Friday, 22 February 2013

ubuntu design process poster

This is a poster that I am using with my students, also the website that it comes from also has a number of good ideas on it. 

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

radio station issues

So far we have broadcast two days... not because of a lack of trying, but because the computer that is running it crashed during a windows update and went into the reboot of death. Luckily we have all the music on a separate hard drive and just the operating system and programs sitting on the main hard drive.

A fresh windows xp sp3 install requires 121 updates, which takes a good period of time. Though my other issue was I turned the resolution up and forgot to change it back before going into the room.

The radio station is now back up and working, it now seems that I don't have a student wanting to do the branding of it, so will give it to my year 12 students as a task to do when developing there understanding of digital media.

If it fails again, I am putting ubuntu on it!

Sorting data

Ever want a way to sort over 200 pieces of data quickly. This is a task that I set my students every year. Sorting by lastname. What ways could you think of how to sort the data, what alternative methods could be used. What about the time factor?

Monday, 18 February 2013

mysql lesson failure

Started the students on their mysql journey today. After a period of frustration when they tried logging into the server all at once and having the server lock them out for a minute or so. Once getting over that hurdle and getting them logged in, the next issue was getting them to change there password, as some of the passwords are dictionary terms or only 4 characters the server wouln't let them change, instead I have had to learn how to change the password configuration.

Once into the server, it was create a folder, public_html, seems that some students can't type properly and I have to them show them how to remove a directory.

I am starting to get frustrated by the classroom environment, the monitor is on a good resolution, yet the projector is on the same, which means it is difficult to view. I am starting to think why even have a teachers computer if it is not setup to be any use.

Now onto the mysql intro,

An absolute failure, I forgot what I set the students passwords to...

This has now been fixed and hopefully all things will be go tomorrow. I plan to use my laptop and change the external display to a better resolution. Though the laptop does have an issue with the pwer supply.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Knowledge Digital Media Standard

I am busy reading and developing my understanding around the Digital Media knowledge standard, and wondering of I could develop an assessment that got students to compare Content Management Systems, the resource talks of a gallery for a wordpage. I am wondering if I could take this further.

I am now busy looking at the previous levels to make sure that my ideas and understanding will work, this could be a good way to develop a better understanding of what is required.

Looking at further information I am still working out what is required to be be developed. Just been posted on the group is the indicators of progression what is being looked at level 1, 2 and 3. Though there are a number of examples, non relate to what I am thinking.

Digital Media Standard Level 3

The following are parts of the Digital media standard

Implement complex procedures to produce a specified digital media outcome involves:
  • selecting software based on the features of the program(s) that enables the student to effectively demonstrate skills in creating, editing and integrating media types 
  • applying a set of complex tools and techniques to present content in a media type 
  • applying data integrity and testing procedures to ensure the outcome meets the specifications 
  • following legal, ethical and/or moral requirements appropriate to the outcome. 
Skilfully implement complex procedures to produce a specified digital media outcome involves:
  • showing accuracy in the application of complex tools, techniques and procedures 
  • showing independence with regard to decision making in the selection of software and application of complex tools, techniques and testing procedures. 
Efficiently implement complex procedures to produce a specified digital media outcome involves:
  • applying complex tools and techniques, and producing the outcome in a manner that economises the use of resources (eg optimised tool selection, batch processing images, use of master pages, use of libraries, timely production). 
3  Specified digital media outcome refers to a digital media outcome and its relevant specifications.  The specifications must be of sufficient rigour to allow the student to meet the standard.  The specifications need to be agreed prior to the outcome being made.  They may be teacher-given or developed in negotiation with the student.

4 Complex tools and techniques may include:
• Web page design: HyperText Markup Language / Cascading Style Sheets (HTML/CSS), scripting (manipulating content), dynamic data handling, interaction between user and content, multiple device outputs
• Print design: interactivity, form elements, chapters and sections, clipping paths, Extensible Markup Language (XML) content, pre-press, resolutions
• Audio: multiple tracks, manipulating multiple tracks, overlays, equalising
• Motion graphics: complex transitions, multiple tracks, post processing, compression and exporting, onion skinning, rendering
• Image manipulation: colour histograms and adjustments, non destructive editing, pen tools and paths, filter effects, graphic optimisations, colour management and printing, automation scripts.

5 Media types include: text, web languages, audio, video, graphics, animation or still images.

6 Data integrity procedures include checking for the relevance, accuracy, and reliability to ensure the outcome functions as intended.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Digital Media and wordpress

I think there is some confusion around the Level three media standard, especially if you are developing a php/mysql website. It is the link of the info and programming. Creating a dynamic website is one thing, but I don't think it is the answer. It is the design of the overall webpage and wether it will work for its audience. This was one thing that I learnt from the webmeets in Auckland, great programming behind the scenes doesn't mean anything if it doesn't look good. This is where Wordpress/Drupal/silver stripe cone into play. Why develop what already exists. You are developing your media experience, through how a webpage looks and interacts with the user.

I do wonder if people think that wordpress is just a blogging tool and do not realise the power that it has over developing and maintaining content. I for one have used it for portal pages, so it is easy for people to put up content, inform about house points, develop specific pages on teaching and learning. Looking at the showcase on wordpress gives students a idea on what the power of this platform has available. 

A number of years ago I attended a presentation on silverstripe and saw the development of the platform. One thing I think is people install it and see just a basic page, its not until you start working through the themes that you start seeing what can be done. I would love to find a resource on developing wordpress for high school students. 

Doing some research tonight, I found which looks to have some good tutorials on it, free to download. It is in a git hub format, which is awesome, simple to download and get working.

Now moving into server environment at school, ready to download and see whats available

I found this thread on developing wordpress in schools, some good ideas

There is this curriculum pack for wordpress

An interesting discussion on presenting wordpress to students

But then is it worth going down the wordpress line, I realise that there are other CMS systems and that they should be explored for there advantages and disadvantages. 

Silverstripe - a New Zealand based CMS

Friday, 15 February 2013

Minecraft for RPi

The folks from Mojang have finished the Minecraft: Pi Edition port, and it’s available for download now. For free.
You can see a post from Mojang about the news on their main blog; they’ve also opened up a Pi Edition blog,where you can find download instructions. I know some of you have already downloaded the beta version that was released in December; if you have, you’ll want to replace it with today’s release, which fixes some bugs and has more features.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Athletics Day

Had a good athletics day today, being the person that I am I seem to be given the IT tasks to be completed. This involves calculating the points and results for the school house competition as well as organising who moves on. Normally this has been done in Microsoft Excel, with its limits on how many can open the document as well as getting information out of it has proved difficult, especially trying to get an up to date house points total.

Bring in Google Sheets, incorporating the existing spreadsheet in was pretty easy, however it turns out that there is over 50 sheets, and I found out that there is a limit on how many cells you can have.

We started development using the schools google docs account, however there seems to be a number of errors uploading, updating and downloading information. So back to a traditional google account, that seemed to work a treat.

We also this year had a live points update happening, as students entered the information that was given to us, the points updated through the use of a IF statement, the points then were updated through a SUM FILTER statement. The result was displayed up on a TV outside where it could be seen, though somewhat difficult with sun and cloud.

The students enjoyed developing the information and getting it in, almost all suggestions where acted upon, including giving a device through to the announer so he could give points update.

The House tutors where happy as they could see what was happening throughout the day.

The only person not happy was the event director, this was due to some of the results not being entered. Though in our defence, the information never reached us. Almost all results that were handed to us were processed with 5-10 minutes. Compared to last year we had so much time on our hands. It was a simple and easy to use solution.

We had a comment made to us, its about the results, not the house points, I agree, why waste time calculating points when results are the most needed. That is why we never touched the points all day. The power of the spreadsheet did all the work for us.

Now thursday, this will be a day of finals and some other events. A easy day we hope?