Friday, July 28, 2006

The use of blogs

It is quite innovative to use blogs as a medium to learn. I want to express some opinions on that.

There are some advantages of using blogs (I think).
  1. It increases my sense of ownership of the work. I can choose my template design (or even edit html to change the default design) and display our work freely on our own blog. Just like me, I have picked up the template with blue colour because I love blue madly. Of course, creativity can also be employed to design my own blog.
  2. It allows the display of work in different formats such as movie, graphics and I can view them immediately once I view the blog. In contrast, I often save our image or movie as attachments in ILN and I have to click before they are shown to me.
  3. It encourages me to take a more active role in learning. In blog, I can post messages and trigger off discussions freely. Others may also take the initiative by commenting on my work. As a result, we may have more insightful discussions. In ILN, I seldom start my own discussions and often just wait for my instructors to give me questions. Then I will respond to them.

Here are two disadvantages I have discovered so far.

  1. I have to click on URL addresses one by one to view all my classmates' blogs. The discussions are scattered in individual blogs. We may discuss the same topic in different blogs where others may not know. It is difficult to gather ideas. In contrast, ILN serves as a centralized room for our sharing since all of us know that this is the place for us to discuss.
  2. I need to republish the blog again once I have edited my messages. It is more time-consuming than posting messages in ILN. However, it allows me to edit my messages from time to time. It is impossible in ILN.

Besides, someone who is not studying in this course can also view the blogs. The URL address of the blog may be sent to others and they can view the blog. In ILN, user names and passwords may forbid them from doing so. Some owners of blogs may not like this idea because of privacy but links may lead unwanted visitors to the blogs.

Anyway, 'blog' is not a new idea to me since I have got one myself but it is the first time for me to use it for learning.

A PowerPoint-based prototype of my interactive visual representation

Originally, I planned to illustrate the ideas of different tenses but I have found that I am too aggressive. Since we are allowed to present our ideas in one scene only, I have modified my topic a little bit. I need to think more carefully for what to present in the scene. Simplicity is crucial in my representation. However, I want students to distinguish the difference between simple and progressive tenses. Progressive tenses are used to describe incomplete actions at a specific time. Here are two versions I want to develop. In order to deliver my ideas more clearly, I have created PowerPoint slides to show the finished products. Due to technical problems, I am still working on the versions in Flash. Indeed, Daniel has helped me develop the first version in Flash but after the production, I find that there are some problems in my design. Therefore, I have to seek help from him and you as well. Please feel free to leave comments for me. Thank you.

First version (produced by PowerPoint)

Incomplete first version (produced by Flash)

Second version (produced by PowerPoint)

Reflection from the eighth lesson

The slider is a good way to express the relationship between two items. I may try to make good use of it in my project.
I have watched back the videos about Flash taken by Daniel these days, I realize that I can understand much more such as the functions of movie clips, buttons. I also appreciate the marvellous work done with these symbols.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Reflection from the seventh lesson

I have explored the software- Flash in this lesson. After discussing with Daniel, I realize that I can improve greatly my final project. I look forward to learning to make a slider next lesson.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Storyboard for my final assignment

Let me explain more about my design. The design is quite complicated and it may not be worked out.

I would like the user to input the date and time at that moment. Then, a timeline which is the most important component in the design appears. The first input is indicated in a timeline with a red arrow.
It is followed by another input of date and time. The user also chooses an action from a list which gives more varieties. The sentence with appropriate tense will be shown and a blue mark will be found on the timeline as well. If the blue mark is on the left of the red arrow, it implies that the incident happens in the past. On the contrary, it implies that the incident happens in the future.

Here is the design. Please comment. Thank you.

Tentative storyboard

Reflection from the sixth lesson

I have learnt more functions of Flash. In the past, I came across buttons only. I can explore the use of movie clips in Flash this lesson. However, I have realized that it is difficult to get used to the action script. Which one should I pick up? To be advanced user, do we need to remember all kinds of action script? It seems that I am solving mathematical problems using different combinations of equations.