Wednesday, 11 March 2015

complex digital media

One thing I am often asked about demonstrating understanding of digital media, is what is complex?

To me, it is around understanding someones else's code and having to implement it.

Case in point KAMAR web portal, the authentication is in the top of the page, however when you have a full banner, as most schools do, the authentication information, i.e the button to hit logout is in hidden the the bannar.
You need to be able to change it, you need to be able to read someone else's code and change it.
      <div id="wrap">  
           <div id="header">  
now the {auth_head} which is a function needed is required to be moved to another location in the code.

The other example is being able to use a front-end framework.

What is a framework?
A framework is a standardized set of concepts, practices and criteria for dealing with a common type of problem, which can be used as a reference to help us approach and resolve new problems of a similar nature. 
In the world of web design, to give a more straightforward definition, a framework is defined as a package made up of a structure of files and folders of standardized code (HTML, CSS, JS documents etc.) which can be used to support the development of websites, as a basis to start building a site 
Most websites share a very similar (not to say identical) structure. The aim of frameworks is to provide a common structure so that developers don’t have to redo it from scratch and can reuse the code provided. In this way, frameworks allow us to cut out much of the work and save a lot of time.

bootstrap, angularJS are two frameworks that I use with students, why, because they need to be able to understand how to get these going and what can be done to support the website that you are creating. Be it responsive or adding in some extra control.

NCEA Digital Technologies, Digital Media looks like, simplified,

Level 1 basic, create a website using a text editor, add some css into it.

Level 2 advanced, start to use more complex css and HTML5 to design a webpage.

Level 3 complex,
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

Some schools introduce php and mysql here, however to me that is level 2/3 information.

Without specific advice and guidance, this is a very hard area to plan and develop to work within your course. Looking at where I want my students to go, I want them to work down this pathway. The conversations I have with industry/polytechnic/Private Training Providers this seems to be the pathway that they would like students to go down. It means that students have understanding and demonstrate knowledge around this area.

The knowledge based standard is intended that students explore at least two complex digital media outcomes in order to discuss complex tools and techniques, and associated design elements, legal and ethical considerations used in relation to the requirements of the outcomes.

I am getting students to look at Network for Learning POND as a case study around this, as with the videos they can start to understand the design elements, the release notes provide some understanding on changes that have been developed and the whats coming section allows for students to see what is coming up. I hope soon that student access will be made available so students can develop a better understanding.

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