Hurley Convergence Center Project Reflection

It has been a long fourteen weeks constructing the Hurley Convergence Center project. We had our fair share of road blocks along the way, but that didn’t stop us as group from creating a website greater than we originally imagined. We ended up using just about every tool listed in our proposal except for Audacity and SoundCloud, but there is a reason for that. We decided to get some training in the Advanced Media Production Studio and eventually recorded all of the interviews with the HD cameras and high quality microphones provided. This helped our website appear more professional while also showing off one of the many resources available in the HCC at the cost of taking a bit longer with editing the footage.

We were able to meet most of the weekly milestones relatively early. The WordPress theme that we all agreed to use made mobile integration rather easy, so the rest of that week was focused on the timeline and the documents given to us by our interviewee, John Morello. We had a bit of trouble meeting Week 3/11’s milestone because of interviewees cancelling or rescheduling, but as you may have seen from our various blog posts and presentations, we ended up getting them all finished earlier than we expected anyway. We even completed an extra interview and recorded plenty of short walk-through videos for the resources of the HCC while we had the time.

We couldn’t have done this without working together and dividing up the work evenly among ourselves. Marissa did a wonderful job at contacting and scheduling meetings for the people we needed to interview or ask for some feedback on the current build of our website. Andrew did an amazing job putting together the pages of the website and a rather informative timeline. Jon did a great job creating the transcripts and always making sure the equipment worked in the Advanced Media Production Studio. My main jobs were editing the videos, being at every interview to make sure everything recorded well, and working with Andrew on the website. I have faith in my editing skills, so I believe the videos turned out really well.

I stand by the Hurley Convergence website that we created together. We were assigned to create a website documenting the history of the building, but we proposed an idea for a website that went even further than that, thanks to Kyle Allwine from Admissions. A website that not only told the story of how the building came to be, but one that appealed to students, faculty, staff, and possible university applicants by displaying the various resources available in the building that can be used by anyone. If the website by chance doesn’t have what you are looking or you just want even more information and possibly want to schedule a time with the tutors, we linked to the Convergence Center website that has everything else that you could possibly need. Even if you want to look at all of the files that we studied for yourself,  you can download them by following the links to the MEGA online storage on our website and learn everything about the building and its history.

When I first came into this class in January, I never thought the website that I was assigned to create with my group would turned out as great and mind blowing as it did. I have the resources in the HCC to thank for giving me the possibility to achieve what we did. I want to close off saying that I do hope that Admissions changes their minds about our website and decide to use it as an advertisement tool for the university in the future. If not, that is fine. I am sure plenty of faculty and staff associated with the HCC will recommend our site to students and it makes me happy knowing that students will be using it.

Presentation Prep

Tomorrow is the big day for our websites. My group spent the last few days making sure everything was fixed before the big presentation. We originally thought the edits would take a lot of time fixing, but we ended up finishing most of them Tuesday evening.

I honestly believe that the presentation tomorrow will be a piece of cake for all of us. Everyone in class was  assigned to give a presentation just about every week, so that experience will definitely make the final presentation that much easier. It’s almost like Professor McClurken planned this from the start.

I wish everybody luck and I can’t wait to see the final versions of the other websites

Final Project Update

This will probably be the last project update for the Convergence Center website. The videos are up, the front page is ready, it works well on mobile, so we are just about finished with everything. I believe there are a few transcripts left, but that will be done before the due date next Tuesday. The walk-throughs are around thirty seconds and informs whomever visits the site about the service or room that they decide to look at on the website.

We weren’t able to get in touch with Jerry Slezak about doing a walkthrough for the IT Help desk, so we decided to go with just an image instead and have a small description of the service as a backup.

We were able to get all of the files stored on the ExploreHCC MEGA account, so everything is currently backed up and ready to give over to whomever is going to manage our website in the future.

Now that we are near the end, I have the say that the website has turned out really well. I can’t really find the words to describe how happy I am with it, but  I hope people are able to leave the site informed on the history and potential of the building.

Week 12 Readings

For this week’s readings, I decide to read pieces on Blogs, Zotero, and Categorizing. There’s no particular reason why I  chose these other than I have some personal experience with  Zotero and blogs.

David Voelker’s piece on Blogs reminded me of what Professor McClurken does for our class. He has all of the readings and blog assignments listed ahead of time to give us all a chance to read them before the next class period to increase the probability of discussion. Voelker also talks about the convenience that blogs have for other things like grading keeping up with the students and from a student perspective, I agree. Most of my Digital Study courses that I’ve taken used Blogs as a hub for the students and professor to communicate with other. It’s a lot simpler than having to e-mail every student about something since there is a risk of said e-mail getting lost in the spam folder.

Daniel J. Cohen’s piece on Zotero basically talks about how everyone uses Zotero today. I’ve never heard of Zotero until I took a course with Professor Whalen. We used the tool to create a large bibliography for everyone in the class to help the arguments of our papers that were due at the end of the semester. I think it’s a great tool and use it for just about every paper now. It’s perfect for historians since you can save anything with just the click of a button if you have the browser plugin and if you want to find a large library of academic works or documents, you can even search for them on the Zotero website once you have made an account.

Edward A. Riedinger’s piece about categorizing various online databases like JSTOR to change the way we use the internet by making it a bit simpler and enhancing our experience. It sounds like a good idea and reminded me of the UMW ezproxy that has a list of all possible resources that you could access for academic sources. I’m not sure if there is a website out there that categorizes these resources, but it would be pretty useful for historians in long run to make all of the online databases easily searchable via a website that categorizes all of them.