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Project Register - AG

A project register for this project must be updated at least fortnightly. It may, however be updated more than once per fortnight.

The project repository is here.

The Intranet 7

posted Jul 17, 2009, 4:44 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Jul 17, 2009, 5:15 AM by Eddie Woo ]

H7.1: Explain the management techniques used during this project.

Gantt chart - First and foremost this is what the project has been following throughout all of the development stages. The Gantt chart detailed the stages of development of the project and it was part of the project prospectus. The Gantt chart was modified a few times to incorporate more expansive goals and additional components to the project.
Project Prospectus - Detailed the outcomes and the objectives of the project. Also defined what the project should cover and in what context the intranet would be in. Basically the Project Prospectus served as a guideline to the project.
Collaboration with team participants - Team members often communicated with each other and Mr. Woo to manage their project. For example, Mr. Woo was able to provide project management advice to various team members when they asked and then these members are able to talk to the others about it. Mr. Woo also helped set milestones for us to reach, such as the Fuel for Project Registers post.
Project Register - A major component of the project that keeps track of what we do throughout the course of the project. It may also include screenshots which are another form of documentation [a management technique].
Project Register Repository - An index which lists each project post and when they were created/modified etc.

The Intranet 6

posted Jul 17, 2009, 4:44 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Jul 17, 2009, 4:47 AM by Eddie Woo ]

H6.1: Based on your answer to the H4.1 question, propose a solution for the 2010 apocalipticDesign team to develop and implement next year.

The 2010 apocalipticDesign team could possibly create a section of the Intranet dedicated to the use of Digital Learning Resources or for specific assignments such as the Student Research Project. They could also create a set of rules in which this system can operate under and how it would be managed. For example, an introductory page to a project and how to use the section can be created as a group collaborated project with the faculty in question to better integrate the Intranet with the assignment.

The Intranet 5

posted Jul 17, 2009, 4:36 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Jul 17, 2009, 4:44 AM by Eddie Woo ]

H4.1: What emerging information needs is James Ruse likely to face in the next 5, 20 and 50 years? How will the intranet meet these needs?

Centralisation around the Intranet

Reliance on the intranet is a form of emerging information needs. What this means is that each faculty may possibly integrate the intranet with the cirriculum. For example, the SRP is currently being tracked through the Intranet as opposed to the traditional method of updating a journal by hand every now and then. Also the increase in Digital Learning Resources in various subjects such as Geography and Japanese also hints to the fact that the Intranet may serve as a tool for learning for various subjects.

The intranet will probably cater for this need by providing the necessary environment for classes to work in a digital format. For example each class section for the SRP is restricted to only those who are in the said classes and can only be edited by those who own the web pages. The intranet also offers functions such as timestamps and the like to better assist students in operating in a digital environment.

The Intranet 4

posted Jul 17, 2009, 4:22 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Jul 17, 2009, 4:36 AM by Eddie Woo ]

H3.1: Evaluate and discuss the current/potential effect of the intranet on (a) individual students, (b) the school population (staff and students alike), and (c) the JRAHS information environment.

a) Students no longer have to rely on teachers to obtain certain learning resources such as past papers because it is now accessible from the intranet. Although this changes the way the school functions (i.e. a social and ethical issue) it also ensures that all students with internet access are able to download relevant material of their own free will such as in the case of losing their hardcopy of an assignment sheet.

One prime example of how the intranet can affect students is the SRP project for current Year 9s. They are now tracked in real time and have a very different way of updating their project progress.

b) With the introduction of the intranet comes new practices. For instance the cadet unit at JRAHS now uses the intranet instead of email to post up notifications. In the event that a quick notice is posted up some students may find that they missed the notification that may have otherwise been received through the more commonly checked email.

The intranet also offers alternate methods to do things. An example of this is the newsletter which is now available in digital format on the intranet rather than handing out a hard copy every week during roll call. While this certainly lessens the cost on paper production and ink budgets it can also be bad when for example the central file server goes down and no one can access it. Since it is digital it can also be leaked out to other users of the internet.

c) The intranet offers a new way to display and transmit information to a wide audience instantaneously. Because it is now situated on the world wide web it is considered to be ubiquitous. This creates a large impact on the JRAHS information environment as information can now be stored in digital format on the intranet as opposed to hard copies.

Data and it's problems

posted Jul 17, 2009, 2:35 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Jul 17, 2009, 2:35 AM by Eddie Woo ]

Data validity  often becomes a problem when collecting second-hand data on the internet. Due to the nature of the internet [it is open and unrestricted] anyone can simply edit an article to provide false information and no one will know. For example, when I was looking for tour guides for my case study I came across a completely irrelevant website despite the fact that it was in the first page as one of the 'more relevant' results for the search terms: 'tour' and 'guide'.


I noticed also while adding content to my multimedia system becomes an issue. Not only must I ensure that the data is valid, data integrity becomes an issue. Because it's aim was to educate, based on the Jacaranda textbook and the HSC course, the accuracy of the data is vital. To ensure that the data was valid and accurate, I had to communicate with system participants and users about the data I put on the intranet.

In this project I communicated with both Evan Tran and Bryan Zhu from 10AG1 about various facts about the farm as well as being given feedback from them about the multimedia system to ensure the data there was accurate.

Compressing photos

posted Jul 17, 2009, 12:29 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Jul 17, 2009, 1:49 AM by Eddie Woo ]

The photos I used for the multimedia component were but a small fraction of the originals. The original amount of photos I took of the farm had a file count of 113, totalling up to approximately 270MB in terms of size. Each photo was also approximately 2-3MB in size, with photos with a bland background being smaller in size. For example this photo, before it was resized, was only 1.81MB:



Of course, I took the image resolution as a possible factor for the large file size (going off the Jacaranda textbook and the HSC course). Indeed, looking at the properties of the image I came to the conclusion that the extremely large image resolution (2816 X 2112) was most likely responsible for the large file size. I sought to reduce this to a much smaller size (below 300KB if possible) for optimal web transmission.

For optimal web transmission, the image need not be of greatest viewing quality and a large resolution can hinder browsing of the intranet as it takes up unnecessary space. The smaller image resolution allowed the image to be better used in conjunction with other forms of media, as well as allowing faster tranmission of image data, which is much better for computers on the slower end or users with low speed internet.

The conversion process

To actually convert the photos I utilised the batch function in Adobe Photoshop. Adobe Photoshop is [based on the Jacaranda textbook] most likely Presentation and authoring software.
First, I made sure that all the photos to be resized were in one folder which I titled "PHOTO". Then I opened the photo in photoshop and opened the Actions toolbar. Then I created a new action, giving it a name, and then commenced recording the action. What this does is make it act like a "VCR" of some sort by storing what actions I've done and be able to repeat these actions.

[click to enlarge]

While it is recording I then resized the image and saved it as JPEG [for better compression and lower file size] to another folder and then closed the image. By closing the image it stopped the action recording. I then went to file, automate and then batch and proceeded to select these options and select ok to allow photoshop to resize all those photos automatically.


The resizing process was processing while the conversion was actually organising.

Assessment Component 3B - The Documentation

posted Jul 17, 2009, 12:29 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Jul 17, 2009, 5:44 AM by Eddie Woo ]

I did a tour guide for the multimedia component of the project. The tour guide seeks to provide the viewer with basic information about various parts of the farm as well as provide research material of the farm.

Design Specifications

Audio
The audio component consisted of only a single interview with Mr. Pronger concerning Agriculture as a subject and the farm. During the interview, we only skimmed across the new Aquaculture system very lightly.
Possible future audio choices are:
  • More information on updates on the farm - This cannot be done in the timeframe of the project because you are unable to gain information on an enterprise if it has not even begun development yet.
  • Opinions on how particular parts of the farm can be improved or more well integrated into Agriculture - Not impossible to do but can be extremely difficult gathering up opinions as it takes a lengthy period of time.
  • Interviews with previous teachers or current teachers  and maybe farmhands on the progress of the farm - Difficult to do because I found getting a time with just Mr Pronger already difficult with conflicting timetables.
The audio should be relatively short (no longer than 10 minutes, optimally under 5 minutes) or come in small segments (episodes etc.) to decrease file size. A transcript may accompany the audio file although it is not completely necessary. It should also be in one format, preferably .mp3 to alleviate compatibility issues.

Video
The video component was eliminated from the project due to unforseen complications although I still do hold a rather bad quality of a short tour from a student by the name of Richard Yuen. However, due to obvious reasons this video will not be uploaded despite the fact that Richard has already signed my release form.
Possible video choices are:
  • Live demonstrations on farm operations that cover finer details - for example, how to weigh chicks in the chick trial which can help students who have yet to do the task. This is hard to do due to the small timeframe remaining and the lack of people who are willing to demonstrate the task.
  • Live tours of the specific parts of the farm and give talks - the tours will provide information on various parts of the farm. For example, one would be recorded at the cattle crush and he/she would give information on how it would work. This can assist the viewer more effectively than reading off a textbook because it could possibly be less confusing watching the parts move rather than attempting to decipher a complicated diagram.
  • Recording of class and its related operation - this is done to prove how the farm and the theory lessons are co-related.
The video should be offered in two resolutions: one for better viewing pleasure and one for optimal downloading time at the cost of quality. This is done to cater for a wider audience, for both those who can download large files without much difficulty and those who do not mind a lower quality file and has difficulty downloading large files. The file format should be either .avi or .mp4 as both these formats tend to have superior compression but primarily for compatibility.

Record of the seven processes

See these: Compressing photos, Interview with the teacher, Taking photos of the farm, Some changes to the project in general, Data and it's problems.

Gantt Chart

Updated Gantt Chart can be found here.

Case Study

The three systems I have chosen are:
360cities

360cities uses Google Maps-esque panoramas [image and animation media] to portray the location to us professionally. It does this by allowing the user to interact with the environment virtually, to allow the user to get a feel of what the location is like and this is accompanied by brief descriptions of each location. The user cannot interact with the images unless it is an animation and this is unaccomplishable with other medium such as video. This is sufficient for the user to gain basic knowledge of the place and the interaction allows the user to easily gain a visual representation of the place.


Clicking each image of nearby locations also links to nearby locations, a smart use of hyperlinking. Each hyperlinked location also has a brief description such as:

Riverbend African Curio

50 meters away

African Curio shop is home to many interesting objects created by the indigenous people of the area, in the traditional culture. Everything from wood carving...

This cannot be achieved through regular text as it is unable to link to another location.

Italy Guides


Each major feature of the city Rome is cleverly split into six separate sections that are linked via hyperlinks in the form of hyperlinked images. While this can be done with hypertext only it attracts the attention of the audience more readily through image data rather than text data alone. Clicking on any of the images leads to another location.

The linked location then gives the user a greater level of detail in terms of information. If this was featured in the main page however the audience would clearly have difficulty navigating through the page and staying interested. By using those images the author has allowed cleaner and more convenient navigation as well as keeping the attention of the audience to the website. This techinique was done to reduce the effects of an overload of information, a social and ethical issue. Also, a navigation panel was featured at the top of the page below an aethestically pleasing image for more convenient and quicker access to various parts of the website.

NZ Virtual Tour


This website uses predominantly text and hypertext media to transmit its information effectively. The navigational panel to the left gives the user the option to navigate the site effectively. Also, key portions of the website are highlighted in gold, which helps make it stand out to those who are interested as they are the most commonly visited parts of the website or are the more important sections of the website. In a similar fashion to the Italy Guides website this website also incorporates the use of subpages where the user clicks on a link and is redirected to a page where more information is given to them. This allows the user to be more selective in what they view and not be overloaded with information when the site is first visited.


Critique

The system I have chosen to critique is Blair Wang's multimedia system.
It is comprised of two components:
I found this to be confusing because I originally thought only one genre was allowed.
I will be assessing it based on how it achieves the two purposes:
  • Informatively communicates relevant information in a manner appropriate to its genre
  • Creatively and professionally showcases the unique strengths of a variety of media types
Member: Blair Wang
Portfolio: Mathematics
Genre: Tour guide/Subject Promotion
Mark assigned: 18.5/20

I chose this system because the tour guide caught my attention. Rather than aim to inform the viewer with detailed information regarding the work environment for the Maths Faculty he instead chose to use images to create a virtual tour guide.

Informatively communicates relevant information in a manner appropriate to its genre

Tour guide
Taken literally as a 'virtual tour guide' which the user can guide him/herself through, I'd say that this tour guide competently communicates relevant information in a manner appropriate to its genre. Despite the limitation with viewing area for Google Sites, Blair has been able to use image editing software to his advantage to overcome these limitations in conjunction with text media. The detail achieved on the panoramas were excellent and it gives the audience a clear representation of the Cameron block. Hyperlinking was also used effectively to give the effect of a 'tour'. However, perhaps more information can be given to the classrooms such as which teacher is in charge of the rooms.

Mark: 2.0/2.5

Subject Promotion

An advertising campaign in the project was done to summarise the main elements of a particular subject (or co-curricular program, e.g. Olympiad or Enrichment course) in your portfolio and promote its uptake within the school.. Based on this, I'd say it has achieved its purpose quite well. It has effectively and succinctly summarised the main elements of mathematics and also mentioned the maths enrichment program. Blair has also used video to promote mathematics as a subject effectively. Although it has provided information about the subject and he has gathered public positive opinion on the subject there weren't too many facts that actually promote the subject itself as a whole. Maybe this could have been remedied by providing interesting facts on how maths can improve life by giving real-life examples or even relating the subject to other subjects such as Science.

Mark: 2.0/2.5

Creatively and professionally showcases the unique strengths of a variety of media types

Text
Blair has used text reasonably well. He changed the font size and font colour of headings to make them stand out and it has achieved this very well. The use of footnotes and bolding make it very easy and plain (in a good way) to see and this makes page viewing much more convenient and user-friendly.

Mark: 2/2

Hypertext
Appropriate use of hyperlinking in the tour guide effectively gives the audience the idea that it is a tour guide. It is located at the top right/left of each page, making it easy to navigate and even more so when links are created within the text for easier access, for example, the audio linking where the user does not need to scroll all the way down just to access the file. Maybe a navigation panel would be good so the user could determine which areas have been covered in the tour at a glance.

Mark: 1.5/2

Numerical
Blair has used a table to display numerical data and does so clearly. There does not appear to be any viewing difficulties whatsoever and this helps create the impact when viewing the table by making the viewer think at first: 'wow I didn't know this' or something along those lines.

Mark: 2/2

Audio
The audio component of the system was used appropriately. Discussion between Blair and Mr. Woodhouse was clear and discernable and Blair has made a good choice interviewing the head teacher as this gives off the idea that the information obtained is official and accurate.

Mark: 2/2

Image
The main highlight of the system in my opinion. The image data in this system was used excellently and very creatively to achieve its purpose: a virtual tour guide. A higher resolution was offered for viewing pleasure and the image quality was extremely good allowing the audience to view the area around Cameron Block with ease.

Mark: 2/2

Video
The video was created to gather public opinion on Mathematics and various video techniques such as cutting and transition was used effectively. Maybe some major figureheads could have been recorded for their opinion on Mathematics too.

Mark: 2/2

Finishing up the collecting

posted Jul 9, 2009, 4:50 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Jul 15, 2009, 7:24 AM by Eddie Woo ]

Today I finished the collecting process for my multimedia component. I am now completely ready to commence the actual implementation process [long overdue!].

The data I obtained:
  • Photos of the areas stated in the previous posts
  • Map of the school [including farm]
  • Weather report [numerical data]
  • Some general information on the farm and some of the enterprises

Some changes to the project in general

posted Jul 8, 2009, 5:02 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Jul 8, 2009, 6:15 AM by Eddie Woo ]

There have been some changes to the project:
  • The project is now due on the 18th July, which is the Friday on the first day of holidays.
  • The video component of the project is no longer required, meaning only the five multimedia types, text, hypertext, numerical, image and audio are the only requisites.
  • Because video is not included, it will not be marked.
I have also made some progress into the project:
  • I managed to enlist Richard to help me with the project by appearing in the video. However, after I recorded the video I discovered that the video was not required ata ll.
  • I also had Richard sign my release form which I posted up earlier.
  • I had a talk with some of the Agriculture staff and I need to talk to Mrs. Roberts to grab some statistics for the farm.
  • I also gained some additional information on the poultry on the farm.
  • I have taken more photos on specific areas of the farm - poultry shed, hay shed, second entrance.

Taking photos of the farm

posted Jul 1, 2009, 8:49 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Jul 8, 2009, 6:23 AM by Eddie Woo ]

There are some key points on the farm that are possibilities to film and take photos of as part of the multimedia component:
  • Student plot area - all classes [wide view]
  • School orchards - orange and peach
  • Tool shed [machinery shed may be a bit hard to access]
  • Animal sheds - poultry
  • School paddocks - may be difficult
  • The dam - may be difficult
  • The classrooms
  • Hay shed
Today at lunch I managed to take photos of the following places:
  • The outdoor classroom
  • Farm entrance
  • The BBQ area
  • The apiary
  • The plots [wide view]
    • The irrigation system - spray
  • The hydroponics system
  • Tool shed
  • John Deere Tractor
 The checklist:
  • Student plot areas
    • The Spray Irrigation system
  • The BBQ area
  • Tool shed
  • Animal sheds - poultry
  • Paddocks - ...
  • Classrooms - [only completed outdoor classroom]
  • Orchards - Sherman red, Florida gold, Washington Navel
    • Drip Irrigation
  • Greenhouse
  • Apiary
  • Hydroponics system
  • The two entrances [only done one]

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