Reflection #5

March 6, 2010 at 9:44 PM (Uncategorized) ()

Lecture 5.3.2010

Dr. R took over the class for this week’s lecture. It seems like such a long time since we had our last lecture. That’s because this year, coincidence or not, most of the public holidays fall on a Friday.

We talked about the definition of technology and educational technology. Technology means not just the tools like computers, or LCD projectors, but also methods, techniques and knowledge employed or used.

Previously, the style of teaching everywhere was the same –

The teacher speaks, the students listen.

But now, with technology fast advancing upon us, there are so many different ways of not only conveying teaching material but also in aiding students for searching of information on their own as well as interacting with others. Students can now encounter knowledge for themselves :)

Such variety in styles of teaching and learning is beneficial to diverse learners in our education system. Audio and visual aids are now easier to prepare and disseminate as compared to times before.

Dr. R also talked about how we can align technology with learning. Sometimes, many teachers are knowledgeable in such areas but are not aware of how the knowledge can be used to enhance students’ learning, which should forever remain a teacher’s primary concern.

Just like this blog is used as a learning tool, teachers can use WordPress blogs for students to obtain notes, exercises, further enrichment tasks, sharing and interaction between teacher and students as well as amongst themselves. WordPress has many features that seem to be advantageous for such a purpose, like being able to create categories to make things more organized, community support (among bloggers), high and effective measures against SPAM, and good comment moderation (where the owner of the blog can edit comments written by other people).

With the knowledge that we have of the use of media, as teachers we should learn to integrate it into our teaching. It can be used as an effective teaching aid that enhances students’ learning and not just teacher’s teaching.

There was a video shown by Dr. R (her son Faisal helped :P) where a certain Michael Wesch mentioned about how he had done a simple show-of-hands survey in his lecture room and more than half said that they did not like school. However, when he asked who did not like learning, no hands went up. This goes to show that the fact of the matter is,

Students are willing and anxious to learn, yet the educational institutions they are in do not seem to encourage that, or maybe the manner in which teaching and learning is conducted.

Hence, this should make us teachers realize that:

…a serious revamping of the method in which we teach needs to be done in order for us to remain current and meet the needs of this constantly evolving body of students with diverse learning styles.

One way is by integrating media and IT into teaching. Studies have shown positive results, so why not?

We should always be willing to learn and try new things out. Trial and error is the best way to go. That’s what I am doing now anyways.

What have we got to lose, except self-doubts? :)


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Brochures Again

March 6, 2010 at 9:21 PM (Uncategorized)

Our assigned computer lab for our Edu Tech tutorial class has been taken over by Principals from other schools here for a seminar. Or talk. Or some program or other. Not the first time though.

So went to Lab 5 instead of Lab 3.

Thank God I didn’t barge in through the door. That would have been embarrassing >.<

Major Jasmy was late last Thursday. But he didn’t waste time in giving out a task for us to do during our tutorial class.

I guess Facebook had to wait for now :P

He copied a brochure file into our thumbdrives and asked to work and improve on it on our own. Then we were to email him the completed, upgraded version of it to his email.

What did he mean by work and improve on it? Change the font or the colour scheme to make the brochure more legible, or make the headings more obvious, clear and organized.

So we worked on it for about an hour.

My gosh, it was actually pretty tough ! There were so many words and we could not cut down on them, or shorten the number of words. And because there were so many words, the font had to be not bigger than 9, otherwise, they would not all fit ! >.<

And choosing the right colour for the font was a challenge as well. I would place that blame on the background picture chosen. I mean, who chose that background for a brochure? There were just too many colours, certain bits really bright and certain parts really dark. It made it that much more difficult to choose one colour for the font because a light colour made the words in the bright part unreadable, and a dark colour made words unreadable on the dark areas ! Such a pain !!

Finally decided on luminescent blue cos it was partly visible even in the bright areas. So that’s that.

Making the headings clearer were more fun. Made text boxes for each title and filled it with luminescent blue (I think I am eternally indebted to luminescent blue ! :P) to make them stand out. I like that bit of the brochure.

I had problems with the second page as well.  The background was just too difficult to work with if I wanted people to not have to strain their eyes till they pop out when reading the words.

So, again, I used the idea of text boxes but filled in with transparent grey so that the words looked slightly clearer, yet did not completely hide the background colour and design.

So, I am pretty satisfied with what I did with the brochure. :)

First time using Microsoft Publisher though. Previously, for an assignment for Computer in Education in my first year, I did a brochure from scratch using Microsoft Word. :)

I felt that Microsoft Publisher was very limiting. In the sense that the layout is pretty much done for you. Whereas in Microsoft Word, you could practically do anything you wanted ! However, Microsoft Publisher does make your life easier :P

Anyhow, that’s what we did for our tutorial class. Pretty simple and straightforward, methinks :)

Page #1 of Brochure

Page #2 of Brochure

Not bad eh? :P


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Mosquito food !

February 27, 2010 at 9:54 AM (Uncategorized)

Last Thursday, we went to Hutan Pendidikan Alam (HPA), UKM, located 100 km beneath the surface of the earth and the only mode of transport there is through the opening of an active volcano that leads right to the center of the earth’s core.

Okay. I am exaggerating. HPA isn’t located 100 km beneath the surface of the earth, nor is the only mode of transport there through an active volcano.

But my gosh, it sure felt that way >.<

Why would we want to go to that god-forsaken place that nobody, and I mean nobody, not even UKM students, know about? Of course we had a reason. Who would go to a hutan for fun? Unless, you like that sort of thing.

It is for our group project for Educational Technology.

We had a few glitches trying to obtain permission to enter HPA (I do not think I should mention my frustrations about this matter here >.<) so much so that we had actually entertained the idea of sneaking into the place in broad daylight ! Oops.

Anyway.

We finally managed to get in. Thankfully, we had Yana’s car; took us all the way to HPA main entrance gate. Which was surely a God-sent blessing.

Otherwise, it would have been a half hour walk at least from either Amin or Keris Mas Residential College. By which time, we would all have arrived at HPA dead. Fine, utterly exhausted.

There were oil palm plantations all around. Huge trees. Bushes. Crawlers. Giant ants. Wild boars. And one thing I can say with complete conviction:

HPA is definitely a haven………………………………….for mosquitoes.

Fat wild-boar-blood-sucking mosquitoes ! ARGHHH

The mosquitoes there are the biggest and the fattest ones I have ever seen. Whacked one dead and there was a large splatter of blood on my arm. Yes, it was disgusting. But not as disgusting until Kavin said this:

These mosquitoes are so fat 'cause they've been sucking
on babi hutan blood.

OMG. So I’ve got babi hutan blood on me? Ewww. >.<

I guess we were the main course meal. Yikes.

Okay, I think it is always best to be frank and straightforward and honest. Which is not always easy to do.

But not this time.

HPA is a wreck.

The facilities there…WHAT FACILITIES?

There was a Dewan Makan and a multi-purpose hall with the floor covered in so much sand and dirt that you could probably write your names in it. There were wooden chalets that creaked and seemed about to collapse in a heap of wood dust if you step on the stairs. There was a Kembara Halangan that is practically hidden from view from all the undergrowth and dead leaves. A moat that had no water but was instead filled with a dry leaves a few feet deep. A flying fox that looked like it had not been touched in years. A wall-climbing wall that is without the wall.

In the brochure we took from the Pusat Perkembangan Pelajar office, it says:

HPA menyediakan tapak perkhemahan, peralatan dan kemudahan persekitaran bagi membolehkan masyarakat/pelajar UKM dan masyarakat luar UKM menganjurkan aktiviti rekreasi serta pelbagai aktiviti berpasukan dan kepimpinan.

My foot. I would not come here. I would not want to come here. >.<

It was so ill-maintained, I am not surprised no one ever goes there. UKM students do not even know of this place, what more masyarakat luar? But because no one ever goes there, they do not bother to maintain the place well.

It is a vicious cycle. Something has to be done.

Otherwise, HPA would only benefit the wild boars living there. And let’s not forget the mosquitoes (who had a whole full course meal feast when we, unsuspecting fools, went there >.<)

In a positive light, I think HPA does have the potential to be a good place for recreation and camping and physical activities. It does have the facilities and the space, surrounded by honest-to-goodness jungle containing I-don’t-know-how-many types of species of flora.

Firstly, financial allocation should be given to maintain and upkeep HPA facilities. Second, there should be a darn good campaign for advertising and promoting HPA (I still cannot believe that we have never even heard of this place until now >.<), not just within UKM, but also in surrounding areas especially schools in Kajang, Bangi and Serdang. Offer lower fees for booking the HPA site for school activities.

Do something. Please. >.<

I feel sorry for the place. Because it is such a waste that we have such facilities in our own university that we do not even know about, left to rot just like that. :(

On another (relevant) note, it is going to be a challenge coming up with a video that promotes HPA.

How can we make a place like that, seem like a “happening” place worth making a trip to?

‘Cause I would personally, not want to go there.

Being a main course meal for mosquitoes ONCE, is more that enough for me, thank you very much.

p.s: Thank you Major Jasmy for giving us our tutorial time for that trip to HPA. And there is no lecture this week due to the Awal Muharram public holiday on Friday.


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I’m a Hero

February 20, 2010 at 1:34 PM (Uncategorized) ()

I have some news for you: I’m a HERO.

Really.

Yes, really.

I have made an impact in the quality of life of all of humanity !

I don’t really like to blow my own trumpet.

But this was just out in the Swedish press. So what is the point of keeping it secret anymore, right?

So, here’s proof !

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Xin Nian Kuai Le~

February 11, 2010 at 10:33 AM (Uncategorized)

Lecture this week has been canceled.

I was not too sure about tutorial class on Thursday though (how come I did not hear anything about class being canceled???) but the others said that Major Jasmy had already told us last week that there wouldn’t be class.

So.

I’m typing this at the time when there would have been tutorial class, if tutorial class was still on.

Which means that I am using my time effectively for productive things !

That sure makes up for not having a tutorial class right?

No lecture means no reflection to do this week.

Strangely, I think I might miss having to do that !

On an irrelevant topic, the fact that many of my course mates have already gone (or flown) home to their respective kampungs makes me excited about going home myself (after class today at 12pm) !!

So much so that I was hardly able to get any work done last night. I was too busy packing and staring at my computer screen daydreaming (or night-dreaming LOL) of Mandarin oranges, prawn and fish crackers and flying red angpows !

The fact that there are three assignments waiting for me did not seem to shock me into typing much more than my name and matric number in my research paper cover page.

What I ended up doing instead:

1) Packing :)

2) Watching My Sister’s Keeper with my roomie. And crying buckets of tears ! (Seriously, it’s a reeaalllyyy sad movie ! I recommend people to watch this movie if they want to have a good cry, or feel touched and be inspired ! :P)

3) Painting my nails with strong awesome colours (PURPLEEEEE XP) for the New Year !

4) Watching two episodes of Glee – the English drama series that a fellow course mate has managed to get me hooked on ! (My initial plan was to watch only ONE episode. But my nails had not dried by then. So why not watch a second one? *shrugs*)

I cannot wait to go home !

Happy Chinese New Year ! :)

Happy New Year everyone ! Xin Nian Kuai Le ! Wan Shi Ru Yi ! Shen Ti Jian Kang ! :)


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1Malaysia

February 9, 2010 at 8:06 PM (Uncategorized)


Dunia kian berubah

Perubahan melingkari

Melaksana hasrat hati

Kejayaan terbukti


Dunia yang megah

Dengan misi yang gagah

Kerana perpaduan

Kita masih bersama


Chorus

Kita satu bangsa

Kita satu negara

Kita satu matlamat (Oooohh)

Kita satu bangsa

Satu negara

Kita satu Malaysia


Bermulanya sekarang

Perjalanan dilaksana

Seia sekata sehati dan sejiwa

Membina masa hadapan

Menuju kejayaan

Kita semua rakyat Malaysia

Harmoni, saling menghormati


I love this song at the moment. :)

Personally, I think the song writer and composer is a genius ! The melody is sweet and beautiful, very commercial, unlike so many other Ministry advertisements and songs >.<

Enjoy ! :P

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Lights, Camera, Action !

February 8, 2010 at 4:40 PM (Uncategorized) ()

We were supposed to create a video as our Multimedia group project, as was briefed in Dr. R’s earlier lectures. And we were given quite a number of examples and sample videos that we could create as well.

My group (three of us) actually had been blissfully unaware of the fact that we were supposed to hand in a written analysis report on the progress of our group project to our respective tutors to be given the green light on producing the video.

We finally sat down to discuss what we really wanted to do for our video – what issue would we want to address, what message would we want to convey to the audience regarding the said issue.

We came up with the issue of Old Folks abandonment. The problem with this society is that the number of old folks in charity homes are increasing year by year. Yet, many of these old people have children who are more than able to care for them in their old age. What leads them to make such a harsh and cruel decision to send their parents/grandparents to homes? What has become of the younger working generation? Is career too important to think about what is best for the people who once cared for them?

Old is Gold

The objective of the video then, would be to raise awareness especially in the target audience of the younger generation, of the needs of old folks. Also, the video would aim to instill the values of loving the elderly in the audience who watch it.

We made plans to scour the nearby areas of Kajang and Bangi for Old Folks’ Homes or any charity organization homes, or ask around the local people who should know better than us.

However, tutorial class last Thursday deemed all that unnecessary.

Major Jasmy decided to narrow down our topic to that of:

Hutan Pendidikan Alam.

“Where is that?” I asked.

Not surprisingly, I was surprised to find out that Hutan Pendidikan Alam was right smack in UKM itself.

I guess it is relatively more convenient as compared to having to travel outside of UKM bringing cameras and video camera gear to shoot the video. I guess the topic desperately needs some promotive efforts. No one in the class knew about Hutan Pendidikan Alam (HPA) in UKM until Major Jasmy mentioned it that day.

What a sad bunch of people to call themselves UKM students eh? Aheh.

Anyway, I have now absolutely zero ideas on how to portray the good points of HPA by means of a video. What do we include? What kinds of pictures. What sort of recordings? What kind of music? Audio files?

Darn. We definitely have to meet up again. >.<

As it is, there is no black-and-white on what we plan to do for our Multimedia group project. But I think we should start before the Chinese New Year/mid-term break.

On another note, I cannot wait for the CNY break to come ! Food FOod FOOd and FOOD !!!! :P

I am so gonna put on weight in two weeks >.<

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Reflection #4

February 5, 2010 at 11:54 PM (Uncategorized) ()

Lecture 5.2.2010

Veni, Vidi, Vici.

I came, I saw, I conquered.

Those were the words uttered by the great Julius Caesar, emperor of Rome, erm, a long long long time ago.

He was one extremely egotistical person, if you ask me. >.<

Sure, he conquered a lot of land during his time, and he is, even now, one of the most influential people in history. But, he is not that good-looking, if you ask me, contrary to what people say. Which is real sad, for his part.

If THIS is good-looking, I feel sadddd

Anyway, Major Jasmy started off with that, saying that the word ‘video’ came from the Greek word ‘vidi’ which means “I saw”.

Hm, it seems logical, now that you mention it. Videos have to do with sight and is an art (if I can say so) that manipulates light in order to view pictures and movements.

Major Jasmy then talked about the different types of video files, some of which I have seen, or heard of. But there was a whole LIST of types of video files that I had never seen before. Who knew there were so many? >.<

He lectured on the characteristics of videos, the advantages of videos as compared to photos and still pictures. There were also the four basic movements for both camera and subject:

a. Camera is static, subject moves

b. Camera is static, subject is static

c. Camera moves, subject is static

d. Camera moves, subject moves

And for each example, Major Jasmy showed us videos ! Which I love. The videos are always the fun part, and certainly does wonders in snapping a person up from a daydream and forcing one to pay attention. ‘Cause that’s what I did every time a video was played. Some were just really hilarious ! :P

Major Jasmy also talked about camera movements like zoom in and out, tilt up or down, wipe pan, pan left or right, depress or elevate, Dolly or truck in and out, and crab right or left. There are a few terms that I do not really understand. But I guess we will understand more when we try it out for ourselves, right? *crosses fingers*

He also included a bit about the lighting especially on the set of the shooting. Apparently, proper lighting is pertinent in shooting a clear and effective video. I had no idea before this that so many different types of lights were needed before shooting can even start. Here are the types of lighting that I jotted down in my notes during the lecture (aren’t I an exemplary student? *beams*):

a. Back light : to create a 3-D effect of the subjects

b. Set light : to illuminate the backdrop of the scene

c. Key light : to focus on who is speaking at the moment

d. Fill/Base light : to shine on ALL the subjects

I guess I should be doing more reading on techniques and tips in shooting a video. Then we would have more ideas when completing our group Multimedia project (which I will talk about more in the next post). Learning more about this topic will certainly be helpful in not only completing the project, but also creating the best effect possible to convey the message that we plan to convey in the video.

I feel rather excited actually. But at the same time, I feel a little overwhelmed. It feels like such a daunting task of shooting not only a well-done video, but an effective one that conveys exactly what we want to.

Add to the fact that most of us are amateurs at shooting a video, this task is going to be more than difficult. The truth is, the only time I have ever touched a video camera was during our micro-teaching (where we had to record our teaching sessions for feedback and response) and even that was the minimal. >.<

I seriously need to stop saying that I need to do something and never do it. I should instead say that I need to do something and actually do it. Like, read up on techniques for shooting videos and how to use Studio Pinnacle software for video editing.

Sigh.

LISA KWAN, stop talking so much, and get to work !


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Reflection #3

February 1, 2010 at 3:44 PM (Uncategorized) ()

Lecture 29.1.2010

Major Jasmy came in a few minutes after 8 am. And, as usual started off the lecture without any delay or fuss (some pointers that we future teachers should take note of).

This lecture was focused more on photography. It is an interesting topic, for sure. :)

I have always admired photographers. My interest in photography however, is merely as a spectator. I do not think that personally, I would ever take up photography. Not because I am not interested, possibly more because I do not think I have the talent (nor the $$$) for it.

Wouldn't it be cool if I could do something like THIS? ;)

I often stare wide-eyed and amazed at pictures taken by shutterbug friends. They produce such beautiful pictures, especially those of natural landscapes. It is simply wonderful that photography is able to capture a single moment in time on film and preserve it forever for a very long time. :)

There was the introduction of the types of cameras, the types of lenses etc. What does photography mean, as well as the purposes and benefits of photography being incorporated as an interesting and educational tool for teaching. There was also all the photography jargon (eg. DSLR, SLR etc.) which was foreign and alien to me although I have heard some of those terms before.

On the whole, photography is certainly an interesting area to explore especially regarding the aspects of how it can be used to better enhance the teaching and learning process.

I guess, as an educational tool, it is not necessary to spend thousands of ringgit on equipment for a wide-lens camera or those underwater ones. A basic understanding of photography and how it works should be sufficient. Photographs taken can be used as non-electronic teaching aids that are more meaningful for students. In fact, students can be asked to take photos for themselves as part of an activity for any lesson.

If I were the student, I would feel pretty excited about the whole thing. I guess anything that doesn’t require me to just sit on my rear end and offer my full utmost attention for an hour or so would be very much welcome. It seems rather fun to do ! :P

Anyhow, I cannot wait for our field trip for photography, which Major Jasmy says we will soon have. I hope I will be able to learn some new things there and be smart enough to know how to use it in the future !

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Student Council Election

January 27, 2010 at 6:06 PM (Uncategorized) ()

This Thursday, our university is holding its Student Council election for both Faculty and general seats.

There has not been much of a hoo-ha this semester. I wonder why. I thought I remembered more excitement and tension last year.

The candidates were only named last Monday. And this Thursday, we are already required to vote.

I’m not so much into politics and all that. I do not wish to state my stand here either.

Just mentioned this because, consequently, there will be no Thursday tutorial this week.

I reaaallllyyyy want to say I’m jumping for joy, but I know I should be disappointed there is no class.

So, for the record, I am utterly devastated there will be no class this Thursday. :) *giggles*

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