- Very basic photo editing
- Introduction to the concept of Creative Commons
- Uploading and publishing to your new WordPress site
- Visual images as representations of complex conceptual topics
Once you’ve created your web site, you need an image to represent yourself and/or your site for the class: an avatar. Your avatar can be whatever you want it be but try to create something that both reflects your personality and speaks to the topic for this class in some way.
Start by choosing one or more of your own photos as the basis of the avatar, drawing something yourself and scanning it, or finding one or more Creative Commons-licensed images on Flickr that you can modify. (Make certain to keep a note for yourself of the URL for the photos you use if they are not your own.)
Creative Commons licenses work with copyright law so that creators can share their work in a way that allows others to use it with attribution. The video on the left gives a good overview of the concept of Creative Commons licensing. The one on the right gives more explanation of how they work. They are short and worth watching.
You can find CC-licensed images by choosing licensed images on Flickr or with an advanced Google image search.
Crop and otherwise edit the photo(s) in a photo editing application (like Photoshop or Pixlr). You can create a layered or collage effect, if you’d like. Add your name on your badge in such a way that it’s legible — it can be your full name, just your first name, or the nickname you want to be called this semester.
Your final badge should be square and at least 512 pixels wide and high. Please make certain your badge is square so that it will fit into the design on the student sites page.
When you’re done, you’ll need to put the image two places, with an optional third:
Load the badge into your Media Library and publish it to your site in a blog post. (If adding it as a feature image means that the entire square image won’t display, then also insert the image into the post itself.)
Include information and links in the post about the source(s) for images included in your badge.
Write a paragraph or two about why you chose those images, what aspects of yourself and your interests are represented in your badge, and/or what difficulties you faced in creating the badge.
Please tag your post with the tag “sk1,” plus any additional tags that you think are appropriate.
Go into your dashboard to Design > Customize > Site Identity. Load the image as your site icon (not as the logo).
If you do not already have a gravatar, create a gravatar account and load your avatar there. From then on, your avatar will show up as your picture when you leave comments here and on other students’ sites.
Find a relatively large empty space. Take your backpack, messenger bag, or whatever sort of bag you carry around with you regularly, empty all the contents out, and arrange them carefully so that they represent a visual snapshot of the stuff you tote around with you on a normal day. Then take a clear photo showing your bag and the stuff and upload it to your site.
Note that like the avatar or the literacy narrative, this too is a type of autobiographical composition. If you have something in your bag that is private, embarrassing, or for some other reason you don’t want it in the picture then make the editorial decision not to include it. Or vice versa: if you would like to assume a certain kind of persona then you might consider including items in your catalog that might be less than fully true.
Add some text to your post listing the items represented in your photo, preferably adding in a bit of explanatory and/or funny commentary along the way. This can be a paragraph of text or a list or whatever format seems most appropriate for you. When these sorts of posts are done by publications, like say The Verge or Timbuk2, they are often not so subtle efforts at product placement but for our purposes there is no reason for you to engage in such advertising games.
Along with the photo and your description of the items, include a paragraph reflecting on what it was like to craft a self-portrait through this photograph. How actually representative is this image of you as a person? What sorts of choices did you make in order to create the image? What was challenging about this assignment? Is representing yourself in a catalog of the stuff in your bag a type of writing? Why or why not?