Do you have an iPhone?

In reference to the STLs being taught in 276 I thought I should make mention of something Josh referenced in his presentation regarding how fast different technologies have caught on: it’s true, the iPhone is one of the fastest growing digital devices to be purchased ever – I wonder how many of my students have one? And, what’s the largest age group of owners – my guess: 30 – 40 year olds (they are the only ones who can afford the ATT contracts).

“The iPhone/iTouch combo is also the fastest-growing consumer electronics product of all time. Its adoption ramp is even steeper than videogame consoles including the Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, and Sony PSP. The original iPod and Blackberry aren’t even in the same league.” (Source).

Flash Basics

Today we will continue our introduction to Flash – and actionScript 3.0. Here is a file you will need.

Also, you will probably need that flash cheat sheet I gave you last time. Here it is if you lost or misplaced it.

Remember: your assignment is to make an instructional piece – which means, this assignment is fairly open ended (an instructional piece can range from “Teaching” or “Explaining” something, to creating a popmerical or commercial of some sort, advertising a specific product, company, etc.).

Here are some examples:

http://www.stickpage.com/animatorvsanimation.shtml

http://www.fekids.com/kln/flash/DontGrossOutTheWorld.swf

http://www.lifethroughtime.com/

http://hotel626.com/

http://wvs.topleftpixel.com/flash/cntower_timelapse.swf

http://www.fritolay.com/tostitos/index.html

HTML and CSS

I realize many of you know HTML and CSS – which is great – because at a min. I think everyone nowadays should be able to read and understand the code. However, in light of the purpose and scope of this class we will be going over the basics of HTML and CSS. Note: if you feel you are really strong in these languages then please don’t waste your time, go ahead and get going on your assignment (make a basic 3 page CSS based website using a header you created in Photoshop, etc. Remember the site should have body content for 3 pages, and each page should be interlinked. Have a contact page with either a mailable form, or an email link.) For those of you who are new (or who need a refresher) to HTML and or CSS the following links will prove helpful:

http://csszengarden.com/
http://www.w3schools.com/html/
http://www.w3schools.com/css/
http://www.code-sucks.com/css%20layouts/
http://www.savio.no/examples/fluid-css-layout-with-faux-columns-1.asp
http://www.cssmenumaker.com/builder/menu_info.php?menu=032#
http://www.favicon.cc/

Also, here is the link to the file I want you to use for your in-class assignment (which I will explain in class – basically I want you to use this layout to create a simple mock up site.)

http://www.et.byu.edu/~gaw24/csswebpage/

Poster Design: the what and how

A few students have asked: “So, what needs to be included in my poster.” Because this is a beginning design class I really want the students to simple explore the tools we have introduced thus far (i.e., Illustrator, Photoshop) and apply the fundamental design principles and elements (i.e., balance, unity, color, etc.) That being said, because this was a modified assignment, I felt I should address a few basic rules of poster design. As you read these rules/suggestions/considerations, reference the poster example below and try and identify how it meets or does not meet these rules/suggestions/considerations.

1. Audience: who’s it for (client and shopper)
2. Location: what are the background colors and textures of the landscape (i.e., wall, building, etc.)
3. Medium: type of material that it will be printed on (used to print it) – i.e., screen, litho, flexo, etc.
4. Message/Purpose: what distance does it need to be read at? What are the important message details that need to be conveyed?
5. Time: how much time does the user have to read/ingest the message? How long will it be posted and used?
6. Consistent colors: use of many colors can distract; use 1 or 2 emphasized colors to highlight important info.
7. Consistent type: use only 1 – 2 typefaces, and a max of 3 fonts of those typefaces (i.e., if using Arial, use only a bold, italic, condensed).
8. Consistent alignment: use guides to help you layout your poster in a way it reads well – leading the user to the info in the correct process and flow. Usually use a column layout rather than a row layout, so reader doesn’t have to zigzag read.
9. Self-contained: a poster should be self-explanatory, where viewers can view it simultaneously.
10. Viewed from distance: poster should be use short paragraphs, using large typeface (min. = 24pt). Design figures to be seen from a distance, so they are clear and visible. (Note: obvious depending on size of poster, the font size will change).
11. Background: traditionally the most effective communication is black text on white/light backgrounds (this is changing with improved printing techniques – but it still mostly rings true).
12. Font color: light colors are difficult to read, i.e., yellow. (although this is often dictated by background color and environment where poster is going to be placed).
13. Gradients: careful of banding (where gradient’s color steps have distinct edges – this occurs often on large posters.)
14. Remember: use design principles to self-evaluate your poster as your plan and work on it.

Retro Poster
Retro Poster

Juicy Poster
Juicy Poster

Clients and designers
Clients and designers

TEE 276 Reflections

Well, well, well…

I have to give a few awards out. First place, for the most interesting blog read goes to: Josh (I think he’s caught the vision).

Second place is a tie between Janey and Charee – very nice.

And third place goes to Chetan and Scott.

The rest of you (specifically some of you) need to step it up –

25 blogs are a lot to read (for me) but it’s worth it (if you want to read each other’s blog click on the 276 link above). I love hearing what you have to say, and it’s a great evaluation tool (I can tell who is investing themselves in growing as a learner, and as a teacher – because as Dewey taught, “it’s only through reflection that we can grow.” And according to Dewey, if we don’t make it (the reflection) explicit (meaning capture it in a meaningful way, i.e., like in a blog journal) then it is meaningless.

Communication Technologies: things to know for the “learning adventure.”

This semester I have had the students lead the lectures on the various categories of communication technologies we address in our TEE 125 class. Although I think this was a good experience for the students (research shows that people learn more effectively when they are the teachers) I am not sure “all the info.” that I wanted/anticipated the students to learn was taught. That being said, I should mention there were several wonderful presentations/teaching moments, where I too learned a great deal, not to mention I think several of the groups came up with a few great instructional activities. Additionally, it’s mostly my fault that not everything I had hoped would be taught was taught – I should have provided more structure, and perhaps an outline of what should be taught (at least the basic principles. I.e., very few students went over what I call “tech specs” – the internal workings of things if you will). Next year I am going to adjust this assignment, and either take it back over, or give the students more structure, or…

In an effort to prepare the students for their “Learning Adventure” re: the communication technologies that were taught, the following is an outline of those “things” which I am expecting the students to know (that will be on the LA).

Hardware
What is RAM?
What is a harddrive?
What is the OS?
What is the motherboard?
What’s the CPU?
What is a PCI slot?
What is an IDE cable?
What are DIMM sockets?

GPS
What does GPS stand for?
How does GPS technology work?
(I.e., how many satellites are needed, how are signals transferred, etc.)
How many satellites are in space (that are specifically dedicated to public GPS signals)?
What’s A(assisted)GPS?
When did GPS go public? Who was president of the US at the time?

Cellular Technology
When was the first cell phone call? Who was it from and to?
When was the first text message sent?
How does cellular technology work (i.e., phone signals transferred)?

Photography
What is ISO?
What is f-stop?
What is aperture?
What is shutter speed?
What are some basic rules of composition?
How does a digital camera work (basic tech specs)?

Printing
What is lithographic printing? How does the process work?
What is intaglio printing? What’s the difference with lithographic?
When was the first book replicated using a printing press? By who, and what was printed?

BitTorrents/File Sharing
How does a BitTorrent work?
How does file sharing (FTP) work (how is it different than BitTorrent)?
What was DCMA ruling on Gnutella (what does that mean for today)?

Digital Compression/DTV/Digital Conversion
What is DTV (how does it work)?
What are the common forms of digital conversion for video?
What does it mean to digitally compress a video file? How is it done?

BlueTooth and Infrared
What is blueTooth (how does Bluetooth technology work)?
What is infrared (how does it work)?

WhiteSpace
What is whitespace (where did it come out of, how does it work, etc.)?

Music Technology
Who invented the ability to record sound (what year)?
When did LPs come out?
When did CDs come out?
When did digital player devices come out?
How does a CD or DVD work (recorded)?
When you “rip” music from a CD or DVD what is happening?
What does it mean to compress and convert music files?
What are two types of uncompressed music files (also what does uncompressed mean)?
What are two types of lossy music files (what does lossy mean)?

Optimization/Browsers/Websites
What does optimization mean for photos (i.e., what is the standard file resolution for basic quality web images)?
What does optimization mean for website development (note: there are two ways to define this)?
What is a browser?
How does a browser work?
How does a search engine work (i.e., find a specific website?)

Church, Jobs, and Technology

Is it just me, or do you think it’s strange that it appears the church doesn’t want Mac users to get jobs via the LDS employment site (or perhaps, they believe that all Mac users are more savvy – being that they have Macs, and consequently aren’t in the position where they are looking for jobs?!) Regardless, it frustrates me when things are still not cross browser compatible. Screen shot 2009-09-21 at 9.42.11 AM

President Thomas S. Monson

Thomas S. Monson
Thomas S. Monson

Today BYU faculty, staff, and students had the wonderful opportunity to listen to the current prophet and president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: Thomas S. Monson. President Monson was called and set apart as the 16th president of the Church Feb. 3, 2008. Each year we (the BYU faculty, staff, and student body) are blessed to have either the Church’s president or one of the twelve apostles visit our campus and talk with us in a campus-wide “devotional” (lecture). To be honest, weekly devotionals are one of the primary reasons I accepted my position here; it is a wonderful blessing to hear, and be enlightened by the words of inspired men and women, and today was no exception. President Monson’s address was an amazing talk which has inspired me to further reflect on my dedication and commitment to church, God, family, and career. In fact, I interpreted President Monson’s talk today as a set of “life-standards” by which I can evaluate how I am doing in these domains. He presented these standards as life lessons learned from working with the past nine prophets of the Church. I will summarize some of his presentation and my reflections according to the nine prophets he mentioned.

President Heber J. Grant: persist in all things good and noble. (Method to remember this: practiced baseball by pitching at a small target on the barn, practiced penmanship until proficient).
President George Albert Smith: There is a great tug of war going on between God and the adversary, stay safely on the Lord’s side of the line. (Method to remember: the story of how the saints were ready to provide foreign aid after the war when meeting with President Truman).
President David O. McKay: True Christianity is love in action. (Method to remember this: the story of the lady who painted a picture of where Pres. McKay was raised, turned out to be wrong home, but he hung it proudly in his office anyways).
President Joseph Fielding Smith: invest yourself in gospel scholarship – be students of the gospel, for at test week (when you are tested in life) you’ll be grateful you were studious.
President Harold B. Lee: Be in tune to whisperings of the Spirit. (Method to remember this: story of Pres. Monson’s son’s leg tumor, and how when Pres. Lee went with Pres. Monson to give his son a blessing he said, “There is no where in the world where I would rather be than by your side giving a priesthood blessing.”
President Spencer W. Kimball: Lengthen your stride – be dedicated to the Lord and God. (Method to remember this: story of Pres. Kimball wearing shoes with holes in them, and him stating that his life is like his shoes, worn and used.)
President Ezra Taft Benson: Love! Love one another! (Method to remember this: story of Pres. Benson trying to give Pres. Monson the saddle from his horse.)
President Howard W. Hunter: See the best in people; see them as God sees them. (Method to remember this: Proverbs 27:2 ‘Let another man praise ye, not thine own lips.’)
President Gordon B. Hinckley: Do your best; be your best! (Method to remember this: removing his hat while traveling in the tunnel from Church offices to SLC temple upon knowing/feeling he was in the proximity of the temple.)

At the end of his speech, President Monson, summarized what we can learn from this wonderful prophets, suggesting that we, like them, must try to never waive, falter, or fail in our faith and efforts. That we must be considerate, dedicated, and love one another. He ended by bearing a powerful testimony that he has pledged his life, strength, and all that he has, to the building up of the Kingdom of God, that it might bless our lives, so that we can find joy and peace and confidence in this life.

It was a wonderful talk. I am better because of the words and testimony shared by President Monson.

Photography, Printing, and Pedagogy

Today in class we talked about Photography and Printing (I should probably mention that we introduce the topics in class by having the students present on the topic – I know, I know, many of you probably think this is a dangerous method of instruction, in that the students might not do the topic justice, or lack teaching experience; however, although these arguments might have some points of validity, I feel that the students typically do a good job researching and preparing for the topic. And their presentations are also usually well done; they say what they think is important, and don’t go too deep (which I feel we as professors often do.) Obviously when students prepare and teach material they will understand the material better, I do wonder, however, if their peers experience a similar experience?! The question being: do students learn more effectively from their peers, or from a professor? Obviously my bias would suggest I would be able to teach more clearly, and share more detailed info., but that doesn’t mean the students would actually be “learning” any better. Hmm… I’ll have to dig into that one.

As per photography. Here are some points I want to highlight:
1. There are 3 primary areas of importance when working in manual shooting mode. A) ISO (aka Film Speed), B) Aperture, and C) Shutter Speed. I would recommend always trying to shoot with an ISO of 100 – 200 for higher quality, less grainy, and better color shots. I would only go to a higher ISO if I was at a sporting event, and or if I was in a low-light setting, etc. The rule of thumb I go by for my f-stop or aperture settings is: if I want a blown-out background, meaning blurry, or shallow depth of field I use an Av (or f stop setting) of 1.2, 1.4, or 1.8, while if I want a longer/wider depth of field (more in focus) I shoot with an Av setting of 22 (or any range from 3.5 – 22, depending on the look I want). Finally, in regards to shutter speed, depending on the lighting and again the look I want (blown out or not) I usually will try and shoot within a range of anything higher than 200 or so… you can’t hold a camera still enough at anything lower than 1/60th of a second (this all depends on the type of lens you have – high-end with larger aperture is easier to hold still than say a 200mm lens, which would be around 1/300th). In the case that you want to, i.e., night shot, or panoramic, etc. I would use a tripod.

Also, here are two tidbits re: printing.
1. Offset printing is a commonly used printing technique where the inked image is transferred (or “offset”) from a plate to a rubber blanket, then to the printing surface. When used in combination with the lithographic process, which is based on the repulsion of oil and water, the offset technique employs a flat (planographic) image carrier on which the image to be printed obtains ink from ink rollers, while the non-printing area attracts a water-based film (called “fountain solution”), keeping the non-printing areas ink-free. (Ref: wikipedia).
2. Digital printing is the reproduction of digital images on a physical surface. It is generally used for short print runs, and for the customization of print media. The process differs from lithography, flexography, gravure, and letterpress printing in several ways. One specific way is that the ink or toner does not permeate the substrate, as does conventional ink, but forms a thin layer on the surface and may in some systems be additionally adhered to the substrate by using a fuser fluid with heat process (toner) or UV curing process (ink).
You’ll notice this picture shot with a Canon 5D and 85mm lens used the following settings: ISO 200, Av 2.0, ShutterSpeed 500.