Monday, April 13, 2015

Creating websites/utilizing IFTTT recipes

Last week in class we were given an assignment
to create our own website. Creating tools such as Weebly and Wix were explored. I had previously used Wix years ago during my junior year of high school and I remember how generic and bland the site was. It has improved a tremendous amount since then. I haven't yet decided which of the two to use for my final project, Weebly uses a very organized platform but Wix has a little more to offer with customization. I think for presention purposes I might choose Weebly. I really want my website to be clean and organized with proportioned features, probably boxy with tags on the right making it easy to explore and access any information I display. This video was a very helpful demo of how to create a Weebly website.

Like I said Wix offers so much freedom in customization of the website. If I were planning on building a professional website Wix would definitely be my number one choice. The website offers a plethora of platforms to choose from that you can actually customize yourself. Wix allows you to integrate social media platforms to share to viewers as well as other platforms/applications such as calendar. A Wix website can be viewed on mobile devices and the user can customize the setting of the mobile viewing so that it is more attractive on the smaller screen of smart-phones. Wix allows users to really build their own personal/professional website to exactly how they want it. Wix presents a great selling point for users that are looking to create a website for retail purposes. Some tips from actual Wix professionals on how to design your website. Some great tips were; Emulate your favorites; they suggested tallying your favorite websites and designing yours based off of their features. Use accent colors; you want your website to be appealing but not overbearing. They recommended using colors and designs to draw the viewers attention to where you want them to be. Less is still more; you don't want any unnecessary clutter, keep it neat and organized.

For those who have not been introduced to IFTTT, it is an automation tool that uses designated triggers to enable actions. The user can create or choose different recipes. The recipes are two applications that connect and share information depending on the trigger. The IF is the trigger, TTT (this, then, that) are what happens after the trigger is performed. So say you chose a recipe of Instagram and Dopbox. The trigger is a picture taken on instagram and the TTT is that picture being saved to your dropbox. There are a lot of recipes to boost picture sharing with instagram, recipes that will allow you to automatically share to facebook, twitter, tumblr, etc. Instead of making you go back and forth between the apps IFTTT does it all for you. Some really great recipes to help with making the most out of your time include; facebook/twitter profile changes, when you change your profile pic it will change the other social media sites as well. Weather app to sms, receive a text when the weather changes. Calendar to sms so you can receive reminders of events. There are quite a few recipes to save you time and keep you updated.

Chapter 4 of Untangling The Web discussed social networking tools and how they can be used not only to connect with one another but learn and collaborate with each other as well. TodaysMeetSkypeKidblogEdmodo, and Twitter are just a few social networking/ learning platforms that were mentioned in the chapter. TodaysMeet, Kidblog, and Edmodo are specifically developed for student, teacher and even parent interaction. Educators can create a class chat on TodaysMeet and connect with students to guide them with any help they need. Teachers can help guide students develop communication skills on the web so that they establish proper online etiquette. Chat rooms on TodaysMeet will expire whenever the user wants, they just pick the length of time (1 hr, 12hrs, 1day, 1 week, etc). Kidblog is exactly what it spells, a blog for kids. Kidblog is overlooked by teachers and parents. It is a blog specifically designed for schools and is moderated by teachers. Edmodo is like facebook but for more educational purposes. Specifically designed for schools. Instructors can create an account and give a code to their students. Students then can create their account and with the code they can connect with their instructors and accept assignments. All of these social networking tools allow for exceptional ways of learning and connecting online.

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