently include downloadable PDF documents of essays I’ve written, a MOOCs website that I created as part of a group project, and a YouTube video of a group presentation for one of the classes.
The Resources tab will navigate to a page where I will be creating a continually updating catalogue of helpful tools and resources relating to social and digital media and e-learning. Though this section is not complete yet I fully intend to have it populated before this class is finished and wanted to include it in order to give a better sense of the scope and intentions for my site. Also included, but not yet complete, is the York U tab which will navigate to a page where I will provide details and perspective about the work I do at York University as well as provide links to the web content generated by my student team.
Finally, I have provide social media icons that link to my various social media channels as a means for those interested to contact and interact with me through those services. The About.me service is an interesting one that provides users a platform for organizing their entire web presence on one convenient site including various social channels, websites and blogs. I set one up and it can be navigated to from the “Find Me On The Web” section of the right navigation panel of my site when you click on my photo.