Capstone – The Little Helpers Link

Here is a link to my site, The Little Helpers.  It is still a work in progress, but at this point I have all of the static pages done and am working on getting the PHP.  Next quarter, I hope to finish the backend and do animations and graphics.

Enjoy.

Capstone – Research II

So, in researching more site, I found TheParentHive.com.  This is an exellent place for parents to get information on parenting. I like their layout and site design, too.  The site also has links to places that offer activities for kids like arts and crafts, parks, etc.  They also include a parent’s forum, which is something I will have on my site.  Things they don’t do include offering games online or social networking for their children.  Overall, I think this is a really good site.

The next site I found was KidsHealth.org.  This site is more along the lines of what I am doing with my site.  I like their layout and how they’ve incorporated flash animation in their design.  This is something that I want to do, too.  They have a lot of great informational resources centering around children and teens health.  This will be to use for content in my site.  They also  offer quizes and games for children and it’s separated out into kids and teens.   They don’t offer any sort of  social networking that I can see which is a shame.  I think that it is important to have a forum for parents, at least.

The last site I found was kids.gov.  This is more of a place to find links to sites for kids.  It also offers a lot of great information is the parents section.  There is a lot of text, no games and no social networking.  But a good resource for other site.  Their layout is alright, but not that exciting.  About par for what you would expect from a government site.

Overall, I found some great sites that will help me build mine.  I haven’t found any that offer exactly what I am offering which is good for me.  Besides a place for parent resources, I also want to offer social networking for kids in a blog form with games all centered around learning about responsibility (i.e. cleaning your room, good behavior, etc.).

Capstone – Creating a Mobile Section of Your Website

There are actually a lot of sites out there dedicated to help make your site mobile phone friendly.  My Google search came up with a bunch of sites, the first I looked at was Mike Industries.  This is a blog  article that has  simple looking instructions on using a hack to make your site work on mobile phones.  It basically strips out images, styles, decorations and such simplifying your site for phones.  I found the responses to be helpful, too.

The next site I found was Cute Writing.  This article deals with making your blog mobile-ready.  It has several links to different sites that will help you achieve this including Google and WordPress.

The next is 3point7designs.  It not only gives help on how to do it, but why you would want to.

The last is Search Engine Guide.  This article is similar to the last one, in that it offers good ideas about why you would want your site to be viewable by people surfing on their mobile phones.

All of these sites make the great point that having a mobile friendly phone is the way to go.  More and more people are using their cell phones to surf the internet and web developers we need to take this into consideration to not cut down on our markets.

Capstone – Project Proposal

TheLittleHelpers.com

Project Proposal

Project Statement

I see a need for a social networking site for young children. One that is more educational, as opposed to the few that are online now that seem to be mostly for entertainment. I also see a need for a site that helps with parent interaction, as well. A lot of times parents find activities for their children to do, but don’t always participate. While I understand that life can be busy for everyone, I want to offer a site that teaches children and parents the benefits of chores and responsibility with the use of social networking, games, and activities.

Project Description

The site I propose to build is TheLittleHelpers.com. It will be a site that mainly focuses on learning activities for young children. Through the use of online forums and blogs, it will help children learn the importance of doing chores and behaving properly. Initial, both parent and child will be able to get online and create the child’s Little Helpers Avatar and room. There will only be a few options for this in the beginning. There will be a section where parents can decide what type of chores their children will be responsible for. Each time a chore is completed, they will be able to check it off the list. Weekly, if everything is checked off, the child will earn items for their avatar or for their avatar’s room. It’s a reward system that doesn’t center around snacks or treats.

The child will be able to play learning games that help with counting, colors, spelling, etc. to also earn points to trade for upgrades. For the child to check chores off their lists, they’ll have to have their parents present for their log in. This will prevent cheating and cause interaction with both parent and child.

A good part of the parents section will discuss child safety while online. This will include rules they should discuss with their children. There will be information about chores for children including what is age appropriate, benefits of chores and responsibilities, etc. There will also be a forum for parents to discuss with each other what chores their children do, ask questions of other parents and help with ideas for activities. TheLittleHelpers.com will be a great way for parents and children to learn about social networking and get involved with online communities.

Through my research, I have found sites such as MoshiMonster.com and ClubPenguin.com. While they have some educational games and provide social networking for children, I feel they are targeting an older generation. I also see that these sites, and others like them, don’t involve the parent as much. TheLittleHelpers.com will work to provide activities that both the child and parent will have to do together. I see that television and video games are an easy way to keep children entertained while parents go through their daily routine. TheLittleHelpers.com will not only be educational, but also promote parent/child interaction.

Technologies

TheLittleHelpers.com will incorporate HTML, CSS, MySql, Javascript, AJAX, and PHP. These will be used to create the majority of the site. Also, there will be an incorporation of Flash animations. Flash will also be used to create the learning games that children can play to earn extra points towards getting upgrades and new items. For this site, I want to try and create all elements on my own instead of using tools such as WordPress or Drupal.

Project Plan

By week 4, I plan on having comps for the site. Week 5, I will provide site maps and wireframes. Then the following weeks will be used to build the site. I plan on having the majority of it build this quarter with polishing and implementation of the site held for next quarter.

Capstone — The Meaning of ‘Capstone’

While searching for other capstone projects, I found a lot of sites that were colleges listing the course descriptions.  Most were for other fields of study and dealt with writing papers.  All had the same theme in common, however, and that was taking everything the student had learned and implementing it in the project.  Which is how we are using the term at The Art Institute.

Some of the sites I found include:

UIC.edu – This site is a course description.  It is a class for all students in all majors.  Their projects can include:  a written paper,  performance, art piece, etc., but must incorporate everything they have learned while at the university.

gradschool.marlboro.edu – This course description also offers links to sample student projects.  You have to scroll down to the actual course.  The three they list work with web design.  There are some great ideas for web sites in these examples, some are similar to the solutions we are discussing in class.  One that I thought was interesting was the second sample project by Joshua Farber.  It is a site that goes along with a course about human communication.  It helps students and teachers learn online technologies.  This is very important.

Continued Education – This is a link to a .pdf that explains the course  for this school.  It is the course description for web development students.  Similar to all the other sites I found, this the culmination of the students academic career.  It’s a project that brings together everything that they’ve learned into one final project.

Brown.edu – This one states, “A senior capstone project has the potential to clarify one’s relationship to a discipline, by solidifying old knowledge and opening new paths for the future.”  I really like this idea and think that it is definitely what we should be aiming for with our capstone project, specifically clarifying our relationship to our discipline.  I think that it is a great idea for the capstone project to not only showcase what we can do, but also help us with the direction we are looking to head in our futures.

I see through all of my research that our capstone project course goes right along with what everyone else is doing.  We handle it in the same way.  I think that this is a great course, for us students to really showcase what we have learned, but also enables us to learn more by pushing ourselves to create a site that will benifit the online community by solving a real world problem.

eLearning — Week 11

My site is done.  The last two things that I had to do were the quiz and the news sections.

I’m really proud of this site and have enjoyed creating it.  I hope you find new ways to go green in your life.

It’s Movie Nite — Week 11 Update

I am finished with my site, though, there is still some tweeking to do.

Here is the link.

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