Well today is the big reveal.  A year ago I attended the Studio showcase and decided I wanted to join the 2012 cohort.  Now I’ll be one of the projects in the room.  I hope traffic cooperates and I’ll have a more central location.

My tapestry is coming along nicely.  I finished adding pictures and text into the last two sections for Laura (my sister) and Addie (my niece).  As planned, I consulted various family members for input.  I included direct input from my Uncle Hewett, Laura’s mother-in-law Kathy, Laura’s grandmother [The Original] Addie, Laura, and her best friend Danielle.  I also added the introduction section to present the tapestry metaphor for my audience.  I adjusted the intro and help buttons better on the page and added credit for the song.  I’m not convinced the company that manages Bob Marley’s music is concerned about my little presentation since they did not return my calls or email inquiries.  For this reason I’m going to keep the presentation relatively private and provide a clear citation at the beginning and end of the project.

Website CaptureThe website has remained pretty consistent.  I had to change some wording and upload everything again which provided a nice refresher for Dreamweaver, especially since I accidentally moved my image folder into another folder.  The automatic nature of Dreamweaver caused that tiny mishap to make my site look ruined just hours before the showcase.  However, Dreamweaver also made it quite easy to quickly correct the problem.  Once I moved the folder back to its correct location, Dreamweaver updated every reference and the site loaded perfectly.  Now I just need to find the setting on my laptop that keeps my palm away from the touch pad making my cursor jump around while I’m working.

I am also pleased to get my electronic “paperwork” caught up as well.  It has been a busy couple of weeks.  Personally, our family is grieving the loss of a beloved pet the day before Thanksgiving and we enjoyed a nice visit from Ryan and Tommy.  Then I was able to attend the November meeting of the Atlanta chapter of the Society for Technical Communication (STC) in Atlanta (further documented on my project management page).  A huge chunk of my time in the past few weeks has been dedicated to the Captivate project created for the Design Pirates EDIT6170E project.  Between these two projects I have developed a nice comfort level with Captivate this semester.

Yesterday and today I have faced a variety of challenges setting up my new (replacement) laptop to upload my files for the showcase.  Now I am a fan of Secure FTP.

So what remains?  My cousin traveled from Maryland to South Carolina and brought back a couple of boxes of photographs.  In these stacks of pictures are likely many of my mother and grandmother that I have never seen.  I wonder if any of them would have a place in my tapestry.  Also, despite others saying my font is fine, I do wish I could create another mixed case print font.  Finally, when I placed the “Carol” signature on my web page I didn’t realize until I was focused more in Captivate that it floats so it is no longer correctly aligned when the page is resized.  At some point I should probably anchor that graphic where I want it.  I have some sadness that my brother did not choose to participate in my project.  It is not uncommon for him to be elusive and I suspect he falls prey to the vicious Procrastination monster more than anything else.  He knew my mother so well and has a treasure trove of memories; perhaps it’s difficult for him to tap into them thirty years later.  For me, I find the process to be emotional and painful, but beautiful nonetheless.  I hold no bad feelings for the absence of his input; I understand. Finally, the sections on my sister and niece could go on forever.  New pictures and stories appear on Facebook every day as they carry on the inspiration, encouragement, and laughter of those before them.

I am satisfied that I have at last completed this tribute.  I understand why I have not been successful before.  It is difficult.  I appreciate the confines of an assignment to guide me towards closure.

I also have been keeping an eye towards next semester.  I am still on the hunt for the ideal internship. With my projects and the fall semester behind me I hope to put a lot of energy back into this venture.  I am also always thinking about the project I have in mind for next semester, contemplating whether I can effectively design it in a serious game format for my young audience I while maintaining the necessary professionalism and reverence for the client and subject matter.  I feel that to accomplish this, it’s essential that I develop a sound instructional strategy and facilitate “important instructional events before and/or after gameplay” (Hirumi, 2010, pp. 8, 14).  My anticipated topic will be a refresher training course for the altar servers at my parish.  Some may feel this is just an issue of direct instruction with specific procedures and guidelines.  However, I also want to incorporate meaningful reflection on the meaning and traditions behind the practices both to educate the servers and to motivate them to maintain reverence and respect during Holy Mass.  I hope to use a familiar character throughout the lesson to connect the kids to the actions they will take.  I suspect my greatest difficulty will be in bringing this basic, direct instruction to a deeper, more experienced-based level for our young altar servers.  I look forward to the challenge.

References:

Hirumi, A. (2010). A grounded approach to integrating games and facilitating game-based learning. In A. Hirumi (ed.). Playing Games in School: Using Simulations and Videogames for Primary and Secondary Education (pp. 229-248). Eugene, WA: International Society for Technology in Education. Accessed online at http://studio.coe.uga.edu/new_site_content/onlinearticles2/hirumi-2010.pdf.

Kebritchi, M. & Hirumi, A. (2008). Examining the pedagogical foundations of modern educational computer games. Computers in Education41(4), 1729-1743. Accessed online at http://studio.coe.uga.edu/new_site_content/onlinearticles2/kebritchi_Hirumi-2008.pdf.

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