The End.

My final project changed a little in that I built a whole new website using the site builder Wix. I had used that platform before to write a blog that my family could read while I was living alone in the Netherlands. Now, I’ve created an online portfolio of my education, experiences, skills, and some of my photography for fun.

On all of the pictures I included, I added alt text, but all of the pictures on the website are ones I took so I didn’t need to give credit to anyone. I ended up using “All rights reserved” for my licensing. Since the information on the website is all my own, I’m mostly sure my information is accurate.

Feel free to check out the finished product, and let me know what you think. I hope you enjoy it, and this ends my time in Digital Studies 101.

Final Project Idea

For my final project in DGST 101, I want to build out my main domain to create my online identity. I plan on creating a digital portfolio of sorts that includes the work I’ve created for this class as well as information on my past education, work, and experiences. I’m imagining it would be similar to my resume but more detailed since I’m not confined to an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper here.

Visualizing Data

My created graph

Bar graph visualizing the percentage of students that received in A in each course at UMW for the 2022-2023 school year.
Figure 1. Percentage of students that received in A in each course for the 2022-2023 school year

How I made my graph

My first step to creating my visualized data was to figure out what story I wanted to share. I decided I wanted to try creating a graph that would show what course has been easiest to get an A in for the 2022-2023 school year. The original data I got from the UMW website, my graph I made, and my cleaned up data can be found below Figure 1.

To clean up my data, I made a couple modifications to the original data. If a course had less than 100 students in either semester, that course was removed from the data I used; I did this because I wanted to have less skewed results. For instance, one course could’ve had 2 students that both got an A in the Fall semester and 3 students that got an A in the Spring semester; to say that course was the easiest to get an A in would be a biased inference.

Additionally, the original data separated the students’ grades into A, A-, B+, B, B-, and so on. I decided to use the “Tot. A%” column because I wanted to include anyone who got a 90% or better in their course.

To create my graph, I copied and pasted the columns I wanted into a new spreadsheet and cleaned up the data to make it useable. Then, I created the graph using the Excel chart options. Through Excel’s chart options, I was able to give the graph axis titles, customize the colors, and include a legend for easier understandability.

Inferences made from the graph

My original inference (before I created the graph) was going to be that the course with the highest percentage of A’s for the year was the easiest course, but the result ended up showing nursing courses with the highest percentage of A’s. Based off of my general knowledge of the nursing field and its level of difficulty, I think I can safely assume this inference would be incorrect, so my new inference of this graph is that nursing courses have some of the smartest students.

My First Video

What is in my first video

For my video project, I used the same audio from my podcast project, but I got rid of some extra narration that wasn’t really necessary to the story.

Transcript:

Today I’m going to be explaining why Goldfish crackers are the best snack. We’ve got 4 variables to discuss: crunch, taste, leftover finger feel, and overall fun. First, we’ve got a crunch test [crunch sound]. The great thing about eating Goldfish is you can have that nice crunch from the hollowness of the snack, or you can eat them silently by letting them dissolve in your mouth. Second, we’ve got taste. Regular goldfish have the perfect amount of cheese flavor that isn’t too powerful while still being flavorful. Next is the leftover finger feel. Unlike Doritos or Cheetos, regular Goldfish gives you the flavor without the mess. Lastly, we’ve got overall fun. Goldfish look like little goldfish. How much more fun could they be? To conclude, Goldfish are the ultimate snack of all time.

How I made my first video

All footage used in the video is my own, shot with the Pro Video option on my Samsung Galaxy S22+. I edited the whole video using Canva where I was able to cut my clips, edit my audio, add a layer of music, and add effects and transitions to make it flow better. The royalty-free music track I used is called “Ukulele,” from Bensound (License code: VHUVOG4WZLD9EW13).

Maggie’s Perspective: The Podcast

What is discussed in my first podcast

I decided to make my mini podcast an explanation of why Goldfish crackers are the best snack. I break the minute down into four sections: crunch, taste, finger feel, and fun.

Part of the “fun” section is about Pepperidge Farm’s Special Edition Goldfish crackers, which are shaped special depending on the theme. The source I have to support my statement is the actual Pepperidge Farm company website that lists its current Special and Limited Edition Goldfish products, so I’m confident in saying it’s a reliable source.

Transcript:

Welcome to Maggie’s Perspective: The Podcast. Today, I’m going to be explaining why Goldfish crackers are the best snack. We’ve got four variables to discuss: crunch, taste, leftover finger feel, and overall fun. First, we’ve got a crunch test [crunch sound]. The great thing about eating Goldfish is you can have that nice crunch from the hollowness of the snack, or you can eat them silently by letting them dissolve in your mouth. Second, we’ve got taste. Regular goldfish has that perfect amount of cheese flavor that isn’t too powerful while still being flavorful. Next, is the leftover finger feel. Unlike Doritos or Cheetos, regular Goldfish gives you the flavor without the mess. Lastly, we’ve got overall fun. Goldfish look like little goldfish. How much more fun could that be? Also, when a special event comes around, they’ll come out with a special edition goldfish that are shaped around the theme. To conclude, Goldfish are the ultimate snack of all time.

How I made my first podcast

My first step in creating a podcast was pre-production; this was when I planned what I wanted to discuss, created the outline of my script, and tested my microphone and recording program.

After my pre-production process was finished, I went into the production process where I actually recorded the audio that I would edit later. I ended up recording in my mom’s closet because it’s a relatively small space with clothing on the three surrounding walls, so it provided more sound isolation to give me clearer audio to work with.

My last step was post-production where I edited the audio I recorded. The website I used to record and do my post-production was Soundtrap. I added a bit of the royalty-free music track, “The Lounge,” from a website called Bensound (License code: SJNKR3EDU7OUU8IZ) to give it that “podcast vibe.” With the music track, I used the fade-in and fade-out option for a cleaner transition into the episode and ending the episode. Lastly, I used the split feature a lot to cut out long breaks in between sentences and parts of my script that weren’t really necessary for the narrative.

Vector and Raster Images

My new site icon

What I made

Dark blue circle with light pink letters inside spelling M P
Created by Maggie Cavanaugh (self).

How I made it

My site icon was made using the website Vectr, a free vector graphics creator and editor. I only used the tools that were provided for free, so my design is simple but that’s what I like about it. It was originally a vector image that I’ve exported as a PNG and JPEG for this assignment.

Why this site icon

Since the icon is so small, I didn’t want anything too complicated or else people wouldn’t be able to tell what the icon was. The “MP” is short for Maggie’s Perspective, and the colors chosen were just colors I thought visually worked well together. Plus, the contrast in colors make the site icon even more recognizable.

My new header image

What I made

Dark blue solid background with light pink outline of four cats
Each cat designed by Galih Khoirul Fadil from GeKaDe. Header created by Maggie Cavanaugh (self).

How I made it

My header was made using the website Canva, a free graphic design creator and editor. Like Vectr, Canva has free and paid tools and designs available to create with. However, Canva is more generous with their free options.

Why this header

In my last post, Licenses and Images, I explained how my love of cats led me to choosing a picture of a cat as my header image. Well, my new header was created from the same logic, except this one follows the simplicity and color scheme of my new site icon. Each cat outline is actually its own element, but they were all designed by the same artist. I was able to align each line with each other and vertically flipped some of the images so all of the cats were facing the same direction.

Licenses and Images

What license did I choose?

If you scroll to the bottom of this webpage, you’ll find a footer that says “This work © 2023 by Maggie Cavanaugh is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.” This is my chosen Creative Commons (CC) license. The CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 lets everyone know that they can distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon my webpage, but it cannot be used for commercial purposes, credit must be given to me, and if it’s shared, the sharer must use the same CC license. The reason why I wanted to choose this kind of license is because I have no reason to reserve all rights to what I create here. I wouldn’t want the work that I put time and effort into to be copied and used for a stranger’s profit, but if someone could find this webpage and be inspired or learn something from what I’ve made here, I’d be happy for them.

Why did I choose images of cats for my site icon and Header image?

Something that everyone learns about me soon after meeting me for the first time is I love cats. As a part of this week’s assignment for Digital Studies 101, I was required to add royalty-free pictures for my site icon and Header image, so who would’ve guessed I would choose cats as my pictures. My favorite part about this assignment was I got to choose two different pictures, so I picked two different cats that looked similar to my own. Found at the bottom of this post are my chosen pictures on the left next to pictures of my matching cats on the right.

Black and white cat with yellow eyes looking up while sitting on a tan cat tree.
Photo by Arina Krasnikova from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-a-black-and-white-cat-looking-up-7725952/
Black and white cat sleeping on a yellow mat on top of a wooden table.
Spartacus laying on a table.
Up close profile view of a brown tabby cat's face with a grey background.
Photo by Pixabay from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/brown-cat-460797/
Close up profile view of a brown tabby cat with green eyes looking out a window.
Bert staring out my bedroom window.

The Trustworthiness of the Fredericksburg Neighborhood Coalition’s Website

What is the Fredericksburg Neighborhood Coalition?

The Fredericksburg Neighborhood Coalition is, as defined on The Coalition website, “a group of community members who are dedicated to addressing issues related to housing, transportation and economic development in Fredericksburg.”

My understanding of the organization based on the lateral reading research I’ve done is that it is a group of citizens in Fredericksburg who are advocating to preserve the city’s infrastructure.

Is The Coalition website trustworthy?

It was difficult to find any information about the coalition that didn’t just link back to their website. I searched “Fredericksburg Neighborhood Coalition” on Facebook to see if there was a group or account made for the organization. When I couldn’t find one, I tried “The Coalition” with the city set to Fredericksburg, Virginia, but I still couldn’t find anything.

However, I was able to find an article from The Free Lance-Star about a proposed ADU ordinance failing in a vote at the Fredericksburg City Council meeting, and the article recognized the Fredericksburg Neighborhood Coalition’s position on the issue while also hyperlinking The Coalition website. The Free Lance-Star has also mentioned the coalition’s concerns with the ordinance in an earlier article about the Council’s “first read of [the] ordinance that would permit [ADUs].”

I think the fact that our established, principal local newspaper included The Coalition website in their article means it’s somewhat trustworthy, but based on the group’s online presence altogether, it’s difficult to determine the true credibility and trustworthiness of The Coalition website. With no other sources to link The Coalition website to the group itself, there’s no way someone with no knowledge of the group could trust that website to be the actual website for the Fredericksburg Neighborhood Coalition group.

Who is the internet for?

Decorative image of a person looking at their laptop with Google open on the screen.
The internet should be for everyone, but the truth of the matter is, it isn’t.

Openness

Openness can be defined as a lack of restriction.

Why might we want to make “open” content?

One reason we should make content “open” is to allow the sharing of knowledge. By doing so, everyone can benefit by learning more, come up with their own ideas, and share that knowledge. What’s great about this is it creates a chain of invention that betters everyone in ways we don’t even know yet.

How can we do it?

Content can be made open in many ways, but the simplest way is just to publish it on the internet through other websites like WordPress. Make sure to include accessibility features so that anyone can access it, and if you really want content to be open, there are ways you can make your content available to be edited or added onto. This allows for more collaboration on a creative level.

Accessibility

Accessibility can be defined as the quality of being able to be reached.

Why might we want to make accessible content?

Content should be accessible for a couple reasons. Two reasons would be to stay out of legal trouble and to gain business through users that wouldn’t be able to access your products otherwise. However, one of the most important reasons would be because it’s morally the right thing to do. Accessibility is equality, in a way, so making content accessible is making it able to be reached by anyone, regardless of ability or disability.

An additional reason for why we should make accessible content is the “curb-cut effect,” where by fixing one problem can actually lead to the prevention or fixing of other problems.

How can we do it?

Content can be made accessible by making use of features like alternative text for images where you can describe what the image is for people with low vision. There’s also features like headings that, when used properly, can help someone find what they’re looking for on a webpage without having to read the whole thing.

There’s a YouTuber, Molly Burke, that I really enjoy watching. She posts a lot of videos about her life and what she’s passionate about like makeup and fashion, and while I have no interest in either of those things, I still watch them because there’s almost always an educational portion of each one. Molly has been blind for most of her life, and she has been an advocate for the disabled community for years, so in a lot of her videos, she will talk about how we can create a more accessible world for everyone. One of my favorite videos to share with people is “5 Ways YOU Can Make the World More Accessible!” I highly suggest watching and sharing it with friends and family and anyone else that’s willing to learn more.

Maggie

Adorable baby dressed in puffy red and green clothes sitting on multicolored chair.

I was born in China, but I was adopted as a baby, so the picture above is the one the orphanage sent my parents. Something else about me is I’m an accounting major here at UMW.

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