web design

Design Blitz Raleigh: Design Panel Member

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On March 5th, Tyler Dockery was invited to attend Design Blitz in the Red Hat complex in Downtown Raleigh at the Design Panel as a representative of Wake Tech Community College.

Design Blitz Raleigh: Design Panel Member

As a panel member, I sat with architects and the video designer from Red Hat. The panel answered questions regarding architecture, graphic and web design, video and social requirements among other items. Students were very interested in software and packages, freelancing while in school, what kind of computers people respected or required.

Topics ranged across multiple tracks as time went on, and the feeling was similar to my first class teaching. Nervous? Yes. Energized? Absolutely! It is always interesting to know that your knowledge is more than just “satisfactory” when facing a room with 200 people in it.

After the panel discussion, I pressed business cards into the hands of several individuals and carried on individual discussions with 4-6 students. Afterwards, I was asked to return next year. I think this sounds like a great idea, and frankly I can’t wait.

Alison.com — Diploma in Web Design Achieved!

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On October 27th, 2014 I completed the Diploma in Web Design provided by Alison.com

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Alison.com — Diploma in Web Design Achieved!

This coursework was completed over several weeks. This course goes beyond knowing how to create a HTML page and add content, title, entities, anchor tags, encompassing inserting images, present tags, links, tables, lists and uploading web pages. Coursework included a strong understanding and demonstration of the meaning of inheritance, cascade, pseudoclasses, pseudoelements and selectors … the concepts that are commonly used in web pages.

This required the demonstrated familiarity with using font, background styles and style sheets. This course help you to use Dreamweaver to create a website with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Flash. It requires the understanding of naming conventions, index files, welcome screens, landing pages, GUI and many more settings that are extremely useful when creating a website successfully. This course also required an understanding of advanced features such as CSS structures, embedded style sheets and much more. Final requirements demand a knowledge of how a web page works as well as a deep knowledge of hosting, domain names and nameservers.

This coursework was originally based on Russell Stannard’s teaching and research experience – and the feedback of his many thousands of students.

Web Design Concepts Certification Achieved!

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Apparently, I was in danger of having my certification lapse (Brainbench certification is only good for 3 years). Taking some time here at the end of the semester, I revisited my notes and aced this certification. I was pleased to see that HTML5 and CSS3 questions were now part of this exam. Way to update!

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HTML5 Certification Achieved!

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HTML5 Certification Achieved!

My training in HTML started in 1996. Stop laughing. I didn’t use it much, finding it clunky and difficult to work with. Programs like Web Warrior used some of the first WYSIWYG interfaces, but their setup was basically put together to show you what you had done, rather than allow you to design visually. Later, in 2000 I got to know Macromedia Dreamweaver 2.0 and Adobe Golive, finding GoLive to be the better of the two. That said, I took training in Macromedia Dreamweaver to get to know it better when receiving my certification in Web Design from the University of Georgia (UGA). In all honesty, I used Adobe GoLive more often, because I simply couldn’t afford a full working version of Macromedia Dreamweaver until about 2005.

Well, a lot has changed between 2012 and 2005. HTML had upgraded to HTML5 some time ago, but implementation of it is still spotty at best. That said, we have classes that teach HTML5 and my grasp on the new items such as sections, articles, headers, footers, HTML5 video and HTML5 audio were tenuous at best. This will only become more visible, more popular, and more widespread as time goes on.

As such, I had decided I would spend some time learning about HTML5 over the last few weeks, and I felt my grasp on this was good enough to seek certification. I’m glad I achieved this certification in HTML5, but I’m more glad that I understand the core concepts and specifics about this new coding style.

Tyler Dockery is certified in HTML5 coding through Brainbench.com
Tyler Dockery is certified in HTML5 coding through Brainbench.com

The Great Course Migration: Preparing to Move Your BB 9.1 Course to Moodle 2.0

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The Great Course Migration: Preparing to Move Your BB 9.1 Course to Moodle 2.0 a professional development how-to presented by Jennifer Jones and Katherine Bennett

In this professional development course, I was able to get a glimpse of Moodle 2.0 as well as tips and ideas on organizing online course content in Blackboard for the migration to Moodle 2.0. Topics included an overview of how Moodle 2.0 works, saving and organizing files from Blackboard 9.1, moving quizzes and pools, and adapting assignments and activities for Moodle 2.0. This session was a demo only and did not actually include a hands-on experience for individuals.

Moodle 2.0 is one of the newest flavors in LMS (learning management systems) for educators. Technically being around long enough to go through an original draft, Moodle 2.0 offers some great features with a price tag set to move. Well, the price tag for this item is set at $0.00 which is a price tag most schools can cope with.

When attending this training, I was struck with 2 initial thoughts related to this product:

1) Our division has really worked hard for a long time to prepare our online materials (since 2006) and now it is the required norm for the college.

Our team in Computer Engineering Technology ( CET Division ) of Wake Technical Community College has endeavoured to place our online materials in blackboard using a weekly folder, with all materials for the week held within the folder itself- all learning objectives, all goals, all notes, all lectures, assignments and links to the discussion board, all videos, etc. This has been an effort we’ve put into place in an effort to make all of our courses containing a common thread so that whatever course you were in, one week would be all you needed. Also, if you were hit by a bus and unable to return to classes, another teacher could simply step into the breach and release your materials one week at a time.

In the new moodle system, this will be the required norm. It is nice to see that efforts within the CET division as well as the GRD (Advertising and Graphic design) and WEB (Web Design) departments were ahead of the curve on this one.

 

2) I am extremely suspicious of the $0 price tag.

No price at all sounds great- on the surface. But what lurks beneath? Our IT staff works very hard to troubleshoot the systems, and get frequent updates and patches from the customer service teams at blackboard. How then, will a free system like moodle meet our needs? Is there not a great opportunity for security breaches, problems which cannot be helped by a help network which is manned by volunteers, etc.?

If a system like this is free, how can they possibly be as responsive as a paid system with working customer service? How much will training cost to get each person in each department switched over to the moodle system? In the mean time, will we have to work partially in moodle and partially in blackboard? My suspicion here is that there MUST be a set of hidden costs- either in functionality, system use, customer support, number of users/licenses, etc. Hidden costs. That’s my thought, although I’m ready to make the switch if requested.

I will grind whatever grist the mill requires.

Web Designer Concepts Certification Achieved!

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As a web designer teaching at Wake Tech Community College, I have a good knowledge of web design. Comprehensive, I would say, but only insofar as HTML, CSS, and Flash development are concerned. As part of my WEB140 Web Development Tools course, I challenged my students to take this certification. In this way, I could validate the experiences and understanding of the students through demonstration outside of the classroom. I too recently took this exam so that I can practice what I preach. Thank you BrainBench!

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