Portfolio Website (Taia) For my final project I have decided to take the content created for this class over the course of this semester and reorganize it into a portfolio website. I have chosen to work with WordPress since I am comfortable with the formatting they use and have already run blogs using it. This portfolio website will only contain content from this class, but I will expand it after this semester ends so it will host my work from other classes as well. My intended audience for this site is professional, such as prospective employers or other writers who are interested in my work. This website will be useful to me both as a way to organize my own work, and as a way to give myself an online presence that is professional and (hopefully) interesting.
Education, the power to change to the world (Ellen – link) My presentation is mainly about the differences between the Chinese and American education systems. I have drawn from my personal experiences in both education systems to share with my readers how the two differ and how they both have their good and bad. I have also used material from my interview project to help me make a more informative website. I interviewed my high school calculus teacher, and my friend here at Pitt. She is also Chinese, so I thought her perspective would be interesting. There is no absolute decision of which education system is better, I just want the people who come across this website to see China in a way that is not just from the news or just pure politics, and to reflect on themselves and see how different things are in two countries. Then maybe…understand the Chinese students here a bit more, by seeing the background they came from.
Stressed Out (Bridget) My final project is a website that is focused around helping students who suffer stress. I noticed in my interviews that a lot of students feel like they are the only ones under this much pressure, or they focus on how someone else is much more put together. Students need to see that their feelings are validated, and not only that, but how stress has increased since the past. My website is to allow students to see that they are not the only ones feeling overworked or stressed and that there is something they can do to help themselves. I have a source of on campus and online help for a variety of people, because sometimes they may be anxious about going in person to get help.
Study Steroids (Allison) So far, production of my website is moving slowly. I underestimated the amount of technical skill it would take and the amount of time I would have to put into it. I have started working on a few different pages within the website, but moving forward I am still unsure of the exact organization that I will use. I wanted to revamp my audio essay and split it into three separate shorter pieces, but now I am worried about the time that would take also. I would appreciate any feedback or suggestions that you have. This is still a pretty rough draft of the final product, so any help that you would like to offer are welcome. I also haven’t figured out to link pages to each other, so if anyone knows how please let me know.
Art for All (Erika) For my final project, I decided to create a website that focuses largely on advocacy for arts education. It originally started out with a ton of features, including a regularly updated blog, but after working with more of the design aspects of Wix, it seemed like a lot of clutter, and, frankly, too much for the average viewer to maintain interest in. I decided to cut it down to a “why and how” section that details why the arts are important and how anyone, from parents to educators to kids, can help keep the arts in their community. I’m also including a section of “spotlights” and stories – these will be profiles of local arts organizations and students, family, and friends that detail their connection to the arts. I’m in the process of getting interviews from all avenues, including the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and the Pittsburgh CLO Academy.
Special Education (Ben – audio link) I worked with the special education funding this semester. I focused a lot on how the system works and its shortcomings, but I’ve done little to justify why the average person should even care about these problems. For my final project I am presenting a philosophical argument for special education by applying three different popular ethical theories to the issue: consequentialism, deontology, and virtue theory. In all my research I was unable to find a lot of work along this line so I am hoping that I will be breaking relatively fresh ground.
Unfortunately, my final project is almost entirely text-based and so difficult to present in a classroom setting, but the special education teacher I interviewed mentioned something that could be an interesting application of the philosophical argument. I asked her what she would ask legislators if she could ask them anything, and she offered a challenge. Apparently, the rationale behind special education is foggy to everybody at times, even legislators.
Start to Finish: #30DaystoRaceDay (Natalie) For my final project I have combined the various tips and tricks that I researched regarding healthy running and training into a 30 day blog. The timeline of the blog encompasses the 30 days leading up to a race and targets a novice runner audience. I start from day 1 with the first run and provide motivation, tips, and describe a personal journey that other first-time runners can follow along with. With having a limited timeline the blog has a “daily column” feel that you might find in a paper or magazine. It is mainly image based and will provide text based descriptions surrounding the singular topic for that day. There are a lot of resources on the web for how to train for races, but this blog will provide both fun and factual tips (how long to run, where to run, what to eat, what to listen to, cross training etc.) combined with my personal journey so they can feel as though we are training together leading up to race day.
The Bully Ordeal (Diana) My presentation will be about how I’ve connected my written pieces over the semester as well finding other articles in media that go along with my semester long research project. My research topic was about how there is a bully in everyone and how I wanted to demonstrate different incidences of bullying that happen through mediums such as films, novels, and issues in society. My project is a website that uses these mediums and articles to further spread an enlightenment for the reader. They will look through their past as well as think about their future. I will be making my website be written as a more personal blog than a professional blog.
Lists (Alyssa) For my presentation in class tomorrow, I will be sharing what I have been working on so far for the final project on the need for a sexual education reform. I will be transforming my text interview project into a multimedia and more interactive form. As of now, I’ve started this project on Creativist but I might switch it to a format on iBooks Author. I am including photographs of the people I interviewed, their lists, and parts of their stories as well. I am changing parts of the stories I originally included in the interview project and hope to also add components of the When, Why, How project. I hope that this major revision allows the interview project to work effectively in a different manner than the text form and that the visual inclusions make it easier to connect to the interviewees.
body image/ e-newsletter (Marissa) For the purposes of this final project e-newsletter, I wanted to bring in pieces of public writing that I have already worked on in this class, but also bring in other aspects of my topic as well. I will bring in new ideas of how the media negatively portrays body image from a legal standpoint, specifically about plastic surgery and the use of photoshopped images in the media. This was originally going to be a part of my topic for the entire semester, but when I started creating the other projects, I was more focused on other aspects of the issue, so I am excited to incorporate a new aspect of my topic into my final project.