Sunday, October 02, 2005

Wrapping and Waving

I am using webpages to present my findings. I decided to make the lists I've created available to others because it is likely that there are plenty of other families traveling with children who might find them useful. The web seems like the most effective way to reach my audience. I've brought together suggestions and tips from seven different guidebooks and provided links to many helpful websites. It could really be a time-saver to find all the parts that are relevant to this particular problem in one place. I may even post the link on some bulletin boards like the one at Rick Steves' website.

This information is important to me because my goal is to make this a very special experience for my whole family. This trip may be a once in a lifetime experience (hopefully not, but it's a big world to see), and it's certainly going to be a large investment in terms of money, so I want to make the most of it. I especially don't want Liam to feel like he spent his vacation being dragged around Italy, enduring boring museums and wine tastings. I will do both of those things, but I want to make sure he isn't lost in the shuffle of either the adult interests or a quest to expose him to "culture." I have a feeling that these are challenges that are shared by other families, so this information could be important to others besides myself.

I hope that by creating lists and organizing them the way I have (general travel tips, then specific sites by region), they will be easy to access. My goal is not to write another travel guide, but to create something that could be printed out and tucked into a good travel guide.

Wrapping was one of the easiest stages for me. The web seemed the obvious medium for this information. I've created web pages before so I didn't have to struggle very much with the mechanics of it. Making the website "pretty" and easily navigable were the most time consuming aspects.

If I were going to ask a student to consider producing a webpage as a product, I would provide either web design software such as FrontPage or an HTML tutorial such as Webmonkey for Kids and lots of assistance as needed. I would also provide a list of good clipart sites (there are so many, and most of them are of poor quality) where good images could be found easily. This could also prompt a discussion of copyrights and how to abide by the laws and etiquette involved in using images created by someone else. I would provide guidelines for what I expect from the technology angle as well as content. I would also provide examples of well done sites and explain how to "view source" to learn from others. I would suggest the use of the Presentation Planning Checklist.

It has occurred to me during this stage in the process just how many different parts there are to the seemingly simple step of presenting the information. I like the way the 8Ws [1] breaks it down into two steps, creating (Wrapping) and sharing/presenting (Waving). I think they really are two separate steps. First you have to decide what the product will be and how to create it, and then you have to decide how to effectively share that product with others, if at all. I don't feel that this part of the process is as explicitly stated in most of the other models. For example, the Big6 [2], with its easy to remember catch phrases, does not mention creating at all. They jump straight from organizing the information to presenting. While creating is implied in presenting, I think it was helpful to me, and that it would be particularly helpful to children, to stop and think about what the choices are and which presentation method fits the information. Production scaffolds would be helpful in getting students to take a chance with a new medium or presentation method.

----Sources cited----

[1] Lamb, Annette. Ws of Information Inquiry. []. Accessed on October 2, 2005.

[2] The Big6 Associates. What is the Big6?. []. Accessed on October 2, 2005.


At 1:49 PM, Blogger Jennifer Perry said...

Yup, should have included the link to my webpages. ;)


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