Monday, January 31, 2011

My Cooliris Wall

Substitute Work (Continued)

My Web 2.0 tool is Animoto, and basically, what it does is create short presentations. It offers a variety of things, including royalty free images, music and video clips - this allows people to avoid plagiarism. It also allows for students to focus more on the content of their presentation rather than the technology aspect of it, thus the design of the presentations are pretty basic. 

Animoto Home Page

Animoto is great for everyone, but especially for students & teachers because educational accounts are private, unless emailed to a parent or linked to from another site. Animoto will send you an email when your presentation is fully processed and ready to go. Teachers have unlimited access to all of the site's resources FOR FREE, and teachers can also establish group accounts in order to monitor students' work. Another benefit for teachers is that teachers can create quick videos about the upcoming lesson or unit with Animoto. 
              One bad thing about Animoto is that you have to pay a fee every month or year, whatever you prefer, in order to access the full benefits, like being able to create videos as long as you want them to be instead of only 30 seconds long. Sometimes most students, especially students in middle or high school, need presentations to be longer than 30 seconds. On the plus side, if videos can only be 30 seconds long, other students viewing the presentation won't get bored so quickly. 
                                          This web 2.0 tool can be very useful to students because of all the reasons I explained in the previous paragraphs, but also because the video, audio and textual elements in producing videos helps students with creating visual messages and assist with visual literacy skills.  Animoto allows students to develop 21st century learning skills by being able to critically evaluate each presentation.

Substitute Work

We had a sub today, so basically all we did was a bunch of work. The plus side of this is that I get to postpone my presentation until Wednesday. 

The first assignment was to take the people that presented on Thursday's surveys. But see, I forgot who presented and I don't even know what their blogs are called or their URL. So I skipped to the second assignment, which was to identify input/output devices on a picture. 
Here are my results for this picture.

1. Computer Screen/Monitor - 
2. Keyboard - Input 
3. Mouse - Input
4. CD/DVD drive - Input & Output
5. Headphones - Output
6. Flash drive - Input/Output
7. Projector - Output
8. Printer - Output
9. Wireless Internet/Hub - Input
10. Activote - Input
11. Activboard Pen - Input

The third assignment will be in the following post. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011


So today I have to present my Keynote presentation - I hate presenting. I should be used to it by now, having taken speech class last semester and all, but I hate presenting so much. I just don't understand the point of a presentation if you can just go up and talk about what's on the slides on simple note cards without going to the trouble of making a presentation, especially when everybody can just read what's on your slides - you don't even need to talk. 

When I got to school today, I realized I was missing my gym shorts and sneakers. Great. I hope my gym teacher doesn't, like, explode or something. I hate when people make such a huge deal over nothing. But I hope that I do well with my more or less boring presentation (really, I'm just crossing my fingers that my name isn't called today because I completely forgot how to set up the projector.....) 
Wish me luck!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

So, as you can see, my survey is completed and properly embedded into my blog. I know I was ranting a bit in my last post, and I'm sorry about that. 
Nevertheless, I still hate Google Forms just the same as before I got some help with embedding. I was doing it wrong the entire time! 
Silly me. 
Today, I will learn how to set up the projector, or something like that. It better be simple, otherwise I will freak and spontaneously combust...just kidding. No, I'll be fine. Except I'm really bad with technology equipment. Some people think I'm good at almost everything, but that's far from true. 
For example - I'm bad at BIOLOGY. I hate that class with a passion. I think it hates me, too. I dislike doing things that involve my hands, such as building and art. I am not good at either. Many people can testify to the horrible "art" I make. 
I will present my Keynote presentation, but to who, I have no clue. Maybe to the senior who sits next to me. 
I'll update here towards the end of class. :) 

Google Docs Form SURVEY

Friday, January 21, 2011

Keynote Presenting

Today I am showing my presentation to a classmate. Afterwards, we have to create a survey on Google Docs for the partner to fill out, to give us feedback on the presentation. I've already created the survey, as I'm done with the presentation but don't know who to present it to. I'll put the link right here (there are no answers yet - when the survey is completed I'll replace the link with the completed survey. 

Actually, I have to edit this post - and the reason is because when you click on the link for the survey, ERROR 404 or whatever the number is shows up. I'll try to have that fixed and I'll put the link to the completed survey below.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The PowerPoint rant that got a colonel fired

The article I was talking about in the previous blog-post, which I just found we not only have to talk about it but also blog about it (again, point of this is???). The article was about a colonel, Lawrence Sellin, who was fired after he didn't clear his comments through public affairs & failed to clear "written or oral presentations to the media" through a designated public affairs officer. 

In his PowerPoint, he talks about how in the two months working as a staff officer to a headquarters in Afghanistan, he has not done anything productive. He mentions how the International Joint Command was most likely founded to provide some general with a three-star command rather than to coordinate operations among all the regional commands. He humiliates the generals by calling them "cognitively challenged", and how the headquarters staff mainly has to make PowerPoint presentations to spoon-feed the generals' information. He makes a sarcastic comment as to how he has to attend series of PowerPoint briefings and meetings with PowerPoint presentations, because, "just like gym class, they take roll." 
He also makes fun of the commander, who never actually attends the "commanders update assessment,  or CUA," and his immediate subordinates, who sit through the CUA in a "semi-comatose" state. Finally, he talks about how the IJC (International Joint Command) will attempt to embed a new stovepipe into an already existing stovepipe. 

This is a blow to the IJC, I believe. I can understand why he was fired. At first, I thought firing someone because of a PowerPoint was a little too harsh. Well, since he obviously didn't like his job in the IJC, he can look on the bright side - since he was fired, he can search for a job he will like to do - maybe one without having to make PowerPoints. 


So...this week we had a three day weekend, and it would be an understatement to say that I was completely refreshed. It should be officially established that we had a three-day weekend every week. I'm not going to go into the many, many reasons as to why I believe that so much school is not really very useful, because I suppose it would be considered "offensive" to the district, or whatever. I don't think the district honestly cares what I think, though, shouldn't matter what I say about it. Point is, I hate school, there should be more breaks, no school on Mondays, etc. 

Today in Multimedia I will have to work with a partner on some article and present to the class...and I don't see the point of this...but then again, I don't see the point of 90% of the things teachers make us do. Just simple busy work, I guess. Then, we have to work on our Web 2.0 tool power point, which we should be "almost finished with" - I thought this was a full length project...I guess I was mistaken. Also, I was wondering - is too many transitions between slides bad? I had transitions on all my slides (and they were all different) but then I decided to stick with only one transition between the slides, so all my slides' transitions are the same. Is that still bad? When I use transitions on some of the slides but not others, it looks sort of weird. 

Friday, January 14, 2011

MY Web 2.0 Tool

I finally found my Web 2.0 tool - Animoto!


I really don't understand - why must we use a specific Web 2.0 tool in our presentations? That's not fair, since I wasn't really here and most of the Web 2.0 tools are blogging and social networking and that doesn't really fit in with a presentation - and most of the others have already been taken and I wasn't here when they got to choose. Yes, there may be thousands of Web 2.0 tools, but only specific ones or the best ones are given, and yes, those "best ones" tend to be Wikipedia, Flickr, Youtube, etc. I don't understand also - what presentation? What is it supposed to be about? The Web 2.0 tool? 

I wanted to be moved out of this class, and go to something like broadcast journalism or newspaper, because this class is starting to prove to be very difficult for me, but the counselor wouldn't let me change...something about losing a credit? I don't know, but it made me sad. :( 

Web 2.0 tool?

I'm wondering whether Wikipedia, stock.xchng, Youtube, Flickr or even Photobucket have been used. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Web 2.0 tools (continued)

There are thousands of Web 2.0 tools, but I put the ones I found interesting on the last post.
I'll have to present my Web 2.0 tool to my Multimedia teacher. Afterwards, I will play with Keynote, which is Apple's presentation creator. As I didn't get to present today, I'll work on this some at home and I'll present next class period. 

I'm not sure why I would like to use Vimeo or Writeboard on my presentation - I don't even know what the presentation is supposed to be about.....

I have a bad feeling that I'll have to present a lot to the Multimedia reason is because it's my first day in this class and I already have to present something.... 

Bye! :) 

Web 2.0 tools

Happy New Year everyone! I'm back, and I had an extremely relaxing break - right until the very end, when I missed my flight back from Mexico & was stuck there for another week - it's a long story that I really don't feel like going into - point is, I missed my flight and that is why I was not here at school for the last blog post. 

What I missed last time was something called "Web 2.0 tools" - I don't understand it very much, but I know that Web 2.0 tools are a new category of Internet tools & technologies created around the idea that people who consume media, access the internet and use the Web shouldn't passively absorb what's available but instead be active contributors, helping customize media and technology for their own purposes, as well as those of their communities. Web 2.0 tools apply to, but are not limited to, blogs, social networking applications, RSS and wikis. 

My instructions were to choose two, and I may choose another one just in case somebody else has chosen the one I want to present. 

One of them is Vimeo, which is sort of like the counterpart to Flickr. I would do Flickr, but I know somebody else has probably already done that. One of the cons of Vimeo is that to increase from 500 megabytes to 5 GB you have to pay a yearly annual fee of $60. Unlike Youtube, which only allows videos to be no more than 10 minutes in length, Vimeo allows you to have videos that can be however minutes you want in length, but you have to pay for it. Youtube allows you to upload however many videos you want for free, whereas Vimeo does not. Vimeo is more like a video hosting service rather than a social community. A pro about Vimeo is that the compression in videos is almost unnoticeable, and this is good for, say, a motion graphics piece that has a very specific color palette. The aesthetics of Vimeo are great, and one reason for that is that when you hover your mouse off the player, the controls disappear, allowing you to fully view the video without the controls in the way. When you put your mouse back on the player, the controls reappear. For those who don't like the annotations that are stuck on Youtube videos by the author, Vimeo does not have that option to put annotations on videos, which is somewhat good, because I, for one, find them annoying. 

Another one is Writeboard, which is a good collaboration/word processing tool because it is a web-based word processor that allows multiple people to sign in and share ideas. This can be very useful with students who are in a group and are doing an assignment or a project together - with Writeboard, they can all share and see each other's ideas. Another good thing about Writeboard is that you can export "your board" into an email or text file, too. A con with Writeboard is that it's not really possible to make a spreadsheet or a chart on it. You can't change the font color & type, and the basic capabilities such as bold and italic. The formatting is done with a code rather than buttons, which will make it a bit confusing for people without a whole lot of tech experience, like me. Another plus of Writeboard is that it's free.

Of course, Youtube is another, as Youtube allows people from all over the world to post videos and share ideas. Myspace and Twitter are other Web 2.0 tools, and the pros of these are that people of all ages can communicate with friends and family who live in other areas, but a con is that because of social networking sites such as these, less people are going out into the world and actually making new friends, face-face. Another con of social networking is that it becomes easier to write nasty things about others and start rumors. It fuels arguments and lots of drama. 

This post is getting sort of long, so I'll continue on a new post.

& here are the links to Writeboard and Vimeo. 

1. Writeboard

2.   Vimeo