CA 260 has been one of my favorite classes this semester. I have learned a lot in this. I have learned about coding, websites, blogs, and so much more. One of my favorite things that we did this semester was creating websites.
Websites can be very important in the professional word, especially in the world of Strategic Communication. Knowing how to successfully create and operate a website will be a huge help in my future career. It will also help when trying to find that career. My website is a good way to showcase myself as a serious Communication major and show potential employers my abilities.
My website is http://dbwilliamsphotography.weebly.com/ and I love the way that it turned out. We have to present our websites to the class on Monday. I am excited to see how everyone’s websites turned out.
One of the best parts of the website project was the design part. I enjoyed picking out what design I wanted and figuring out how to put my pictures on the site in the best way. I wanted to seem professional and organized.
The tools on Weebly were easy to use and it was fun figuring out what the tools did. There was one time that the site glitched up and I had to contact the help service because a feature that I added to my page wouldn’t go away when I clicked on the “x”. The help service contacted me back immediately and solved the problem.
I loved learning how to use Weebly.
This week in class we continued to code. We have been working on the same code for a few weeks now and just have been adding on to it. It is pretty cool watching things change and improve just by typing out a code. Our professor wasn’t here this week because he had just gotten married (congrats btw Willis). Our sub professor was super cool. She was funny and thought coding in a new way. I like her way better (sorry Willis).
So this week I had to read http://www.creativebloq.com/web-design/training-online-resources-812225 and decide which ones would be most useful to me.
One of the most helpful tools I found was the W3Schools. I have actually used this site before when learning how to code. It was super easy to understand and it helped me out tremendously.
I also like the Google Code University. Coding it taught by the actual developers of Google! I think that is so cool because they do a great job. It offers tutorials that walk people through the coding process.
There are a lot of other sites that help with coding and web design on this link. There are 22 sites to be exact. You should go check them out if you are interested in web design.
If CA 260 was taught completely online, it would be a completely different class. I would enjoy it a lot less. I would get a lot less out of it as a student as well. I have a hard time learning from strictly online courses. I need to see things done, be able to ask questions, and see if I’m correct and that’s hard to do when your professor is miles away. I like CA 260 just the way it is.
I figured since it is the first day of Spring I should write a post about what I hope to accomplish this spring. The weather is nice and I am feeling motivated.
This Spring I hope to:
- Make the Dean’s List again
- Have deeper relationships with my friends
- Get a job
- Have my photography business take off
- Save money
- Plan a trip
- Write my book
- Work on my documentary
- Edit videos
- Finish my website
For the past few days, my laptop has not been allowing me to upload pictures to wordpress, so I have not been able to post. However, I think the problem has been solved since it is letting me post this picture of Mackenzie’s eye.
So, a couple of weeks ago, I decided to take on a project that I am calling the Eye Project. I believe that eyes can tell a lot about a person. They tell stories and if you really look into them, you can sometimes learn these stories. They hold happiness, sadness, anger, wonder, and so many more emotions. I wanted to see all of this in people.
I have been taking pictures of people’s eyes. I have pictures of family, friends, and even strangers. I look at the pictures and try to imagine what all the eyes have seen, where all they have been, and where all they are going. I think about the times they have cried in both sadness and joy. The times that they have looked at the person that they love. Eyes tell so much.
I have often heard that the eyes are the portal to the soul and I can definitely believe it.
This weekend, I went with the Geology Club to LaGrange, Georgia, where we went camping. It was really fun. We stayed up late, sat by the fire, and roasted marshmallows.
That night, it dropped down to 34 degrees Fahrenheit. I’m not used to it being that cold anymore so it was kind of a shock. My sleeping bag is only good for down to 40 degree weather and so I was freezing all night. I had two blankets wrapped around my sleeping bag and was wearing sweatpants, a sweatshirt, and a jacket. It didn’t help much. I tossed and turned all night.
We were up at 8 the next morning and I was ready to start the day. I took a quick walk out to the lake that was on the back side of the camp site. The morning sun sparkled across the water. Then we were off.
We went to Hogg Mine and it was incredible. Quartz was all over the ground. The ground sparkled when you walked because of the quartz. We dug and climbed for hours. We collected rose quartz, milky quartz, crystal quartz, smokey quartz, mica, muscovite, aquamarine, and tourmaline. I tripled the size of my rock collection. My bucket was so heavy leaving that I could barely carry it.
I definitely plan on going back. I hope I can go during spring break.
This week in lab, we learned how to edit videos using really nice editing software. It was my first time editing video and so I was a little nervous, but it turned out to be really fun. We got to recreate our professor’s video and we got to add a little extra to it so I put it to country music because it is the worst.
This week we had to read the following:
We also had to watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqk0baXEaL8.
I had to create a filter on my email. It was a very easy process. I decided to filter for my CA 260 messages since it was the class that I had to do it for. The process was very easy. I just searched the messages and then clicked “create a filter” and filled in the information that I wanted. I think that filters will help me in the future because I can make sure that important messages don’t get sent to my spam folder. I used the gmail link (https://support.google.com/mail/answer/6579?hl=en) to figure out how to do it. According to the link the steps are:
- Open Gmail.
- In the search box at the top, click the Down arrow .
- Enter your search criteria. If you want to check that your search worked correctly, see what emails show up by clicking Search .
- At the bottom of the search window, click Create filter with this search.
- Choose what you’d like the filter to do.
- Click Create filter
The field guide link (http://fieldguide.gizmodo.com/7-gmail-filters-to-make-email-less-of-a-chore-1646551691) has some really good examples of filters to add.
We also had to write an email to our professor that is clear and professional. I used the steps listed in the tutsplus link (https://business.tutsplus.com/articles/how-to-write-clear-and-professional-emails–cms-20939). My email would be as follows:
Hi, George Willis.
I really enjoy your class. I always have a good time and learn something useful; however, I am going to have to leave next week’s lab early due to a family issue. Will you please make your lecture available on Sakai for me to access at home? Thank you for all of your help with this.
All the best.
Yesterday, I was feeling extremely motivated. I have been having trouble with motivation here lately. I haven’t felt like doing my school work and I hadn’t picked up my camera in forever. Well yesterday, something changed. I haven’t been able to put my camera down.
Around 5, I decided I wanted to go to my university because there is a swamp there that I had never taken pictures of. Mackenzie, my sister, her friend, Kendall, and Liam all decided to go with me. As we were leaving, Mackenzie’s car started to mess up and we had to fix it before we could leave.
We finally got it working and then had to drive the 15 minutes to school. It became a race to get to the bridge over the swamp before the sun went down and we lost the light. My heart raced as I flew around corners and passed cars.
We finally made it. The sun was in the perfect position and it reflected its yellow light across the water. All of my friends and I stood in awe as the sun slowly moved down behind the trees. Its light and warmth touched our skin for as long as it could and then it was gone, replaced by pinks and oranges in the sky.
We followed up our experience with a quick hike on one of our walking trails. It was perfect.
This week in class, we have been learning how to properly edit pictures and put them on our Weebly pages. I think it’s pretty cool. I like seeing how different I can make the pictures look, but I don’t like to use edited pictures when I do photography. I feel like it’s not as honest.
Well this week we had to read the following:
We also had to watch the following:
In today’s world, “Sites…feature video for every imaginable use and visitors and users have grown to anticipate this engaging medium” (https://www.ducttapemarketing.com/creating-and-using-web-video-never-easier/). Video has become a huge part of all websites. People expect it and when there’s not a video then people are often taken aback.
A video on my site could help showcase the primary purpose of my website. It could let people know who my target audience is and why I would like to reach them. It could show the meaning behind my work and so viewers could be more aware and understanding of the meaning. The last reason is that video can show why I take pictures and post them for all to see.
If I had to make a video for my website I would want it to be artsy. I would include a lot about where I take pictures and have a little bit about why. I wouldn’t want a lot of talking. I would want for the video to kind of speak for itself.
I would need a lot of equipment in order to make my video. I would need a DSLR camera so that my shots would look really nice and professional. I would like to look into external light sources because I think they would work nicely for what I would want to do. I would also need really good editing software. I think that will all of these tools, I could have a very professional looking video. It’s too bad I’m broke.
Geology Club is one of the best things that I have ever been a part of. The people in the club are so smart and so good at what they do.
We go on fieldtrips to super cool places around Alabama and the surrounding states. We went to Dismals Canyon and went cave exploring last semester. This semester, we are going to Hogg Mine in LaGrange, Georgia. What’s fun about the trips is that we get to go camping. Camping with your friends is the best kind.
We have movie nights where we all get together and commentate the movies. It is so fun having everyone making jokes the entire time. It makes movie watching more enjoyable.
We also get to participate in the school’s homecoming parade. This is one of my favorite things. I love parades, but being a part of them is even better than watching them.
Geology Club is one of my favorite things. I plan on being a member every year that I’m in college. I love it. They know how to make rocks interesting.
This week in lab we finished up coding. It was pretty cool by the end because I was able to create a little website using only text and symbols. This week we are talking about accessibility. We were required to read the following:
The readings really helped me to understand accessibility and come up with a way for me to make my website more accessible for all people. People with websites should make them more accessible because “The Web is fundamentally designed to work for all people, whatever their hardware, software, language, culture, location, or physical or mental ability. When the Web meets this goal, it is accessible to people with a diverse range of hearing, movement, sight, and cognitive ability” (http://www.w3.org/standards/webdesign/accessibility).
For my site, I plan on having keyboard input so that people with limited motor control can access my site with limited to no use of the mouse. I will also try to use color schemes that are easy for people with colorblindness to see. Wearecolorblind (http://wearecolorblind.com/examples) provides excellent examples of what colors work together for colorblind people and what colors don’t. I plan on using the site to make sure I don’t use any of the “bad” example color schemes.
Another thing I have to be careful of is not triggering epileptic seizures. My site can’t “Contain anything that flashes more than three times in any one second period or flash below the general flash and red flash thresholds” (https://www.epilepsy.org.uk/info/photosensitive-epilepsy/web-design). My site will not contain anything that flashes or blinks. Epilepsy.org also provides many other examples of how to make your site more accessible for people for epilepsy.
For some reason, I can’t seem to think of another example of access or accessibility that wasn’t discussed in our module, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t more. It means that I have to do more research to make sure that I make my site accessible to anyone who wants to visit it.