It was important work, sorting through the material I have learned over the past two years in the IT&DML program. I am the only one from the first cohort that has completed the work over two years. It was interesting starting with one group, and ending with an entirely new group. I feel like it was valuable for me to learn with twice as many talented educators.
First, Google Sites is not simple. It is not flashy. I really (really, REALLY) like the way some of my colleagues' Wix sites look. I chose to stick with Google Sites because we are a Google school and I want to be familiar with the tools Google offers. I am also a glutton for punishment.
I have worked on website content for 15 years, first with simple HTML at a public library, then as the Website Content Coordinator at Abbott Tech. Content is one thing. Constructing a website from scratch is completely different. I had to make decisions about my tabs and subheadings. I had to create buttons and insert gadgets. It was a true learning experience.
I used blue, white and gray because our school colors are blue and white, and blue always feels professional to me. It was tricky finding a background picture. When I was working in my air conditioned library at school over the summer, I found a photo of a display in my library on my computer. It worked! I will change the main page photo when I have a more dressy picture. I happen to be wearing a Relay for Life T-shirt, but it is cropped out.
The "Top Ten" websites in the G+ stream were interesting, but spare in their design. I felt like an outsider looking at them. Maybe it was because they were career-specific. Looking at my classmates' designs was most helpful. When I provided feedback for my group, I used the rubric to look at their design, and I did the same with mine. Someone separated out the video and non-video tutorials. It was simpler looking than the labels I had used, so I used that idea.
I had the most trouble with my blog page. I researched all over Google trying to find a way to make my Blogger (Google product) appear on my Site (Google product) when I was in Chrome (Google product.) I tried it 5 different ways and it would only show up in a non-Chrome browser. I gave up and provided only a link. Next, I tried to make picture links of uniform size for specific blog posts. That was incredibly frustrating. I did research and rediscovered Canva for making buttons. When I got the five step process figured out, I was able to finish. (Clipular to Downloads to Canva to Sites - then put in the link)
Sadly, I missed our final class and I had only one classmate give feedback online. It was wonderful and helpful feedback! Although I do not spell out the purpose of my site, I don't think people will search it out unless they would like to know more about me professionally. In the last couple of weeks, I added some more helpful websites to Pearltrees (my curation site) and to my website. I feel like this site will be a dynamic display of my professional self.