September 2008 Archives

I don't know...maybe.

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When I first got the gist of this whole hyper-text novel idea, I thought it'd be pretty interesting.  "What a cool idea!" I thought.  Why hadn't I heard of this genre before?  The very nature of hyper-text seems to lend itself to this exploratory way of story telling.

Well, those feelings didn’t last very long.  By the time I got to the action of the story, I felt frustrated and no longer enthusiastic about the idea.  I couldn't get a firm grasp on the story, and exploration is one thing, but come on, get to the point already! And whereas I thought the multiple links and different avenues of the story would be helpful to plot and character development, it just seemed to undermine it (I’m not an expert on literary techniques by any means.  This is just my opinion as a reader). I thought the separation of different parts of the story would make things easier to understand, but it had the opposite effect; so, I guess it’s the interaction of characters and the interconnectedness of background information and character history and scenery description that makes the novel so interesting rather than confusing.

I still think this form of writing could be effective, though, just maybe for a shorter story.  I know in his introduction the author, Walter Sorrells, said the story is similar to a short, 150 page novel, so maybe this format is better suited for a short story, like 10 traditional pages long.

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/EL236/2008/10/creative_hypertext/

When you find one answer, you get another question.

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In Kilian, Ch. 7, I found the most relatable information and seemingly applicable skills for my day-to-day life.  For one, the discussion of blogs was certainly something that hit close to home!  My only experience with blogging has been through this SHU academic blog, but it was quite revealing to peer into mini-history of blogs as a whole.  It’s not that I didn't realize there were so many blogs, I did (and do), but I didn't think they were so well-defined.  It's not just a personal blog, it’s an introverted blog (which Kilian's description of seemed a little depressing.  Is the vast majority really of introverted blogs really "'chaos,' random,' 'neurotic,' and generally reflective of a failed life"?) or a news blog or a specialized blog.  What category I found surprisingly absent though was the academic blog! 

Also helpful in ch. 7 was the discussion of resumes.  Although I live in the internet age, the idea of creating an online site solely dedicated to my professional portfolio never crossed my mind.  Well, maybe that's because, until now, I had zero programming skills that would have enabled me to create such a profile.  But now this is something I can consider and would no doubt come in handy during the rapidly approaching years of internship and job searches.

Ch. 8's discussion of propaganda, on the other hand, was a little more difficult for me to wrap my head around.  As I see it now, propaganda is neither inherently good nor bad; it’s just a type of communication tactic.  It is like advocacy, that is, persuading an audience to accept an idea, elevated to a larger scale.  With this much larger scale and audience, however, also come more opportunities to abuse the modes of persuasion, like playing to peoples' belief in myths, using fallacies or using unethical propaganda devices. 

But for a term that is usually vaguely defined at best, I can't help but think that propaganda is everywhere, and that I encounter it no matter what role I'm in.  As a US citizen, I'm exposed to political propaganda; as a student, I’m exposed institutional propaganda; and (hopefully later in life) as a communication professional, I will be not only exposed to but part of the creative process behind corporate propaganda that is targeted to consumers.  But no matter the situation, the same underlying questions remain...Is the message truthful?  Is the messenger credible?  Is the argument logical?  And where should the line be drawn between what is advocacy and what is fallacy?

 

Consumer power

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"On the Web, relationships are for more horizontal, and anyone who doesn't care to be bossed can escape with the click of a mouse.  And many Web sponsors...have still not understood this.  The message on their sites is pure ego: We do this, we do that, we can make you happy, so make us happy by doing what we want you to do." 

-- Kilian, Writing for the Web 3.0, ch. 6

Unfortunately, I've experienced this end of corporate communication first hand.  As part of a marketing class I took last semester, I studied the strategies, typical goals, and mediums of integrated marketing communication.  We studied internet communication as part of this, both through corporate websites and online advertising.  We studied and analyzed websites first hand, but the audience often played a very marginal role in this process.  From the corporate end, websites are seen as a vehicle for promoting corporate image, reputation, and the business/marketing goals that the company has comprised entirely from its perspective.  Audience "needs" and audience "actions" are not considered beyond their roles in the company's goals.  For example, if the company has set a goal to increase the number of customer hits on a site, audience needs are examined in the context of what is needed to attract the audience to the site.  In other words, an audience's general welfare is not a big consideration. 

With the constant use and growth of internet and website communication, however, I think its inevitable that the corporate world will begin putting a more vested interest in their audiences.  Either the corporate worl turns a kinder ear to their customers, or their websites, and possibly their companies, will fail.

 

Respect my authority!

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Although I found many of the webtext editing guidelines in Kilian, ch. 5, helpful, there was one that irked me a little.  Tip number 6 is "Don't Respect the Text."  Boiled down to its basic intent, this tip advises webwriters to not be afraid of cutting their print text down to its basic meaning in order to facilitate its purpose on the web.  And I agree with this idea; I think text written for print and other traditional mediums should be simplified for the web.  This will help increase reader understanding for an international audience, and therefore spur the two-way and action-oriented communication that Kilian stresses is at the true core of writing for the web.

However, there's something in describing this process as "disrespect" that bothers me.  Kilian says that we, as a society, "revere text too much.  It gives us a dangerous readiness to dump print-for-paper onto a website and think we've done our job."  He's right that webwriters shouldn't blatantly copy print text onto the web, but really, should we "disrespect" the text?  Is that the correct word for what he means?  We should work with the text, revise it, change its package while keeping the basic message...but disrespect it?

Later Kilian says, "Maybe you feel awkward about disrespecting the text, but what's really important is that you give utmost respect to the visitors who have honored you with their presence on your site...their needs come first."  Point taken.  Visitors should get a healthy portion of a webwriter's respect and they should play the largest role in deciding the organization and content of a site.  But I think Kilian should show some respect to traditional print text, web text, and website visitors alike; they all deserve respect.  It's a bit of a stretch, but without traditional forms of writing we never could have gotten to the point of writing for the web, so shouldn't print text always get some respect?

Reoccurring Nightmare

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When I encountered some of the grammar points in this chapter, I started having flashbacks to EL137, News Writing, because some of the same points stressed here were also stressed there...and they're the same points I'm still struggling to incorporate into my own writing.

First, the biggie...using active voice.  Although I think I improved after my practice with active voice in news writing, I know I still slip back into passive voice on a very regular basis.  Unless I am consciously thinking about structuring my sentences in active voice, I will most likely use passive voice.  I'm not even sure how I picked that habit up.  It's certainly not a skill I would have been actively taught, is it?  So for now, using active voice in my webwriting will have to be something that is painstakingly worked at during the revision process.  After all, as Kilian says, writing in passive voice makes you sound like a stuffed shirt, and "if you write your webtext [in passive voice], your readers will think you really are a stuffed shirt - or at best a dull and wordy writer." 

The other tip in this chapter that seemed all too familiar was number 5, which advised writers to "choose strong verbs over weak ones."  As with my use of passive voice, I have a natural tendency to extend strong verbs in to weak, flimsy phrases.  I think these two habits are linked; I like to stretch out my sentences into the passive voice just like I like to stretch out my verbs into weak phrases.  I guess I'll just have to work on these skills long enough so they become second nature.  Unfortunately, this is easier said than done! 

 

What's behind your design?

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An interesting point from this chapter on organizing website content is the concept of "exformation."  I really thought of this as the web equivalent to what I always knew as an "inside joke," just some kind of amusing story or phrase shared between a group of friends.  But although I was familiar with the basic concept, its application to the web and its impact on web readers was something completely unforeseen.  Kilian says, "Terms like these, once understood, become extremely effective.  They seem to pack an emotional punch." And it makes sense I think.  If you understand a piece of "exformation" you are, in my terms, on the "inside" of that joke.  And who doesn't get a little confidence booster, or a web "jolt," from feeling like they're part of the group?

In a broader sense, this chapter seemed to reinforce some ideas I presented in my blog essay, The other English Language.  To briefly summarize, I argued in this essay that the shorthand and emoticons of internet and electronic communication have come to constitute an entirely unique form of language, separate from that of traditionally spoken or written English.  So if shorthand and emoticons are the words of this "new" language, could the way we design websites be the syntax of this language?  I formed this idea from some of the unique characteristics of website readers that Kilian pointed to in explaining his design principles.  For example, he suggests using subheadings as a type of "landmark" because readers on the wet "tend to scan website text rather than read from line to line."  Similarly, he says using bulleted lists will help readers avoid "plodding through long paragraphs."  And perhaps if website design really is a type of "syntax" for the language of the internet, perhaps that is why "exformation" is so effective; after all, as Kilian explains, it is a type of "short-hand communication."  So there are clearly some rules for designing effective websites, the question I’m trying to raise is if these rules are at all related to a unique “language” of the web.



 

The fight behind the vote

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In his visit to Seton Hill, Allen Kukovich discussed state-wide issues of infrastructure, education, and health care, as well as the implications of inflated political campaign spending.  However, I was most moved by a more overarching theme he presented.  At the beginning of his speech, Kukovich made the remark that those who refuse to vote in order to take a stand only give more power to those who already have it.

This November will mark the first presidential election I'll be old enough to take part in, and although I think participation in government through voting is important, I must admit, in the back of my mind, I have considered not voting from time to time.  I don't really see this thought as an act of defiance or a way to take a stand, but more as a thought of defeat.  My reluctance to vote came from a feeling of being crushed by the weight political smear campaigns, name-calling and an endless list of candidate's vaguely-defined stances on issues. 

So Kukovich's opening remarks reached my ears as words of encouragement.  "Fight back against those flimsy attack ads, sift through all the garbage and find the heart of the issues!  Be informed! Vote!"  And cast my ballot I will, and whomever I vote for, I'll be sure to make an informed decision.   Democracy in this country may have its flaws and problems may be mounting by the day, but if voters do nothing, I think things can only get worse. 

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/EL236/2008/09/allen_kukovich_visit/

Just the Basics: Learning the ropes to Writing on the Web

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For the past four weeks, I've been taking a class on how to write for the internet.  I've also been blogging on a regular basis in response to class readings to help focus and guide my learning.  Thus far in the course we've focused on learning the nuts-and-bolts of HTML and CSS code, a world entirely new to me, as well as issues of decorum and professionalism when writing both for and on the internet (e.g., appropriate use of internet shorthand in e-mails, Facebook/MySpace content, use of emoticons, etc.)  Below, I have comprised these blog entries according to the categories of coverage, timeliness, interaction, depth and discussion.  Enjoy & comment!

Coverage - These entries draw concrete logical conclusions from assigned readings

A Difficult Balancing Act - Here, I'm trying to identify with both sides of a controversial topic: young teachers & "appropriate" conduct on Facebook

Ignorance is Bliss - An article on the beginnings of internet communication open my eyes to some new realizations...

The "half-serious" smile seen 'round the world - Among other things, I give examples of appropriate emoticon use in my own experiences

I'm with Smiley - I get a little emotional about emoticons...

Timeliness - These entries I completed before the due dates (basically everything I've done thus far in the semester).

Who's that reading my e-mail?

A Difficult Balancing Act

HTML Fear

Ignorance is Bliss

Fun with Castro

The "half-serious" smile seen 'round the world

I'm with Smiley

The Surprisingly Personal Side of Writing for the Web

Stop the Clutter! End the Madness!

Interaction - These entries display class conversations/comments generated from my blog.

A Difficult Balancing Act

I'm with Smiley

The Other English Language

Depth - These entries go beyond the bare-bones; they're detailed and extensive.

The Other English Language

Discussion - These entries show my ability to respond to what my classmates had to say.

Denamarie's blog...and Denamarie's blog again

Jessie's blog

Aja's Blog...and Aja's blog again

Chelsea's blog

 

Just the Basics: Learning the ropes to Writing on the Web

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For the past four weeks, I've been taking a class on how to write for the internet.  I've also been blogging on a regular basis in response to class readings to help focus and guide my learning.  Thus far in the course we've focused on learning the nuts-and-bolts of HTML and CSS code, a world entirely new to me, as well as issues of decorum and professionalism when writing both for and on the internet (e.g., appropriate use of internet shorthand in e-mails, Facebook/MySpace content, use of emoticons, etc.)  Below, I have comprised these blog entries according to the categories of coverage, timeliness, interaction, depth and discussion.  Enjoy & comment!

Coverage - These entries draw concrete logical conclusions from assigned readings

A Difficult Balancing Act - Here, I'm trying to identify with both sides of a controversial topic: young teachers & "appropriate" conduct on Facebook

Ignorance is Bliss - An article on the beginnings of internet communication open my eyes to some new realizations...

The "half-serious" smile seen 'round the world - Among other things, I give examples of appropriate emoticon use in my own experiences

I'm with Smiley - I get a little emotional about emoticons...

Timeliness - These entries I completed before the due dates (basically everything I've done thus far in the semester).

Who's that reading my e-mail?

A Difficult Balancing Act

HTML Fear

Ignorance is Bliss

Fun with Castro

The "half-serious" smile seen 'round the world

I'm with Smiley

The Surprisingly Personal Side of Writing for the Web

Stop the Clutter! End the Madness!

Interaction - These entries display class conversations/comments generated from my blog.

A Difficult Balancing Act

I'm with Smiley

The Other English Language

Depth - These entries go beyond the bare-bones; they're detailed and extensive.

The Other English Language

Discussion - These entries show my ability to respond to what my classmates had to say.

Denamarie's blog...and Denamarie's blog again

Jessie's blog

Aja's Blog...and Aja's blog again

Chelsea's blog

 

Stop the clutter! End the madness!

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"The Web is now in a stage comparable to 1950s television advertising and 1980s computer design. ... People produced cluttered, ugly documents with several fonts per page...Website creators are still doing awful things with graphics and audio, partly because they can and partly because they don't yet know they shouldn't" -- Writing for the Web 3.0, ch. 2

Even without knowing the perils advertising experts fell into in the 1950s, I've had some vague notion of the abounding sensory "clutter" on the web.  I feel like it's everywhere you turn; flashing graphics, icons, clipart, and pictures overpopulate almost any site, no longer reserved for commercial sites trying to push products (which, in any case, Kilian also points out renders their online communication nothing more than an electronic version of traditional, one-way communication).  Even the sites I frequent on a daily basis for trivial reasons, like foodnetwork.com (for recipes) and the weatherchannel.com (for the forecast), are bordered on either side with ads from their sponsors and partners.  I feel like enough is enough already, its just the same type of advertising clutter present in traditional mediums (TV commercials, ad sections of newspapers) dressed up in a new fancy, electronic outfit.

Thus the set of clear-cut guidelines for structuring a site presented in ch.2 seem especially helpful.  Kilian offers some much needed reasoning for organizing text in general (chunking vs. scrolling) and organizing a website.  At the beginning of the chapter he drives home what all his subcategories and tips elaborate on later in the chapter, saying:

 "As a website author, you should be mentally organizing your material; your readers need not be aware of any structure or organization, but if you visualize some kind of pattern for your material, it will at least make your own writing easier.  If you understand reader behavior and the built-in problems of navigation, you can minimize the effects of these problems."

Sound advice for novice and expert webwriters/webdesigners alike.

 

The surprisingly personal side of Writing for the Web

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I think I've been living this book without even knowing it!  From reading chapter one of Writing for the Web 3.0, I found that I am the typical websurfer.  I encapsulate all of the major characteristics that Kilian describes as typical in today's average website visitor: I am impatient, giving the average website about five seconds to load before I frantically press the "refresh" button about 15 times in rapid succession; I look for "jolts," yes, I'm even guilty of Google-ing myself in desperate moments of boredom; I find computer screens hard to read, dedicating time in both EL137 and EL236 to printing all the assigned online readings, without ever really knowing why... and I take on different roles when I visit different sites for different reasons, sometimes just brushing through various sites in search of one piece of information or toiling through a page in order to asses its credibility and usability in a research piece.

So I'm the run-of-the-mill website user.  But in this case, average might be helpful when I attempt to design my own sites.  Hopefully, I'll be able to imagine myself using the site I'm designing, thus pointing the pitfalls and potential problems of my site.  

 

The other English language

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Although many other subjects may be in the forefront of current events discussions, one subject circulating strongly in the background is the use of internet or online lingo in standard writing.  I was first directed to the issue through a New York Times article, which reported the findings of a recent study on internet shorthand in students’ writing.  Although the study reported, among other things, that the use of shorthand was on the rise, my initial response was that this was an issue of decorum; to solve this problem, I argued, students and all internet writers simply need to differentiate between formal and informal situations, which in most cases would translate to seeing a difference between educational/professional situations and causal, intimate situations.

However, on a second and more detailed investigation I believe the root of the issue reveals something deeper.  Although the Times article alluded to the fact that the subjects studied didn’t consider their online writing “real writing,” there is evidence that people don’t consider online communication writing at all, real or otherwise. In an expansive study sponsored by MSN Canada, Dr. Neil Randall found that internet-speak constitutes its own unique language.  In short, internet communication is greater than the sum of its parts; it is not merely writing like we speak, it is a combination of writing and speaking that has evolved into something completely unique from writing or speaking.

Evidence of this “unique language” concept abound.  For instance, Google “internet lingo” and a countless number of teaching sites and definitions are at your fingertips.  One blog even caters to parents, and offers to teach parents some popular internet-speak in hope of facilitating communication between them and their college-age children.  It is complete with a quiz!

However, Dr. Randall's report also drives home the point that conventional forms of communication, like traditional writing, still have a permanent place in society.  As in the blog entry by Writing for the Internet professor Dr. Jerz, the explosion of internet lingo is facilitated by its social implications, namely how it can increase the speed and strength at which people, especially teens, can establish social ties.  Thus, the unique form of internet communication isn’t attempting to push out traditional writing, but rather is trying to co-exist in a world where one must use it in conjunction with a differentiation of situations.

It seems as if an odd symbiosis may even be developing between the new internet language and the traditional English language.  Professor David Crystal, who has devoted a book to the effects of electronic communication shorthand on English, says that electronic communication (he centers on texting) has added a couple hundred words to the English language and spurred creativity in expression.

So we’ve got a brand new language on our hands.  Now what do we do with it?  The advent and use of academic blogs certainly speaks volumes about how the academic world is embracing the concept.  Moreover, the development of concrete evaluation and grading techniques shows how online communication and language is emerging as its own unique form. However, educators again stress the need for  traditional grammar and form, but none-the-less encourage internet language through the use of blogs. 

Although some conflict may still remain about the definition and value of internet speak, it is undeniably a force that is impacting modern developments and gaining more and more popularity. I stand behind the idea that it has developed into a unique language that can coexist with traditional English when applied intelligently to appropriate situations.  But as for its longevity and future use, time, and technological development, can only truly tell.

 

I'm with smiley

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"It would be comforting to think that the smiley will be eradicated from online culture, just as the genuine smiley face has, for the most part, been vacuumed from popular culture. " -- Neal Stephenson

Ouch.  As if his stinging commentary on the smiley wasn't enough, Stephenson concludes his article by throwing in that little gem.  Is display of emotion in online culture, or pop culture for that matter, really that bad?

I don’t think so at all!  I think using emotion, smiles (real or electronic), jokes, sarcasm, and irony in moderation is helpful in any type of expression.  Writing is, of course, an especially practiced and time-honored way that people communicate with each other, which has recently undergone a bit of a revolution in its application to electronic media and the internet.  But to me, the root of any kind of writing is an expression of thoughts, ideas and/or feelings to one another, for one another and/or about one another.  I don't think writing, online or otherwise, should be categorized as an elitist activity that thus should be devoid of such things as emotion, or if appropriate, emoticons.  All forms of writing have varying degrees of seriousness and each form can be used to communicate a different level of seriousness in different situations.  Now more than ever the lines between forms of communication are blurring, and maybe this article just reflects the "growing pains" of such an evolution.  Even Stephenson came back to amend his original statements.

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The "half-serious" smile seen 'round the world

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"This problem caused some of us to suggest (only half seriously) that maybe it would be a good idea to explicitly mark posts that were not to be taken seriously. After all, when using text-based online communication, we lack the body language or tone-of-voice cues that convey this information when we talk in person or on the phone." -- Scott Fahlman

I think it's fitting that something as far-reaching and popular, but still so frivolous, as the electronic smiley should come from such humble beginnings.  Even though it has grown into a pop-culture monster, inspiring such heated responses as Stephenson's, the smiley's core is a simple expression.

As for Fahlman's basic ideas...I agree.   I consider the communication in which I use smiley's (like causal e-mails or even text messages) more like verbal conversation that written prose.  Like so many other issues of electronic communication, the place for smiley is determined by distinguishing between formal and informal situations of online/electronic communication and knowing the proper course of action in each.  So although I may use smiles in instances of casual exchange, I certainly don't use a smiley.  Sorry, buddy. :( 

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Ignorance is bliss.

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"...Usenet old-timers complained that the communities they had nurtured and maintained according to the rules of netiquette were invaded by clueless newbies who (like me) trampled the flowerbeds, tracked mud into the front parlor, didn't clear our plates when we were finished eating, laughed at all the wrong times, and didn't laugh at the right times." -- Clueless Usenet Newbie: ''Re: Jesus' Birthday''

 

Two things occurred to me after reading this blog.  The first: I wonder how many times I made a clueless "newbie" error over some means of internet communication and had no idea.  I'll be the first to admit that I'm not all that into any form of internet communication, not that I dislike it, it is just something I've only dabbled in occasionally.  But I do have a Facebook, and I used to frequent AOL instant messenger and other instant messengers in my pre-teen days, and I of course use e-mail frequently today.  So, I can only look back and imagine how many cringe-worthy moments of inappropriate netiquette I produced.  Hundreds, I'm sure. (I was especially interested to learn that some forms of netiquette encourage more formal speech while others prefer slang and abbreviations. And I probably confused the two.)

Besides my hapless internet skills, I also realized that the internet and computer communication isn't as new as I thought it was.  I always assumed that I was one of the last generations to exist (even if I can't remember it) in a time before computers.  Apparently it was just a time before my family caught on to the computer trend.  Little did I know, people were actually communicating via internet for quite some time.  I guess I'm not as "old school" as I thought!

 

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/EL236/2008/09/clueless_usenet_newbie/#comment-10359

Plugging along

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Castro pgs 31-64

This section didn't go so well as the last one did for me.  I seemed to be moving a little slower through it and I was having more little errors that I had to go back and fix, especially when I moved on to ch. 2.

Still, I was doing fairly okay until I hit pg. 61 and had to create my own background.  I tried it a couple different pictures (I got a picture off the internet and used a piece of clip-art from Word), edited them in my computer's default picture editor, and saved them, but they didn't show up on the page. I'm not sure if I have to enter the picture as something different than "url..." or if it's because my photo editor isn't as advanced as photoshop and won't save my pictures as "compressed" files.  I think...

Fun with Castro

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In Casto, pgs 1-30, things went surprisingly well!  I had no major mess-ups, only a little problem when I typed in the code for quotation marks (I didn't add the semi-colon at the end of the code for the right quotation mark).  But really, this mistake helped me grasp the idea of writing HTML better, showing me that even one slight mistake will make things a garbled mess. 

The section about editing pictures started to get a little complicated for me, but the extra info posted on the course website was especially helpful. 

Other than those couple speed-bumps, I thought this assignment was fun! I edited and added my own pictures, and changed the text accordingly. I even changed the background and text colors a little to match.  I didn't know I had such computer-savvy in me! 

 

quiz again

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here is my file as HTML EL236quiz.htm

Quiz

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here is my page as a text file EL236quiz.txt

I'm not afraid of you, html!

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Well, it will be pretty simple for me to summerize what I learned in this activity.  I learned pretty much everything that was asked of me! Alright maybe not everything... I did know how to attach a file to an e-mail and was I fairly certain of the difference between Cc and Bcc.  But anything beyond step 5 was new to me.  I was surprised to find that I didn't have too much trouble with the simple programming either.  And although I don't see a career of computer programming in my future, it will probably be a good skill to know!

 

Here it is... test.htm

A difficult balancing act

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"But the crudeness of some Facebook or MySpace teacher profiles, which are far, far away from sanitized Web sites ending in ".edu," prompts questions emblematic of our times: Do the risque pages matter if teacher performance is not hindered and if students, parents and school officials don't see them? At what point are these young teachers judged by the standards for public officials? " -- When Young Teachers go Wild on the Web

 

After reading this article I am still unsure of what my answers to these questions should be. My gut reaction tempts me to say that Myspace and Facebook, as part of a teacher’s private life, should be kept as such and shouldn't affect their professional lives.  I also think of this situation arising in a time before computers: as far as I know, employers didn't ask teachers to bring in personal photo albums and browse through their less-than-acceptable moments.

However, the world today is one of computers and the internet and that fact can't simply be pushed to the wayside.  So even though in theory personal and private should be kept separate, the world in which we live has inevitably blurred the line between these two areas forever.  I also think that this is a fairly common assumption, and with that in mind I think some of teachers mentioned in this article should have used a little more common sense in their Myspace/Facebook choices, especially those that displayed naked pictures or pictures of themselves in a drunken stupor.  On the other hand, I think administrators and parents alike should use an appropriate amount of sense in judging these pages.  For example, I don't think pages that use slang terms should be judged in the same category as those mentioned above.  Administrators should try put themselves in the position of young teachers.  Even though they are young professionals they are young people as well, struggling, learning and sometimes making mistakes.

So this issue demands a certain amount of moderation from both teachers and administrators and parents, and in that I see the image of a balancing act.  Both parties must walk the line between what is acceptable and what is not, what is excusable and what is not.

 

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/EL236/2008/09/what_happens_online_stays_onli/