September 10, 2011

Back to School Y’all

Site/flow mapping
CC BY-NC Flickr user boxman

This week, in addition to revamping my blog a bit, I started fall classes at SI.  As much as I dread the insanity that a full load of graduate classes brings, I LOVE “back to school” season and all of the hope and excitement that it brings.  Before the readings, before the boring lectures, before the all-nighters, there is this.  This feeling, this hope, that perhaps one of these classes you’re about to dive into will be the one that changes your life.  And of course, organizing your backpack and folders and buying supplies is pretty awesome, too.

So far I’ve only attended one class, as most of my classes are on Mondays.  And last Monday was Labor Day, hence, no class.  So it’s like I get TWO first weeks of class.  I mentioned once before–really confusingly, I admit–what I am studying, but I’d like to share a little more about my actual classes.  Chances are I’ll be showing off some of my work here over the next few months and it would probably help to know where it’s all coming from.  So, without further adieu… my fall schedule:

Database Application Design

Bright and early Monday morning I’ll be diggin into some MySQL and PHP code with my favorite instructor, Dr. Chuck.  He’s got some great resources on his site, so if you’ve ever wanted to learn how to program in Python or build an app with Google App Engine, check it out.  Anyways… in addition to honing my database coding skills in this class, I’ll be doing some group design/consulting for a client with some fellow students.  People like to hate on group work in school, but it is seriously the best way to learn how to apply skills in the real world.

Interface & Interaction Design

Ooooo doggy, this one’s gonna be exciting.  As the name implies, this course is the flagship user interface/interaction design course at SI.  In addition to learning the basic concepts of UI/IxD, I’ll get to do some practical application in class and design/build something for a client with another student group.  That’s two, if you’re counting.  I’ll likely be doing some of what is pictured above… BRING ON THE DRY ERASE MARKERS!

Content Management Systems: Configuration

I’ll be wrapping up my Mondays with this course, which is often referred to as “the Drupal course” even though there are 3 courses in Drupal at SI.  You’d think with a title like “Content Management Systems” we would be using more than one, but Drupal is the most robust, complex, and scalable of them all, so that’s what we work with.  However, I may be dropping this one as I’ve done a lot of work in Drupal recently and this course may be a little too intro for me.  And, it requires another client project.  That would be THREE. GROUP. PROJECTS.


More coding.  This time in Java, which I am completely new to except for some haphazard JavaScript I’ve played around with.  I’ve already attended two of these classes and the good news is: I like the teach.  Bad news is: the textbook cost me $130.  Seriously.  Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.

Transformative Learning & Teaching with Technology

This course is my cognate, meaning it is hosted in another school.  In this case, it’s the School of Education, which I am mad familiar with thanks to my M.Ed..  I’m pretty sure this is a theory course, so I’ll be reading and writing mostly.  About technology as an educational tool.  Oughta be interesting, as well as give me a break from all the coding.

So there you have it.  This is what will be occupying 60% of my time this fall.  Probably more like 80%.  Shit.

Are you a student?  What’s kinda learnin you got goin on this semester?

xo Em



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