The second semester of my MLIS program is official over – all assignments have been signed, sealed, and delivered!
To recap, here are a few things I have learned over the last 17 weeks:
- I really need to think hard about taking 3 courses at once, while working nights… and decide not to, ever. again.
- It might be necessary to listen to a lecture for a second or even third time – until the surplus of information chooses to be absorbed by my brain.
- It’s okay to skim some weekly readings/reading every word of every article will make your head hurt, also result in little to no actual comprehension.
- The library field is an ever-changing and ultra-dynamic one. (I had some inkling of this previously, but it was confirmed through the courses this semester).
- Take notes during lectures – This helps to maintain alertness, as well as aid in the process of understanding content more fully.
- It’s okay to not understand references made my peers or instructors, related to books they have all read – everyone has their own expertise and can contribute to the conversation in their own way!
- DO NOT wait until the last week to complete assignments due, the last week.
As the semester comes to a close, I am reflecting back on all of the modules, assignments, posts, and projects completed. From HTML and Unix commands, to Twitter and blogging, I can confidently say that both LS 534 and LS 560 created opportunities for me to interact with technology in ways I had not prior to this semester. Each course has provided me insight into a various platforms, some that I had no idea even existed, some I had purposefully elected to avoid until it was required for the course.
All in all, my head is full of new knowledge and I am very grateful for all of the learning opportunities each class offered me. Currently, my brain is still dizzy from all of the new concepts that were absorbed (spit back out and then re-absorbed), as time wears on I know that each piece of knowledge gathered will benefit my career in librarianship! As soon as my group completes our database project for 560, I have no doubt a weight will feel lifted and I will be much more grateful for each of these assignments and what they taught me. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, as I type this, although I am still feeling a bit overwhelmed and anxious about it all. I am looking forward to being able to breathe and fully take a retrospective look at the semester, perhaps in a week or two. 🙂
Through the Usability Assignment I have acquired a greater understanding of how website functions and features are viewed by end users. Of course I, myself, have been an end user on many websites and could come to many conclusions about the company site my group was assigned – however, reviewing a variety of other professionals’ feedback I realized that users are made up of individuals from a wide variety of technology backgrounds. Each participant’s prior experiences resulted in personal preferences, and surfaced through the surveys our group distributed to our participants. Many were satisfied with the website – one for a business offering communication services to those in the deaf and hard of hearing – as is, although others desired greater functioning and updates made to the site’s aesthetics. Companies must consider the perspectives of all users, in order to appeal to the mass. This project has heightened my critical analysis skills related to websites, as well as reminded me of the benefits of having more than one mind working towards a single end.
My peers and I have been working on our LS 560 Unix assignment for the last couple of weeks, and I have to admit that for most of the process I have merely followed the steps within the video instructions. It wasn’t until I started researching and reading more about what line Unix is and its purpose that I started to understand its functions and why they are important. I am far from being knowledgeable or knowing much beyond the basic functions we have been taught in our course modules, however this assignment opened yet another door to the world of technology, I had never known existed previously.
I am starting to believe that I will (most likely) never be an expert on any language of coding or on Unix, however it is becoming more apparent to me that by just realizing these languages and systems exist will put me ahead of many peers. Having this knowledge will allow me to understand the user side of technology to a greater extent, as well. In conclusion, although the work is causing me anxiety and headaches right now, it is worth understanding and will be beneficial knowledge to have in my career!
If anyone were to ask me what my greatest accomplishment was this past week, I would quickly respond with – publishing my first hand-tagged website! I cannot express how relieved I was to submit my first assignment for LS 560 🙂 HTML is far from a second language for me, and I admit that I was quickly frustrated when codes I entered did not work, however after hours of troubleshooting and adjustments I completed all of the required parts of the site! It was definitely a learning experience and I hope to continue to update the site, as I learn more in depth codes, in order to enhance the aesthetics of the page.
While completing the assignment I found many useful websites, one of them being Khan Academy’s instructional tools for HTML and CSS coding. I just wanted to share, in case anyone is ever looking for a resource to help them in their coding. Click here to check out all the instruction the academy offers!
I fully admit that I am a complete amateur at web design, HTML and CSS – however, I just posted my very first website for LS 560. Check it out, but as the title alludes, it is very simple – so, don’t have high expectations!
I have to admit that when I first began reading through and skimming the assigned module 2 parts, I was intimidated. I doubted that HTML’s seemingly complicated language, was going to be digested easily. However, I have been pleasantly surprised that as I have worked through the videos, text, and guides, I have not only understood each, but at times I have actually found myself typing in code before prompted! I realize I am still VERY amateur, even so, the step by step and repetitious approach within the tools available have been extremely helpful and easy to understand. I have also realized one key to not becoming overwhelmed in this class is to stop looking at the end product and merely focus on each of the new codes, one at a time – this way the website will be completed without giving my anxiety towards coding a chance to take over! I have yet to push myself to try many codes beyond those that have been taught within the videos and modules on Blackboard, although am looking forward to adding some personal flare to my site.
Another way which I have decided to learn more about coding is by viewing the codes of websites, attempting to “read” each and decipher varying codes. I have found this activity has provided me a bit more insight and stretches my critical thinking skills as I try to identify which codes pertain to which features on the site – I am far from “nailing” this process, but it still is helping to open my mind to more complicated codes and all the potential that they hold for web design.
Beyond working through the modules I have recently discovered a couple of other websites that appear to possess great potential for helping me move forward and learn codes aside from those required. Khan’s Academy and Code Academy, seem to be great resources, which also walk the student through each step to ensure they understand and can apply the codes themselves. Keep an eye out for a blogs on each of these, to inform everyone what I have found helpful, as well as what they may be lacking. 🙂