Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Sweetness

Does anyone still use their blog anymore?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Social Learning: Online

This EComp class has been a challenge for me. I enjoy computers; I use them for numerous functions. I don't like using a computer foring reading however, I get too distracted by the unlimited possilbities of things I could be doing on the computer. I like reading from books, I'm old fashioned I guess. Through out this class I found it very difficult to read blogs. In our class online class on April 1, we discussed some ways to prove whether an "internet source" is credible. I've always had the impression that most things on the internet should be taken as a message, not a fact. I don't trust the internet, however I do trust people. I would often read blogs of classmates that I knew from other classes because I could put a face to their blog.

I would like to give huge props to Erika , her blog has so much creativity, insight and material. I appreciate the time and effort she put into her step by step instructions, wow ! "Dreaming" is such a relaxing tune. I would often check out how she did her tech tasks so that I could have an idea of what to do. Thanks Flavapuff!

On the second day of class I had the amazing oppurtunity to have class with Dionne, we were both on campus for that day's online course. She kept saying that she was new to this computer world, I believe she said she would throw her computer against wall at one point. She mentioned that I helped her out on her first day of EComp. Honestly I didnt do very much. I forgot how to set up a gmail account, she was the one that got it set up. That was all her. I still think she should of used her old hotmail account name though. As I look at Dionne's current technical prowess, it's truly inspiring. You rock Dionne!

Having class in the comfort of my room was very distracting. I wish I could say I was a perfect student in class, but I wasn't. I listened to the "lectures" but I found it hard to stay focused without being able to be in the presence of the person talking. Elluminate was a great program to use for this class, it made this online expierence feel like a discussion forum.

At the beginning of this class I had very little expierence with blogging. I am still warming up to it. I can really see how benificial blogging could be inside any classroom. If I could some up my reflection on social learning online it would be: someone can type "haha" but its not satisfying as actaully seeing a real person laugh. I had alot of fun in this class, it wasn't a typical university class. I really enjoyed the way Dean let us use our creative ideas to shape our projects/tech tasks.

This class emphasized my idea about "commenting". The internet is great for this. On the internet we expose "ourselves" to other cyber identities. The oppurtunity for inter-nationtal collaboration is the most fascinating aspect for me. As I started learning more about the "flitter" people and how useful a large supporting cyber community can be, I started to comment/review other cyber people's digital work a lot more frequently. The only problem is that this was on a different website (not my classmate's blogs).

Reflection: I glad I started up a blog. I can't help but imagine how much a classroom could benifit from a cyber space to showcase their creations for the world to enjoy.

Tech Task 12: One Great Video



This video is by P.O.S, the song is called :Optimist. This video definately inspired my video, I'm not that creative. I really like the stop animation that was incorporated into this video, to me it feels like it establishes poetic flow to the animation. The zoom and lighting effect on the Mercedes toy car is slick. The angles on the toys are really effective, they make everything that's small like life size. As for production value, it looks "organic" with a little bit of digital shine, I like it. I give this video/song 9.8/10 +images and presentation are captivating + the lyricism is creative and passionate + the music is unique and its drives through the song nicely. Right now I can't think of any criticism to make it better. Check it out for sure!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Final Project: "Friday Style"

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Alright, this is my final project for EComp 355. So I started this project on April 3, Friday. The night before I downloaded Dj Sinj's album "Something Strange". He's got some nice hip hop tracks on it. On Friday I have this class, it's magical. I can't believe the amount of talent and heart that my classmates have, its amazing.

For my EAES 201 class I wrote a song for my personal arts project. My critical buddy "Neitzlawe" gave me many pointers in which to improve upon. He advised me to start freestyling to help get a feel of "natural flow". So I turned on Dj Sinj's song: "Guitar". I was planning on doing a short music video for a written song, but I no longer liked the song. This was all inspired by the magical energy I got from that classroom. I'm still learning how to freestyle so don't expect a masterpiece like "Funky Monkey". I tend to say "inappropriate" things when I freestyle so I did a practice take called "Tring not to swear", I lasted about minute. hehe

For the animating portion, I find it much easier to animate for musical purposes. With music I could make the images "flow" and "meta-morphasize" to the music. Doing animations with alot of details would have taken a great deal of time to animate, so I stuck with simple short animated clips. Overall this project took me about 16 hours to complete (I napped a few times). My head hurts, my back is aching and my eyes want to read a book.

Teaching animation may prove to be a difficult task though. Making animations takes time and patience. Student collaberation would be very useful when/if teaching animation; each student could animate short sections, eventaully these clips can be compiled into a cool looking video.

This was the first time I made a complete story board before I animated. It worked wonders, I could see where I had to go with the animations , instead of just going for it.

Now its time for a break from animation.

Friday styles on a Saturday

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Friday, April 3, 2009

"Friday Style" animation sneak peak.

Alright, this is the first sequence of animation Im using for my "music video". Once I have the whole project completed I'll upload it with the music.
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Monday, March 23, 2009

Podcast: Where is my sanity?

Yeah, I don't know about this one. I used Audacity to record some vocals and then interviewed some characters. Sorry if you're offended in some way (if you're Asian, a nerd or a drag-queen).
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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Quick and dirty podcasts..

The first podcast I listened to was "Grammar Girls Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing". The lesson today was "Vampires have grammar questions today". Grammar Girl gives logically explanations for her lesson on "falling outs vs. fallings out". I found it hard to follow because I am more of a visual learner when it comes explanations on grammar. She advertises a bit too much for my liking. I'm not really a fan of audiobooks, I like making the characters voices in the book I'm reading. When I saw the Lord of the Rings, it was such a let down.


The second podcast I listened to was "All Out Djs". Each podcast is +30 minutes of music. I was glad to see that it displayed "explicit" beside songs that may contain naughty words. The music is very "Matrix: Reloaded" Zion dance/rave themed. I was quite impressed with the selection of music in the I-Tunes Store. I was disappointed that the songs didn't play in succession, I had to continue to click the next song for it play.

Shanghai treasure map.


If you are ever in the Hongkou district of Shanghai here are some treasures to be found. I don't know the actaul name of the "Friends" restaurant. They have the best northern Chinese cuisine in town. Try the "tudou nuiru" (potato and beef+ Chinese magic) "Yuxing chetsi" (Sauced Egglplant) or "Tuduo si" (potatoe sliced+ Chinese magic).

This was the route I took everyday to get to school. I jumped on Chifeng Lu Metro station and rode it to Baoyang lu station (about a 24 minute ride).

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Update:

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Here's what I've added tonight (this is what happens when I attend a university class, in the comforts of my own room: Sorry for wandering during class). My eyes hurt and my patience is worn; animation is such a drag.

Collaberate with precision...

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Here's what I got so far. I made the music on Fruity Loops.
I'm using Flash to animate. If you have any ideas at to what I should add to this, let me know!

Some more...

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These are the first animations I did for this project. I used Jasc Animation pro for the first, third and forth shots. For the Stick Figure animation I used a program called Pivot Stickfigure Animator (google it). The first and fifth shots were drawn in my sketchbook and I took a picture of each progressing frame. This is scene is meant to be the opening sequence for a music video. When I animated these scenes I didnt really think how the music progresses, so these scenes don't sync up with the music (yet). The lyrics these scenes co-respond with are:
"It's unacceptable,
You're sesceptible to disease.
The decimals of currency are measured and treasure... -in cheddar cheese (not shown in animation, (Yet!))."

I highly doubt that I will have a presentable music video finished by the time this project is due. I will continue creating animations after E Comp 355 is completed. If anyone is interested in animating a scene for this music video, just let me know; collaberative art is my favourite kind of art. Peace!

Monday, March 9, 2009

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This was my first attempt at using Flash 8. I watched a tutorial about a method, calling "tweening". That's how I moved to ball in the first couple of seconds. For the rest of the animation I did frame-by-frame animating. I found the use of multiple layers and user friendly accessibilty very easy to work with. I can't really say I planned this animation out, I just started doodling on Flash and this is what happened. Smile!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Sellin' myself

My project looked boring so I messed around with some editing features on PhotoStudio 5.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Ting bu dong!



I read Erika's blog about Animoto and I really liked the fact that it did most of the editing for me. I enjoy editing in small amounts, but too much makes me crazy. I originally uploaded 15 pictures; each from a photo folder on my hard drive. I wrote up a story linking the photos but when I finalized the project it only showed the first couple of lines. This was probally because the site only allows you to make clips (to make full length videos, one must purchase some kind Animoto token or something). When I watched the I was fairly happy with the outcome, even though all the pictures and text didnt show up.
Using Animto to quickly "spice" up a slide show could greatly increase the interest and attention students have for a lesson.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Seconds?



Last year I taught at a private school in Shanghai, China. I have been looking into some options for employment in the future. I posted my resume on Dave's Esl Cafe ; within 2 days I have recieved several proposals from schools in Asia. One of these contracts offered the possiblity working with Chinese government owned schools. Chinese education is a little different from privately owned school education. I haven't taught within a Chinese government run school, so I can't give my personal opinion yet. I came across "Chineteachonline" ,I found it very interesting. Many (if not all) of the students I taught in Shanghai, were from a finacially secure background. I don't agree with the statement "[Private Schools] are generally perceived in China as being for students who have the money but not the brains." Each one of my students had a brain; sometimes their brains were focused on their new digital pets, but they had a brain somewhere.

A question I'd like to ask is:
What do you think the differences are between government schools and private schools? (In Canada and China).

Thursday, February 26, 2009

My first official blog entry...

What is a blog? Is it public personal journal? Is it a space on the Internet where people can express their feelings? I heard a story about how some "rock-star" wrote some emotional and personal entries on her blog. Some kind of scandal occurred I think. I didn't care enough to pay attention.
I have no problem with people blogging and expressing themselves on the Internet, but I have troubles expressing my personal thoughts in a public domain. For about 2 years I have been writing my thoughts in notebooks (my thoughts tend to rhyme). In our online EComp 355 class last night we started discussing artists/teachers on the Internet. What an artist sees as a art is often seen completely different by the audience. I love the fact that someone can hate what I love, but I often need to examine my "art" before I can evaluate whether or not I love it. For me, art rarely starts out as some planned activity, I usually start with nothing and see what happens from there. I have submitted random pieces of my art on the Internet since I was in gr.10. Deviantart is a site where users can submit pictures of various medium and styles. I made some cool picture of Super Mario in MS Paint. Me and a friend made some rap songs about video games back in the day; Myspace, Reverbnation, Newgrounds and other similar sites were great ways for us to get connected with other artists with the similar ideas. Now that I can look back at some of my earlier work I can see/hear the progress I have made. Am I worried that some day in the future, someone will find an audio recording of me talking about "PKing" someone in an online world? Nope! Teachers were once children too, we've all made mistakes and we've all said or done something we have regretted.

Here's a little story I'd like to share...

I was 11 years old when my mom first got a dial up Internet connection hooked up in our home. The first thing I did was make an hotmail account. All my friends had super awesome email addresses, like straight out of the Matrix. I started thinking of what my email address should be... Well at the time, I was obsessed with hunting. I was too young to carry a gun, so I got to "push-bush"-basically I walked through buck brush and scared deer out so my dad could shoot at them. With that in my head I thought of "bushboy". Someone already had that as an email address so I randomly selected "84" to follow it. Bushboy84 was created. My secret identity on the internet! This user name has been used for many other accounts. My Xbox live account is Bushboy84 (add me up, we'll go pwn some noobs in Halo3!). On Xbox live, users can talk to each other through head sets. I'm not going to quote any of the remarks I received on my user name, I'll let you make the assumptions. I'm torn, I've had this screen name since I started exploring the internet, should I kill it because some people misinterpret the meaning, or should I keep it.

Well this is my attempt at "blogging", I filled up my notebook yesterday, so I thought I should try babbling on a blog...

Peace

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Mastercard: "Priceless"

Have you ever wanted to be a super-hero?


I used a bunch of pictures from Flickr for this commercial. I use Windows Movie Maker to animate it. I had problems having narration and music tracks both in the audio channel. I could have put the narration track and the music track into a sound editing program like Adobe Audition and then mix both tracks into one audio file, but I guess I got a little lazy...

In my grade 12 Physics class, the final project for the class was to make a remote controlled car and then advertise it to the class. Our school had 5 Mac computers, I really enjoyed using the programs on it to create projects. IMovie was very handy: its user friendly set up was fairly easy for "Non-Mac" people to understand. I tried to get Photostory to run on my computer, but my computer must've been just a little too outdated for it.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Lego : the bricks of art

Animation is a very interesting art form. I have always been fascinated by how much energy can be achieved through the motion of pictures; and cartoons are funny and awesome. I have been experiementing with different styles of animation. I've just be been trying basic "frame-by-frame" animations. I've been using a program called "Jasc Animation Shop". One night, me and a friend decided to play with "LEGO" and a Digital Camera. This .gif animation consists of 32 shots. It took about 15 minutes to construct, 10 minutes to shoot and 5 minutes to animate. Working with Todd proved very helpful, between the two of us, we could move more objects with small incremental movements. I think LEGO is a great resource to have in a Art class room.

I would like to add: During this shoot, I had no trouble with the actors. LEGO "people" are very
co-operative.
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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Shanghai New Years!

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If there is one thing you should see when you are in Shanghai, it is Shanghai during Chinese New Year. For about 5 days straight fireworks would go off constantly at night. It is such a breath taking sight (the smell of fireworks is also breath taking, literally).
Below: This was the view from my livingroom during the day.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Stop! Collaborate and listen!


I saw this cool video on Dionne's blog, http://dhengen87.blogspot.com/2009/01/convinced-yet.html . I want to try collaborating on a super community poem, I think it will be fun! So if you want to have fun leave some lines in the comment! Lets make magic!
I'll start it off...

The blue man group on global warming



Even though these guys are probally not from Earth, they still want to save the beautiful green and blue planet.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Music Videos

Jakob Trollback is a musical pioneer. In this video he presents a music video where the music is the the creative focus of the video, rather than the filmmaker'sCommercial concept/vision. His video is looks very similar to the visualizer setting available on many music playing software. I was intrigued by this video because I am a fan of Hip Hop music, but I am shamed when I watch the music videos. Often times music videos are used to advertise rather than express a meaning. Hip Hop music videos are an excellent example that "sex sells". Please don't support fake music. Support passion and love. Thanks, peace!


“What Did You Do in School Yesterday, Today, and Three Years Ago?”

Mr. H Songhai discusses the potential for using cellphones, mp3 players, cameras and free web based utilities in the classroom. He has virtually discontinued using paper in his classroom, his students use digital instruments to record notes. He encourages students to use their cell phone's record function to record his lessons and to use cameras to take pictures of the notes he wrote on the board. One interesting point he makes is that newspapers are usually disposed of after 24 hours of being published even though some of the articles are timeless and should be remembered.

I think having students record their findings on an online blog that can last "forever" can greatly improve the retention of the knowledge they are learning in school. As a student I often have a mess of paper from classes and once I am finished with the class, my notes are often disregarded. A blog with my notes from class would be nice, except I wouldn't be able to doodle on the blog. I enjoy drawing...

In a related story, one of my buddies was telling me about his trip to Jamaica. He took many pictures of the beautiful island, but his camera malfunctioned while he was in the airport. All his pictures vanished. Verbal descriptions are good visualizations but as the old saying goes "A picture paints a million words".

Check out the video at:
http://k12onlineconference.org/?p=280

Monday, January 26, 2009

Cut out the middle man


Tech Task #6: Creating a survey:
I created two different surveys: 1) I emailed everyone in the class and asked them what their what favourite music is. 2) I created a survey about a cat and placed it on my blog. Personally I saw a greater benefit sending an email to individuals because I was able to get more "human" responses from my classmates. **Thanks to everyone who participated!!** As a teacher I would have a problem having students do a test on Google. During a test students can feel insecure about the questions and answers they are giving, Google has no right invading the privacy between a teacher and a student. When my students write a test, I (the teacher) will be the one to correct/see the tests. I am disgusted that Google would even try to suggest we do "surveys" with our students on Google spreadsheets. What ever happened to student/teacher privacy? Do students want Google to know when they made a mistake answering a simple question? I think Ill stick to pieces of paper when I want to do a "survey". Thanks for the offer, but no thanks Google. Peace

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Are you a cat person?

Theo Rockin' Out

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Google Maps: The game!


Google Maps is a tool that displays every landmark, city, highway, dirt road and home from a aerial view. I think the photos are taken by satelites. This game could be used in class while teaching a geography lesson.
Example: The capital cities of Canada: The map is zoomed out so that the entire Earth is in frame. The teacher would say the name of a capital city. The students (each at individual computers, or partners) would then race to find the city, by only using the drag and zoom. Doing this students will be able to navigate the entire globe in search of the city. This activity would exercises a students knowledge of Canada's geographic layout. This activity could also be used as a quick activity when teaching a History class about Ancient Rome. Relevance could be achieved after seeing the city, now!
When I was in China I used this to show some of my students my home in Canada. They couldn't believe how much space there was!