Looking at project proposals:

Project Proposals

Anna Hamann's Project Proposal

A wiki about using wikis in the classroom
Collecting resources from teachers who use wikis for teaching, or are thinking about doing so
Collect material about expository writing courses
Address needs of students in high school and beyond
Create content drawing from previous wiki experience
This is potentially the first wiki collecting materials to help instructors use wikis in class

Wants to find more information
Wants to learn more about theory behind use of teaching wikis in writing
Wikis are one way of teaching online

Will find writings, lectures, videos, or other materials about teaching with wikis
Find information about practical ideas for use of wikis in classroom
Collecting and sharing resources she has used in teaching
Expand collection, annotate and curate information
Collect reflections and discussions written by writing instructors who have used wikis to teach writing
Annotate these

wikidot platform
Organization through category tags on right side
Search option
Open to public view, closed to editing by others

Project report description
List of readings

Ashley Juenemann's Project Proposal

Using class blog to journal about Eurospring experience
Post at least four times per week
Recounting events of the day
Relevant external linking

Wants to gain followers
Wants to find out whether readers will comment/interact in some way rather than just read blog posts

Posts will include:
Meals eaten
Other interesting experiences or anecdotes

Brad Tramel's Project Proposal

Play one indie game per week
Relay experience through essays and reviews on blog
Wants to develop audience based on series of scheduled posts rather than random singular posts
Blog will keep track of statistical data andaudience participation

Will play five indie games, one per week
Experience before (context) during (experience), and after (critique)

Post three times per week
Monday - First impressions and game information
Tuesday - Extended analysis of three noteworthy aspects such as narrative, mechanics, and art
Friday - Critical review, looking at whole game through critcal lens
Aims to effectively communicate about indie games in a way unique to blogs by linking and commenting
Also to determine whether a series of related posts will attract a dedicated audience better than single posts

Blogroll of similar blogs
Blog theme will emphasize text and have few other distractions

Will post two-three screenshots, or .gif or video if appropriate


Anna Hamann's Wiki Project

The colors are grey and white, and there are no photos on the home page. It is dark grey across the top with the words "Teach Writing With Wikis" in light grey and underneath that, in smaller and slightly darker text, "Resources and implications for use". There are three tabs - Home, Admin, and Help. Admin and Home have drop down menus when I mouse over. Admin options are closed, such as creating and editing pages, just as she said it would be in her project proposal. Underneath this is the word "Welcome" with an introductory paragraph briefly explaining what the wiki is about in one sentence, and how to contribute to the wiki in another sentence. Underneath this is a collection of four links introducing the reader to the wiki, such as wiki basics and general information about this wiki. Next is a section for project reports. Then, underneath this, is a "mostly complete" list of pages arranged in alphabetical order. The right side of the page lists links to legal info, about info, and contact info, as well as tags, edit, source, and print. Underneath this is a tag cloud, with the most used tag being "pragmatics" (it is in the largest text because it is used more often).

I can tell just by viewing the homepage that this is a serious wiki, which is obvious from the lack of color, lack of photos, and the brief description of the content. The level of organization makes it easy to navigate the wiki.

On some of the pages, such as - Above and Below the Double Line Refactoring and That Old-Time Revision, the title is the name of the article (external link) the wiki page links to. I understand why, but I wish there was some additional content on these pages. Perhaps a summary, or an opinion, or something about what is being linked to, such as on the page - Parallel Structures. Not that that's necessary; it's probably just a personal preference. Of course, I'm not sure if these pages are finished or only just created. The nice thing about wikis is that they are a perpetual work in progress. Some pages do link externally while also providing more information about the content being linked to.

Some of the pages link to other pages, internal links, such as the page - Collaborative Lecture Notes which also links to the page - Benefits

The Collaborate Writing page is the only one that isn't capitalized on the home page, which bothers me, again, may be just my personal preference, or mild OCD, but it stands out to me similar to a typo.

The - Drafting and Revising page hasn't yet been created, though it is linked to on the home page index, so I'm guessing that page is going to be created and developed soon.

She links to examples of course wikis on the page - Examples of Course Wikis, which I think is a great idea because it provides real life examples to instructors who might be looking for ideas on how to go about organizing a wiki for their own class.

All of the content centers around wikis, from - Wiki Basics to more complex things such as different theories behind using wikis in classrooms. I liked the page - Possible Pitfalls, which states the cons to using a wiki for teaching purposes, and then describes how to avoid these.

Overall: I think it's pretty neat to start a wiki about using wikis in the classroom.

Ashley Juenemann's Blog Project

This blog uses the Dusk to Dawn theme. Colors are primarily blue background, black, and white. Top of the page has the title of the blog, Surviving free Time, My Way, with smaller white text underneath that reads "finding and trying things out". Main middle section and right hand side bar. Side bar has Search bar, "What's Here" which appears to be other pages on the blog rather than blog posts, tag cloud, categories, recent posts, blogs she follows, meta, archive, and a box to follow the blog via email. The blog posts are arranged in reverse chronological order, with the most recent post at the top. As I scroll down the page, more previous blog posts load, rather than making me click to view another page of posts. Also, I noticed that as I scrolled down the background color changed from blue to yellow. That explains the name of the theme.

One post, - shakespearean freakout part 2! has one comment (classmate) and Ashley responded fairly quickly. Otherwise, aside from her posts being mentioned in her weekly reviews and in the Daybook, I don't notice any other interactions taking place between blogger and reader. This ties in with her project proposal of wanting to find out whether people would interact with her blog rather than just read it.

The blog posts themselves seem to contain photos, slideshows, and links. Slideshows are great. However, as an exmaple, a post from 15th April - You Can't Fight a Cough. It is a lengthy post, and I think it would have benefited from photos breaking up the text, rather than the slideshow holding the majority of the media. Just my opinion. She seems to have used more photos earlier in her trip.

She really does take the reader through her day. The posts are written in such a way that she is communicating directly to her readers, such as - A black bumble bee, a duck and three ships which makes the statement "I need to catch you all up"
take the reader through random thoughts

She links to websites relevant to what she is discussing so the reader has the opportunity to view more information, such as the post - More shopping… and a bit of wondering off, which contains nine links, including a link to the photo.

I notice that she does not post many maps, as she stated she would do in her project report. Also, many posts, such as - A day of rest and a dead end don't contain photos.

Overall: I really enjoy reading about somebody's experiences, particularly when there are photos.

Brad Tramel's Blog Project

My initial impression is that this is a blog about something modern, because the header photo is a cityscape. In the top center within a black box are the words "Brad Tramel" and underneath that it says "Writer and critic". There are three pages: Home, Portfolio, and About. Primary background is white. Main text in center with right sidebar. Sidebar includes recent posts and a blogroll.

One post, - Infinite Cave Diving, had a comment from a reader (classmate) and Brad responded very quickly. A few other posts also had likes.

It seems as though each post begins with a photo. I think that offering the reader an interesting visual is a good idea.

I really like when the text is broken up by screenshots, such as in the most recent post - Monument Valley: A Photo Journal. This is particularly because the posts are somewhat lengthy, so including many photos gives my eyes (and brain) a break, it's visually appealing.

I also liked the post - Spelunking For Secrets. The post included screenshots as well as a video, which helped give context to what was written. I also enjoyed the list of things to do in order to get to hell, which is said to be incredibly rare for Spelunky players to do.

The first sentence of the post - Environment and Details in Gone Home links to his previous post. This is good for directing his audience to related articles within his blog and encouraging people to keep reading.

I wanted the posts about Braid to include more screenshots, probably because I'm a visual person, but also because the game looked so neat. However, in the post - Understanding the Interplay of Braid’s Mechanics and Narrative, .gifs were included to show the reader what was being described - in this case, getting a re-do after making a fatal mistake.

Overall: I think this blog has well written articles about an interesting subject, and I think readers will appreciate having regularly scheduled posts.
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