Working on this project was a perfect end to this semester and kept in tone of everything I have learned over the past few months. To create this website, my group and I all utilized concepts that we have been learning over the course of the entire semester. When it came to picking which blogs to use, the major points we considered were content and style. What they were talking about and how they went about talking about it was the main selling point for pieces we wanted to include. Once we had which blogs we wanted to use, we then moved on to considering other elements of our site such as what metadata to include. Metadata inside of WordPress displays on the sidebar as different “widgets.” We chose a tag cloud to display our most popular tags, which suited the theme of our site well because it allows viewers to navigate Atlanta through the use of key words and themes.
As you know, my future goal is to become an english/lit high school teacher and working on this assignment made me feel as if I was stepping into this role. It was one of my first college experiences in which I felt like I was gaining experience and knowledge that will be useful in my career. In high school, group work was always more of a joke and time to mess around, but with the group I worked with for this project, we all combined all of our strengths to create something that I am very proud of. We were constantly bouncing ideas off each other, and through some constraints of the technology did not let our imaginations run too wild, we were able to generate creative thinking.
We would typically meet in the library, and sat around a round table where everyone could see each other. Working together with minimal teacher instruction, where the basis of the work was collaboration and conversation, it reminded me of the article we read for class titled “The Innovation Campus: Building Better Ideas.” I have to admit, when I first read that article, I was not fully buying into all the ideas about idea generation brought on by increased conversation and work space. However, working on this assignment has entirely changed my mind. I can confidently state that I am now a firm believer in this form of learning, and I hope I can one day implement these ideas inside of my own classroom.
For future students who have to opportunity to become an editor, I highly recommend doing it. I do not mean to sound drastic, but it has literally changed my philosophy of learning. Working on this assignment, and also taking this class, has allowed me to utilize the internet for constructive and educational purposes, rather than aimlessly scrolling through social media sites. Our generation has an incredible tool right at our fingertips, and the possibilities (affordances) are unfathomable for what we can learn and achieve. Collaboration and idea generation is the fuel to our future, and this assignment as shown me a microcosm of what can be accomplished.