Website design

I very much debated about whether I’d create this site using WordPress or Dreamweaver. Initially, I very much leaned towards Dreamweaver, but the reality was that it would take me a lot more time to manage a Dreamweaver site. I’m more familiar with WordPress, but also I like some of the content management system (CMS) features that I get with WordPress that I don’t get with Dreamweaver. If I wasn’t so file inept (see blog post), then Dreamweaver might work – but having to manually manage posts, and not being able to take advantage of various plug-ins made the decision difficult.

In the end WordPress won out. I needed a solution that met my needs, where I wouldn’t be spending all my time implementing the design and layout. I need to be spending my time creating content, not figuring out how that content is going to be displayed.

WordPress was also a personal preference. I knew that if I had a WordPress site, I would be able to blog. I know that I am able to blog, that I can write blog posts. I understand the workflow, but  I also have the muscle memory associated with blogging in WordPress. I can do back to my bike touring days. I blogged at http://goingeast.ca almost every day. So I know that if I setup the process, I can blog daily as needed. I think the ability to do that, and giving myself permission to write stream of consciousness (bad first draft) style, will allow me to just get it done … and I really need that right now.

My ‘to do’ list for today contains an item on my website design. Specifically, that is to write down all the content that needs to go on my website. So, here goes:

  • Workshop content, specifically: Icebreaker Activities, iPad Skills Lab, iPad Case Vignettes
  • Stuff to run a workshop: workshop agenda, administrative checklist, workshop evaluation sheets, facilitator guide
  • This blog
  • About this website, How to contact me, how to submit a case vignette (or other site content), credits for the site and site design (this assumed that I was using a graphic artist – I may not – I may just buy a theme and customize it myself.

About this Blog

It has taken me quite some time to figure out the best way for me to reflect on my research. I had originally planned to create a private research journal, but I find that I am not successful at actually writing in such a journal. I have never been good at personal journals – however, I have lots of experience with blogging.

I have initiated this website as a way to capture the artifacts associate with my research. It is also a tool of dissemination. It will contain all the different parts of the program that I’m creating, but also will contain this blog. This blog is a journal of my design decisions. It is intended to capture my thought about the research process, but also about the design of a sustainable and effective iPad professional development program.

With any luck there will be a lot of reflections in the next few weeks, as the first workshop will be delivered at the Department of Family Medicine (DFM) community retreat on March 22, 2014.

I apologize if today there are a lot of entries, or if this journal is long. It has taken me so long to figure out how to journal in a way that works for me that I  have many things to write down – many ideas and many reflections that have lived in my head need to be put on paper. I should also say that this journal will be messy. Although everything I write has been thoughtfully considered for the public forum, it is also still a stream of consciousness, and a collection of thoughts. It is an attempt to capture various ideas as they occur, rather than an attempt to write nicely polished blog posts. If you want to read my more polished posts, check out http://rjh.goingeast.ca. For this blog, I am giving myself permission to, as Stephen King said in his book about writing, “write a crappy first draft” … You have been warned. Only read this if you want to hear my crappy first draft comments, or to have some insight into how an educational design research project unfolds within my context.