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Laura Marie

My Screencast and a Random Post on How I Made it

3 min read

I have to say, making the screencast was probably the easiest of the projects I have done for this class, which is surprising because I was afraid it would be the hardest.  I had no idea where to start since I have never done one before and even though I saw Dr. McVerry do a ton of them, I still was not sure how he did them.  Luckily there is this search engine called google so I searched "how to make a screencast," and found a wikihow page that said to find a free screencasting software so again I went to Google, typed in "Free screencast software" and found screencast-o-matic which is one of the programs that the Wikihow page suggested using so I downloaded it.  

Next I had to come up with a topic and I chose to show how to do the biography page because I felt the most confident about explaining how to make that.  The program was pretty easy to navigate so I just had to pull up my "About Me' page and hit record.  Now I am not the best public speaker- not that I get nervous because I'm not really shy, but I know that I sometimes have issues with forgetting what I'm gonna say or pausing or even stammering a little so doing a live "how to" video where I had to speak the whole time was a bit daunting.  During my first attempt I think I paused the screencast almost 12 times because I was unsure what I should say next.  Obviously I decided to scap that one and try again.  This time I told myself I was just gonna work through it even if I messed up on a word or paused for a few seconds because I assumed that Dr. McVerry did not expect us to be professional screen-casters, plus I know he's paused or forgotten something on screen-casts he has made for us so I figured he would understand hahaha.  

So I started by remixing my own page, and just went through step by step of what I did from what I had learned by reading the tutorial.  And yes, I did mess up a few times and pause or stutter, but I just kept pushing through.  I think I paused it one time because I drew a complete blak towards the end, but then I picked up where I left off and completed it.  I first tried to upload it to YouTube, but it would not work so I did it to screencast-o-matic instead and below you will find the finished product.

I actually had fun doing this project, but then again I am finding that most of the projects we have done were a lot more fun than I originally thought they would be.  Now it is 2am and I have to try and put my final project together...really kicking myself for all that procrastination now!


My Screencast

Laura Marie

Random Post on the Meaning Behind my 6 Word Memoir

5 min read

I knew it was important to do a post on how I created my memoir using the tools we learned in class and my own knowledge I have gained throughout the semester, but I really liked the meaning behind this project and I wanted to do a post about why I chose those words and what they mean to me.

So first I was, trying to decide if I was going to use all descriptive words like funny, caring, smart etc... and of course I did put a couple of those in there, but I realized that this was about finding 6 words that describe my life, and my life most importantly is about my family who have stuck by me and supported me through some pretty horrible things in my life both of my own making and circumstances out of my control. My family is still pretty dysfunctional and we have all had some very tough things go on which could have torn other families apart and almost tore ours apart a couple times, but the things is those things ended up finally bringing us together and we are stronger and closer than most families could hope to be.  

Anyway, the first word I used was a no brainer: AUNT... if I could have used two words it would have said Auntie Laura or Auntie Weewaa as my niece Kali use to call me.  I have three nieces Kali: 7, Josselyn: 5 and Delaney: 4; Kali and Josselyn are sisters, but all three of them are as close as sisters because of how close my sisters and I are.  Those three little girls are my heart and I would do anything for them.  There is no feeling like walking into either of my sister's houses and having my nieces scream "AUNTIE!!" and come running up and jump into my arms- I am admittedly tearing up thinking about it...happy tears of course! It is one of the cool things about being quite younger than my sisters because I was only 21 when Kali was born and I'm still such a big kid that I play around with them and get to be the "fun aunt"

That goes right into the second word: SISTER.  If someone wanted me to really get technical, I guess I would have to say "half-sister" because we have different fathers, but I am their sister in every way that matters and there is no half about it.  Like I said, my sisters are older: 7 and 9 years older to be exact.  My sister Deanna who is the older of the two, has been my rock my whole life.  We had a tough childhood and she was there to help take care of me when my parents couldn't.  My sister Karen and I had a bit of a rougher start as kids since I took over the "baby" position, but we are closer than ever.  Once I became an adult our whole dynamic changed and they both became more than my sisters...they are my best friends.  I do have a brother as well and I love him dearly, but unfortunately because he is sick (he is an alcoholic/addict) and is not ready to get sober he is not part of our lives, but I still reach out to him occasionally and let him know I love him and I am here for him when he is ready to try and change things.  As I have talked about, I have had my own issues with addiction so I do not judge him, I just can't have him in my life when he is still living that way.  I am still his sister though so he is still a part of that word and what it means to me.

The third word: SILLY is pretty self explanatory- I try not to take myself too seriously and after allt hats happened in my life, I like to try and look at the lighter side of things.  The fourth word: STRONG is more metaphorical than litteral. Although it is a picture of me at the gym and I have gotten stronger physically since working out, the strength that represents me is deeper than that.  I believe I am strong because I have overcome so many things in my life and didn't let them destroy me.  Even though I have stumbled and fallen quite a few times, I have ALWAYS gotten back up and kept fighting and that is what strength is to me.  The fifth word is again pretty self-explanatory: Dog-lover.  That is a picture of my dog Maximus- Max for short, though he is actually more the sixe of a pony which is why I call him my little pony.  I've had three dogs throughout my life, and they have all been part of my family.  The small time periods I went without having a dog always seemed kind of empty.

The last word was LUCKY, and I chose a picture of my faimily- well most, my sister Deanna was taking the picture and I think one of the nieces may have been sleeping on a couple chairs.  It was from our cruise to Bermuda last year- me, my parents, my sisters their husbands and their kids...11 all together! It was the most amazing week of my life being able to share such an experience with all of them.  

Laura Marie

My 6 Word Memoir and Random Post About Experience

3 min read

This project frusterated me at first.  I still am not sure what it was I did wrong, but when I tried to put my photos in they would not show up- it would show the box where it should be but then there was a small box in the top left-hand corner that showed a pine tree I think? I read through the tutorial and tried again, but I still wasn't getting it right.  So in true Laura fashion, I gave up for the night and went on to do another of the many late assignments I still had to finish.  I came back to it with fresh eyes today and carefully went though the tutorial, tried again and this time it worked.  Unfortunately the template did not seem to be completely right.  It was missing a few slides and the centering was off.  It took some time and loking at a few other classmates memoirs, but I vasically found a memoir that was configured correctly, looked at their html and set mine up the same way...slide ways, I made sure I did my own thing when it came to the personalization of my slides. 

Everything else was actually very simple.  I love that the buttons were set up because I think that would have freaked me out if I had to do all those links myself, but just having to put my word on each button and then have that button take me to the corresponding slide was so cool! I went into the css file because of course I wanted mine to be colorful since I am a very colorful person.  It was simple to change the background, and after looking at the tutorial, I was easily able to figure out how to change the font color so I did that as well.  The only thing I really struggled with was the image floating.  I didn't want to have my image floating so I erased that "floatingfox floating" line and tries to replace it with "Img."  It worked for the first image, but when I went to the second slide the picture was too large and by the time I noticed on the third slide, the slides became discombobulated and it was all messed up.  I know that if I had worked on it more or if I had the time to email Dr. McVerri I could have figured out the right way to do it, but unfortunately since I am doing this all last minute, I did not have time so I just went back to the floating images and luckily the end product was still pretty cool.


Check it out below and let me know what you think!

6 Word Memoir

Laura Marie

Reading Image: Multimodality, Representation and New Media

4 min read

I am going to start off by saying that I found this reading quite difficult to comprehend at times, but I will do my best to analyze and share my thoughts on it.  It was pretty intimidating to see at the beginning of the paper that Gunter Kress had intended the people reading this to be "experts in design." That told me he had intended this to be read by other doctors and professionals in his field, and since I am neither, I knew that it was going to be difficult for me to understand.  Plus it did not help that there were many errors in spelling and grammar throughout the paper, but that wasn't where my real difficulties laid.  I did not know what semiotics or multimodality were so I had to look them up.  It was quite interesting to see that Gunter Kress had actually come up with the principle of multimodality with his collegue so it did give him authority in my eyes.  Once I understood the meaniing of those principles, I was able to get an idea of what the paper was about.  

I actually did find the ideas in his paper interesting.  I agree that choices in syntax, images, font etc... can change the meaning and interpretation of a piece of work, and I never really thought about how much more thought goes into works in new media than in traditional works and articles.  As Kress summarized, the mode of reading that the western world had been used to for hundreds of years was pretty straight forward.  An author put their ideas on a page in a formatted way that they assumed the reader would follow.  The reader knew that they were to read from left to right strating at the first word of the page to the last and then continuing to the next page.  I liked what Kress had to say about "point of entry."  In a page of a book there was usually one point of entry where a sentence began usually in the upper left hand corner.  On the other hand, a page on a website could have multiple points of entry, and that made the author put a lot more thought into who their intended audience was, what their audience would respond to and how to grab and maintain their attention.  I never really thought about that, but now that I have, I totally agree with Kress.  In an era with search engines like Google that provide hundreds or thousands of links on one topic, the first impression I get from the main page of a site as I am going through these links, is a main decisive factor as to whether or not I read the information on that page or try another one.  The font, color, layout of the page, use of images amongst other things either grab my attention in a positive or negative way.  I also agree with what he said about design and how these days there are so many more factors to consider when creating a page or work.  

This paper gave me a lot to consider, especially being in a class like EDU 106 where I am not creating my own blog and pages to attract an audience.  I see how different the process is when designing a webpage or a blog post as opposed to typing up a research paper for history.  With a research paper my focus has to be mainly on the content.  Sure I have to pick a font, size and remember proper punctuation, indentations and paragraphs, but many of those things are given to me by my professor before hand and therefore I am free to think more about what I am putting into the paper.  When it comes to making a blog post or something like a biography page, not only do I need to consider the content which of course is important, but I also need to think about where I will place images, what color I will use and whether or not I will use different colors.  Whether the font will be bigger at the begining and get smaller when putting a caption beneath a photo and those are just a few things that I need to consider.  Meaning that my project is no longer just about what I'm presenting, but how I am going to present it and that calls for more creativity, an open mind and a knowledge of multimodality.

Laura Marie

My About Me Page and a Random Post on Completing it.

4 min read

So when I first clicked on the Remix button to start this project, I was a little uneasy.  I am so far behind in this class that I was afraid I would completely blow it and now be able to do anything.  To my surpise though, as soon as I looked at the index I saw code that I recognized realizing that I actually have learned quite a bit in this class.  Of course I still had to use the tutorial because some of it was unfamiliar to me, like the links for email, blog etc... Dr. McVerrys tutorial was so clear cut and all I had to do was find each line and it was easy to do the rest.  I wanted to change the colors because I am a very colorful person so I went into the css file and starting with the header I went into the color picker and played around a bit.  I chose red because as I had spoken about in my blog post about Dr. McVerry's article, "Small Differences Matter" the color red can be associated with power or passion, and I wanted my name to give off the feeling of both.  Then I decided to change the background color and even though that wasnt specifially included in the tutorial, I was able to find it by looking for the line in CSS and knowing that was for the whole entire page, I went to the background line and chamged it to lime green because...well, lime green is funky and loud, kind of like me.  

So I was really nervous about changing the links.  My first thought was to just delete all of them, but I wanted to make this page the best it could be so I attempted to do it.  It was actually so simple! Just like Dr. McVerry pointed out on the tutorial video he posted on the stream, i just had to delete the boxes I didn't want- the resume because I havent updated mine in a few years, the github one and twitter because believe or not, I do not have a twitter account.  Once I did that, all I had to do to change the links to my blog and email were to literally take out Dr. McVerry's info and put mine in, it kind of blew my mind how simple it was.  For so long I looked at HTML as this impossible part of a computer that I would never understand and the more I work with it the more I realize it is not as scary as I once believed.

So I couldn't use the selfie option for my photo because my three month old laptop broke (I'm not saying it was my fault for warranty reasons so as far as you know, it just wouldn't turn on) a week ago so I am using my old ancient laptop wothout a built in camera.  Luckily we are in an era where we have mini computers in our pockets or purses at all times so I took a selfie on my cellphone and uploaded it.  Again, it was as simple as Dr. McVerry said it would be and after that all that was left was to put in my own description about myself, and then change the backround image.  I will admit that I just used one of the sample photos that was on my ancient computer so that is why there was no link at the bottom, just a descritpion of a lighthouse. After that I just hit publish and was done.  

I really enjoyed this project and I'm hoping it will help with the six word memoir project because I tried doint that yesterday and was having a lot of trouble putting the pictures on there, but I think I  figured out what I was doing wrong and have confidence now that I can do it right.

Laura Marie

My Thoughts on "Small Differences Matter..."

3 min read

I was pleasently surprised when I saw that the assigned reading was written by Dr. McVerry since I find that reading something by someone I personally knows has a bigger impact on me than an unknown author.  Especially when I know Dr. McVerry's not just some random blogger or paid astro turfer blowing smoke, but someone with experience and knowledge in the field he is discussing.  I found his article quite interesting especially since last semester I wrote a paper that discussed some of the points he brought up in his writing.  I have always considered myself to be a good "traditional" reader, and I always showed an aptitude for reading comprehension.  I do think that I am a somehwat strong online reader able to have multiple pages open amongst several tabs, and take the necessary information from each story to navigate an assignment or complete a research paper.  However, I realized that I am not analytical in the ways that Dr. McVerry described, and I rarely research the authors or sources that articles come from.  On one hand, I do try to stick to what I beieve is reputable sources, but even with such websites, you still need to account for bias, motivations, and personal views and I don't always do that. Obviously it is important to have good sourcing skills because anyone could write about anything with authority, but without actually having the authority they pretend to have.  Reading this article has opened my eyes on the importance of checking the sources of my source as well as their credibility and just the site itself.

The section on multimodel design was very intriguing.  I really never stopped to think about how the font and color of an article could affect my comprehension or opinion of what is actually being written about.  It makes sense to me though.  Different colors are known to have different effects on poeple or perception for exanple, red can represent power or intensity so seeing something written in red can be perceived as more impactful than say if it was written in yellow.  The same goes for size- when I click on a page to see that it has a very small font size, I usually dread reading it before I even start or I may skip it altogether.  On the other hand, if something is written too large, I wont always take it seriously or I will assume they have useda large font because they did not have enough perdinent information to fill the article with.

I agree with Dr. McVerry that even though traditional and online reading have many similarities, that their differences can be as complex as the cognitive differences between us and our hairier counterpatrs, Chimpanzees.


Laura Marie

Remix Project

1 min read

I chose to remix which is the official site for his company.  I would have liked to do have done his campaign website, but the x-ray goggles do not work on it.  I am in the process of writing a post on what I did and why I did it, but for now here is the remixed page:


Laura Marie

What I Did for My Remix Project and Why

2 min read

 So for the remix a website project, I wanted to have a little fun with it so I had planned on going to Donald Trump's campaign website, but not surprisingly, you couldn't use the X-Ray Goggles on it.  I don't blame his people though, I could only imagine what kind of remixes people would make and post if they could.  Since that was not available, I went to which is the official site of the Trump Organization.  I was a little nervous about doing this site since I was unsure if it would qualify as hacking the author's credibiity. However, since the author of this was obviously working for the Trump Organization, by turning Trump's biography page into a joke, I was in essence making the author far less credible to his employers, and making Trump's company less credible to potential investors and customers.

Now I know that there probably are at least a few Trump supporters in the class, so I just want to out a disclaimer that I did not make this an attack on his politics or really make it political at all.  I may not be a fan of Trump, but most of the stuff I put up there was just silly, nonsense and I was targeting the 1% more than Trump himself.  I still had a lot of fun changing the website, and even though I knew I wasn't actually affecting the site itself and no one besides the one or two people that might look at my post, I liked putting my own opinion on a website.  I really liked using the X-Ray Goggles, they are such a fun tool, and I plan to use them in the future, I'm sure they would at least be great for a few great pranks on friends and family.



Laura Marie

History of Literacy

0 min read

Laura Marie

Boyd's It's Complicated Chapters 1 and 2

3 min read

In the first two chapters of "It's Complicated," Boyd talks about the issues facing teenagers and social media, like privacy and their intended audiences.  She speaks about context collapse which is basically the idea of all the possible audiences that a person could face online as opposed to their social groups in real life, and how it is difficult to adjust their behaviors and posts to be approprate for all the people who may see their posts.  The first chapter focused on this idea, and how teens have learned ways around this as well as the consequences they face when these different audiences clash, like when a parent or teacher misinterprets a post because it was intended for the teenagers friends who could understand the context.  

In the second chapter Boyd talks about privacy, and how many adults see what teenagers do on social media as them having no desire for privacy, but that is not always true.  She talks about how teenagers use different tactics to protect at least some of their privacy like signing up to sites like Facebook with false information, making their pages private or posting anonomously on sites where that is allowed like 4chan.  Others go to more extremes like one teenager she interviewed who deactivates her facebook acount when she is not on it, and activates it again the following night to respond to posts from friends. She also delved into the relationship between teenagers and their parents when it comes to privacy on social media and how teens try to find ways to code their messages so snooping parents won't understand the real meaning of their posts or pictures.

Boyd brought up many good points in these first two chapters.  Although I have not been a teenager in many years, I still experienced sicial media when I was younger with sites like MySpace and Journal sites, and I related to a lot of the things she wrote about like trying to balance my presence online with my home, school and social life.  I used sites like Myspace and other forums to connenct with people wo had similar interests that my friends may not have shared with me.  Even now I still use some social media, although I don't have a huge resence on  most of the sites because it is not really my thing.  Yet, I still find myself trying to navigate and balance my school, work and social life on sites where all these different aspects of my life collide and it is not always easy.