I have a lot to show and to say about my project this week, but my precious [and quite new] laptop has developed a problem so we must spend a few days apart. My new title with the metaphor of a tapestry has caused the project to take off, so to speak. In the desk crits I have received, I considered using arrows or some other type of navigation to move through the slides, but the tapestry concept has taken over so much that my navigation became stitches on the screen. This gave me the freedom to navigate up or down, left or right, but not diagonally.
Update: Dell will be replacing my laptop so we’re together again until the new one arrives. So here is a screenshot of the cover slide for my project complete with the handwriting of which I am so critical.
Another concept that has become significant within my electronic tapestry is the use of personal handwriting. It started with my mother’s signature on my fifth grade report card and a desire to learn Photoshop. Suddenly, “Carol” appeared across my hosting web page and the mom portion of my project in such a familiar way that I dearly love. That led me to seek out my grandmother’s name in her handwriting, a bit more challenging. Her handwriting is less familiar, but still beautiful on the page. My sister Laura easily scanned and emailed hers and her daughter Addie’s (complete with an impromptu heart over the i) and one might think that was the end of that.THEN I added a Wordle to the title page with colors and click boxes behind the four names to begin the navigation process. Still, I felt there needed to be a presentation of the title somehow. With the Wordle, I hesitated to use a font. I had the idea of incorporating my handwriting in the title. It took a WEEK to stop procrastinating and I’m critical of my handwriting. I suspect in all honesty this is because it has challenged my objectivity in this project. I still think it’s the right decision, though, so I’m going to play with it over the next few weeks. Now the idea of a font within the project seemed even less appropriate. Could I make a font with my handwriting and use it for the rest of the text? I like the idea, but need to explore the feasibility. I believe I will have enough time and resources; I want to make sure it will enhance, even bring together the various images and ideas in the tapestry.
While my project has been heading down the track like a train under full steam [my husband would prefer an addiction metaphor], I’ve been exploring the possibility of completing my internship in the Spring of 2013. This led me to create my very first Instructional Design resume. Look over to the right – I included a public version right here in my design blog. This is the first time I have started a resume from a blank Word document in…I don’t know how long. I am always open to feedback to make it even better. Note, though, that this is a transitional resume. It will change dramatically once I land my first ID position. My goal with this resume was to present the engineer and the educator along with my progress into the field of ID, all in the most valuable real estate of the top of the first page. Oh, and I wanted it to have a design feel. I shied away from some fonts and designs that seemed stereotypical and ended up with two fonts that played well together on the page and that I felt demonstrated my style. I also wanted them to still render cleanly in italic or bold.
One of my first contacts for a possible internship was Dr. Robert Becker with Becker Multimedia in the Chicago area. He described a few internship possibilities for the spring involving “serious gaming” for educational purposes. This left me thinking about another journey. I have a project in mind for next semester. As I become more and more comfortable with Captivate and Photoshop, why not explore a different tool for the next project? Based on Dr. Becker’s recommendation I have begun to look into the [free!] Unity game engine. Since the target audience for the project I have in mind is young boys preteen into teens, I want to seriously explore how this might work.
This led me to listen to the Henry Jenkins interview on the studio “reading” list. Great timing. The challenge I might face in choosing a game design for the new project is that the client is a church and the subject matter requires reverence. Keeping Jenkins’ perspectives in mind will be very helpful when I need to convince the priest that this will be an effective tool. I particularly appreciated Jenkins’ reminder that serious gaming is less about fun and more about engagement. Assessment might be more challenging than the Captivate quiz that automatically comes to mind. Just as I was pondering that there still needs to be interaction with a teacher, Jenkins pointed out that serious gaming is “not about displacing teachers,” but more about creating resources to learn in context. A teacher or instructor still plays the valuable role of facilitator or discussion leader, providing just-in-time lectures to support the learning experience (2004). Fortunately, I have a lot of time to mull this over and explore Unity before I have to decide whether to follow this route for my next ID adventure.
Jenkins, Henry. 2004. Videogames and education. Tech Nation interview. [podcast] Available: http://www.itconversations.com/shows/detail435.html