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For this week’s reading, I downloaded Scratch and spent at least an hour playing around with it. I thought that it was a great way to start ‘programming,’ particularly for beginners. I was intimidated when I first read that we would be covering programming this week, as just learning the basics of HTML felt like a huge undertaking for me. I grew up in a place that received donated Mac computers in early 2004, and no one on my reservation owned a personal computer until 2006. I must admit that I barely knew the basics of Microsoft Word until I went to college, and even then, I basically winged it until my Sophomore year.

I enjoyed playing around with Scratch. I added numerous motions and color changes to my Sprite. I intended to include a screenshot, but for some reason my laptop is not complying. What I found most interesting is that Scratch was created (according to it’s Wikipedia page) as a tool that would be easily usable for children. I love that the next generation will be so computer-savvy. I struggled in the first ten minutes of using the program, trying to find a way to make the Sprite move (until I added the move on green flag tool to the instructions). I love that Scratch was made to be easily used by children, though I’m also a little embarrassed by my initial struggle with the program given that I’m 23.


I found the three databases in this week’s readings to be the most interesting, however difficult it was to read through some of the entries. The September 11th, Hurricane, and Virginia Tech databases were all extraordinarily moving from a personal standpoint. From a scholarly perspective, I definitely see the necessity of saving oral histories and personal accounts from these awful events. What is also interesting to me is that I had never considered that the worst tragedies of my generation happened during the internet era. It makes perfect sense to record the histories and oral accounts of survivors online.

What is also interesting to me is that so much of our lives surround the internet — from checking the weather to recording the aftermath of a hurricane. I remember my middle school teachers wondering aloud if the internet would ever be useful, and now it seems that the internet is the most logical choice for documenting tragedies and successes alike.

My tribe has only recently begun recording oral histories of our elders. I can’t help but wonder if the Oglala Sioux Tribe would consider publishing the histories online for the world to see. While very few members of my tribe experienced tragedies firsthand the way that September 11 survivors did, so many elders in my tribes are veterans. Creating a database of Sioux soldiers’ experiences during WWII would be fascinating…and definitely something I’m seriously considering starting for members of my extended family.

What I enjoyed most about this week’s readings was playing around with Wordle. I entered my website’s address and was surprised by what came up in the word cloud. While some words made sense (such as the words “Native” and “Indian,” seeing as it is a Native American news blog), others were more obscure. Such as “Ken,” “Mandan”  and “quarterly.” All in all, I think word clouds are a great way to spice up a blog or website. They’re fun and make you consider just how much you use various words.



I found the “The Gettysburg PowerPoint Presentation” by Peter Norvig to be the most interesting in this week’s reading. I write for a professional tips and tricks blog, and two of the most common questions I receive are 1.)how to make a PowerPoint and 2.) how to make a PowerPoint interesting. I loved the issues brought up in the Making Of.. section of the site. Many tribal secretaries (for whom my company’s blog is aimed at) are concerned that their presentations are detracting from the point they are trying to make. Does making a list of what you’re going to cover in your presentation enhance or obscure your point? Will making bullet points on your slides make it easier for you listeners to follow along or make it easier for them to tune out?

While I am personally a fan of PowerPoint (though I prefer Prezi), it took several years of school and writing about making slides professionally to fully utilize PowerPoint presentations. I loved the way the author turned “four score and seven years ago” into a graph (which the author described as gratuitous ((which also made me laugh, because rule #1 in my latest blog post is avoid unnecessary graphs and charts at all costs))). I also appreciated the terrible green slides and annoying font colors. In short, it is extremely easy to make terrible PowerPoint presentations, and I owe several paychecks to answering questions on how to improve presentations.