My HTML Page

Here is the the link to my first hand-coded html for my Methodology module (click on link to view). I created this page with the help of Codecademy as I learned the basics of how to structure an html page. Through these online lessons I was able to see how to use CSS coding in which I coded a color scheme and font type using a style sheet. Finally, I familiarized myself with the fundamentals of coding images and the article references to them to further supplement my page.

Methodology Module Final Reflection

Hi Everyone,

today I concluded my Methodology module in which I hand coded my very own html page. I decided to explore the topic of Journalism within this module in which I learned about the historical relationship between journalism and media technologies (print, radio, TV), how the Internet has made new modalities of communication possible, and how digital tools make new kinds of research possible.

I chose to analyze the article from Huffington Post titled, “Since Sandra” which explores and details the flaws of prisoner checkup while being incarcerated. This article analyzes the backlash that arose from the death of Sandra BlandDuring the first 3 days of imprisonment, inmates are significantly likely to harm themselves due to unpredictable causes; it is necessary that routine checkups on single cell lockups be increased to prevent inmates from harming themselves.

What helped me get through this assignment was the learning modules offered through This is a very beneficial website which I recommend that all college students take the time to learn about. Html and CSS coding are very valuable skills to know and possess through the progression into the professional world.

Through the completion of the third Methodology module, I can now proudly say that I have coded my very own html page. The thing I am most proud of through the finalization of this module was when I finally figured out how to successfully format my html paragraphs and unordered/ordered lists. This was definitely the most challenging aspect of this assignment as memorizing the indents and code spacing I found, at times to be, rather impossible. I’m very happy with the product that I have created and hope to use html coding in future academic and professional situations.

Methodology Module Introduction

Hello Everyone,

today I began my third module for my digital studies class which was titled: Methodology. Through this module, I hope to learn and explore more about html coding as it is something I have never done before. By the time I complete my third module,  I hope to create a successful and visually appealing html page containing analysis of a topic I am interested in. I plan to explore the topics under the “Journalism” module later this week and find one that best suits my interests within the interesting topic of Journalism.

Digital Polarization

Hello Everyone,

over the past few days my group members and I have been working together to contribute knowledge and analysis to the Digital Polarization Wiki. With my group, we investigated the truth status of our claim, which was titled “Freak Storm Pushes North Pole 50 Degrees Above Normal to Melting Point”.

We began our research by searching for other articles reporting on the same event and topic, noting the differences in the dates these articles were posted as well as the facts they reported. The first reference to our claim was reported on December 27th, 2015 by RobertScribbler is a climate writer who put together a post on his WordPress stating that a North Atlantic storm would “Push Temps to 36-72+ Degrees (F) Above Normal At North Pole”. It was then mentioned on December 29th, 2015 by titled “A Storm that Will Unfreeze the North Pole”. The first influential post of this claim was reported by the Washington Post who also cited the 50 degree change in temperature at the North Pole; this initiated a stream of articles and various posts relating to the claim.

Overall, it was not difficult to determine whether this claim is true or not; it is apparently true due to the lack of variation in quantitative data referring to the temperature change. Almost every article I found reporting on this claim cited a 50 degree rise in temperature as well as stressing the damage that will come from it. Through my work, I was able to help my group members find the origin of this claim as well as a few posts that followed it. Through these discoveries, my group and I were able to map out the first appearances and first influential posts in response to the event. It was not difficult to locate the origin of our claim, it was easily accessible through examining the range of dates as posts first began to appear. Lastly, I found this project to be a very beneficial experience; learning about the origin and variation in truth status relating to different claims surely has caused me to look differently at news sources and blogs when verifying it’s validity. I hope that the information my group was able to contribute will be found helpful by others when determining truth status.

Second Module Reflection

Today I completed the second module in my Introduction to Digital Studies Course. For this module, my group members and I chose to analyze a series of well developed and controversial twitter trends/hashtags, as well as the history and general information for hashtags.

Through our research, we learned all about the origin of the hashtag as well as it’s uses and ways it can benefit a business. We also chose to analyze a series of popular twitter trends including: #IfTheyGunnedMeDown, #NotAllMen, #TwitterIsBlockedInTurkey, etc. I chose to explore the hashtag, #TwitterIsBlockedInTurkey and learned all about the reason for it’s trend as well as it’s demographics. I found it rather ironic that twitter users within Turkey still managed to send out tweets, despite the pathetic ban placed my the Turkish Prime Minister; this instance surely examples the power of free speech.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed working through this second module. I found it fascinating learning about the history of hashtags as well as their broad range of uses. Although I learned a lot about my particular trend, I found it difficult to use the programs provided through the #Activism page. I found their objective rather interesting and look forward to using them in the future.

Second Module Introduction

For the second module in my Digital Studies course, I chose the “#Activism” module. This module, “#Activism” analyzes the forces behind hashtag trends and how users leverage different social media platforms to do something that matters with it. Through this module, I hope to learn more about the history of “#Activism” as well as the people that use them, and how they all interact in the digital age.

GIF Module Reflection

Hello Everyone,

today I completed my first module for my Digital Studies class. For this first “Creative” module, we had many categories to choose from and I chose the “Art of the Animated Gif”. Through research and much exploration with my group, I learned that GIF stands for “Graphic Interchange Format” and was created by Steven Whilhite in 1987. GIFs can be seen all over the Internet, especially on social media sites, such as twitter, tumblr, facebook, etc. In addition, GIFs were originally created so that the company that Whilhite worked for could download and transfer files with a color format. I created my gif using “”; it was a very simple process, which allowed me to create multiple gifs with ease. “Makeagif” allows users to create gif files using their own images and videos, as well as videos from Youtube urls. I selected an 8 second clip from one of my favorite Youtube videos and converted it to a gif file, which was also available for download. I look forward to creating more GIFs and learning more about the variations in image transitions.

First Module Introduction

Today in my Digital Studies 101 class, we began our creativity module. We had many categories to choose from, and I chose to join the “Art of the Animated Gif”. I chose this module mainly due to my lack of knowledge for gifs despite their prevalence throughout the digital world. I hope to learn more about the history of gifs, as well as how to make them myself!

Hello world!

Hello Everyone,

My name is Alex Burns and I am a sophomore at the University of Mary Washington majoring in communications. This domain is my personal website for my Intro to Digital Studies course where I will share thoughts on my experiences from the class as well as my experiences to come.

Setting up my domain was a new experience for me but I enjoyed learning how  to establish a website as well as a subdomain blog page. I set up this page using WordPress, a software which publishes text on webpages. Making this blog subdomain was a simple process; using cPanel gives easy access to personalize and control your website. cPanel gives links to WordPress, File Manager, as well as many other administrative tools which I look forward to learning more about.