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Banners no more

Published 2.9.2020: So once again, this site has been reformatted. Not because that's what I intended to do today, but rather because the web design program I use decided to act up today.

I tried to alter the top banner of the site, but the software had other ideas. I've never really liked the banner, I don't like having to scroll before getting to the content.

Still, that seems to be the current vogue in web design, so I implemented it. For the time being, until I can figure out what happened with the program, I've returned to the bare bones design I used several years ago, and truth be told I still favor.
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I also design the website for my offline business, and while I get a fair number of very positive comments, I also get comments that it's not "advanced" enough and that I should hire someone. I did talk to a local web designer, but was put off by the pricing.

Especially since the resulting site was essentially going to be static. I'd have to pay again any time I wanted to update the site. They did offer to make a Wordpress site, which presumably I could learn how to alter.

Wordpress, however, to me is entirely non-intuitive. I have tried unsuccessfully a couple times to create a site with the software. In the end, I would up buying RapidWeaver, which is what I use to create this and all my sites (yes, I have more than two).

I had to pay for this software, but it's a lot more intuitive than Wordpress. I don't have all the bells and whistles on this (or any) site, but I'm not a huge fan of the bells and whistles.

So many sites use pop-ups— which I hate, and I know I'm not alone!— and other "high end" devices that to me actually detract from the experience. Perhaps I'm showing my age, because to me websites (with the exception of Youtube) are still for reading.

Reading and learning online

I have tried to do more reading offline, but at this point, I simply prefer reading a screen. I also don't think that I retain less from reading a screen than a piece of paper. I know what the research shows, but I wonder what the research would show for people who prefer reading online.

I'm getting a bit far from the original topic, and hey— it's my site. Studies also show that taking notes by hand is supposed to improve retention of information too— but I think that's a matter of skill. I think if students were trained in how to take notes on the computer they'd have better results.

Mostly the results seem to indicate that students spend the class (when they aren't messing around with games or twitter or texting) transcribing word for word what the professor said.

One way around this is to make the notes available for download, so that students could concentrate on what was said rather than transcribing. Another way around it is to make the class interactive.

Verbally interactive is great (and traditional) but only one person can speak at a time. Surveys and in class "quizzes" would require all students present to participate.

My point is that technology isn't static and people do adapt. When I first started my career I wrote on paper and then retyped all my work into the computer. Now I read, take notes, and write on the computer. I seldom, if ever, take notes by hand now. Particularly if I have my keyboard handy.

Now, if I have to enter data on my phone, pass me the damn paper and pencil. But at the keyboard (especially on my Mac) I'm better off than with a pencil.

I don't type fast enough to transcribe anything, but I would take as many notes as I could— just like I did when I was writing with paper and pencil (or pen).

BOTTOM LINE: For the time being we are reverting to the bannerless design. It's not just the banner function that isn't working though. The reason the logo is at the top of this meandering essay (and bless you if you are still reading) is because the logo placement function isn't working either. Just not my weekend for designing, I guess.

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