Doghouse by Jean Claire Dy
October marked the launch of this website as it morphed almost daily in terms of look or theme, organization and navigation, and from a free Weebly site to my own domain name.
I started off with this theme, placing the cover of my online book on the front page. But when a colleague asked why the photo, I realized that a change was necessary. I experimented with several themes, but nothing really seemed right.
Finally, I realized it wasn't the choice of theme but the navigation scheme itself. And after some brainstorming, it was back to my original theme but now with photos to mark the different pages/blogs that make up the site. (Thanks to Claire for the photos.)
The rest of the site is still under construction, but expect the "Courses" pages to be filled out next week.
Of course, the major change I did was the decision to get my own domain name. When I save up enough money again, I'll get the Pro package so I can put up my favicon for instance. After all, the website is the new resume.
I have to practice what I preach. And because I teach media arts and communication arts courses, aside from Literature and Creative Writing subjects, my website should serve as an example of what I continuously harp on inside the classroom -- that learning is not what you just read because it's assigned, and it is not just writing an essay or accomplishing an exercise for a grade.
Learning is really a neverending quest to find out how and why stuff happens, how and why things work, why this and not that. Etcetera.
Learning doesn't stop just because now I am a licensed professional and people pay me lots of money to fix things for them. And it doesn't stop just because now I'm a teacher, and here's the syllabus for the class I'll teach.
Learning from where I stand is also finding out how best to transmit knowledge (and perhaps wisdom) to students. It is finding out what tools would work to facilitate the exchange of ideas.
And I should emphasize the word "exchange" because learning is not just a one-way street (leading from teacher to student, sometimes ending up in cul-de-sacs). Learning is really a conversation among the students and the teacher.
The teacher usually sets the tone and facilitates the flow of ideas. And one way for the teacher to do this is to provide examples, sometimes drawing from his/her own experiences and work.
And when a teacher like me draws from my own work, then I had better show something I would also "demand" from my students. I have to walk my talk.
And so this "renovation" of my website.
Yes, that's what's this post is really about -- a rationale for my most recent redesign.
Do we let machines work for us, or do we work for machines?
I asked myself this, sitting there in a meeting to iron out kinks in our computerized registration process. The way everyone was talking, including myself, I began to wonder -- how were we adjusting to the shift from a manual enrollment system to one using computers?
As I listened to the others voice their concerns, my first realization was how everybody wanted the machines to ease their workload. So there was talk about how long queues at the cashier could be avoided by ensuring that printing of receipts be made faster. And so on.
But as the conversation progressed, I soon realized that we were doing something wrong. We were transposing an "analog" way of thinking into a "digital" system, or a linear way of doing things using a nonlinear delivery system. And we were congratulating ourselves for the ease by which we were processing registrants. (Image is from George Dillon's Writing in Images).
But were we really maximizing the tools we had at hand? Or were we looking at new technology from a "rearview mirror," as Marshall McLuhan would say. This kind of thinking, according to McLuhan, is exemplified in how we gave the name "horseless carriage" for the then new contraption that we now call a car.
So were we using our network of computers and our database as state-of-the-art typewriters and electronic filing cabinets? Apparently we are.
We'll catch up with the 21st century somehow.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Philippines License.