Given the last blog I wrote and the lively prototyping activity in our class last week, one might think I took the time this past week to create a prototype for my project.  I wanted to.  I intended to.  I created some of it in my mind, actually.  I wrote down some notes.  I never really got around to writing on real post-it notes and arranging them like I had planned.  This is important, though, so I realize I must make this a priority.  Moggridge (2007) captured my need for this prototype perfectly in writing, “ideas are like dreams until they are visualized” (p. 733).  This is particularly true since thirty years have passed following the death of my mother; taking on such a concrete task for her after all this time requires some definitive action on paper to battle the uncertainty inherent in the project.

What kept me so busy?  I decided to finish the Captivate and Dreamweaver courses as well as an additional CSS course.  Since my project will likely be housed in Captivate, I applied my lynda.com training by creating my own “mom” template.  My goal was to create a variety of master slides for the various parts of my project:  my mother as a child and daughter, as a woman, and as a mother.  The style I chose was to create faded images for the backgrounds.  One of my main concerns for this project was my limited supply of photos of my mother so I decided to supplement, creating slides with backgrounds connected to some of her characteristics.  For example, to highlight her talent in woodworking, I created a slide with a background of rosewood, her favorite wood.  I used a shirt she made when she was pregnant with my sister as a backdrop for her creative arts, crafts, and sewing skills.  Along the way, I gained a solid understanding of how templates and master files work in Captivate.

Another surprising outcome of this approach is that I abandoned my original idea of creating a PowerPoint presentation to be imported into Captivate.  I am already comfortable in PowerPoint and thought I might use this strategy for a strong start.  I truly want to develop as much skill as possible in Captivate, though, so I thought it would be best to dive right in and use it from start to finish.

So now this week is ending and I have no prototype.  Fear not.  It is on my agenda.  Hopefully I’ll incorporate it into my next blog post along with some solid results in the process of creating what I’m imagining in my mind.  I think my biggest stumbling block right now lies in how I am going to make this project interactive and desirable for my audience.  This requires me to reflect on the lessons that are my mother’s legacy, from her mother to me to my sister to my sister’s children.

This isn’t quite an educational project so I had a difficult time finding connections to the Rose and Meyer reading (2002), but I felt the idea of universal design should still be applied.  Obviously I could include closed-captioning and a script, but I also wanted to think hard if there were any other things I should consider to make my content as accessible as possible for everyone.  One population who might find my presentation most difficult would be those who do not have a mother in their lives, due to abandonment or some other painful loss.  Instinctively sensitive to this group, or club as I often call it, I already subconsciously took this into account as I have worked on the scope and content.  Rather than just present a scrapbook of my mother, I hope to show the legacy of her life and the lessons she taught me beginning from her mother through my life with her as my mother, transferred to my sister who was only a baby when she was born.  Perhaps I can bring hope to people whose mothers have died, reassuring them that they must not be forgotten.  I would love to encourage women who have lost their mothers to find this love as they mother their own children.  I also aim to guide people to look to other people in their lives for their inspiration.

References:

Moggridge, B. (2007). Designing interactions. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. [PDF of chapter 10, “People and Prototypes,” p. 641-755.]

Rose, D. H. & Meyer, A. (2002). What is Universal Design for Learning? In Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age:  Universal Design for Learning.  ASCD.  Retrieved September 21, 2012 from http://www.cast.org/teachingeverystudent/ideas/tes/.

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