In This Edition
With each edition of the Multimedia Resource Center's Newsletter, we will provide teaching / learning resources. These will be on the web site but are noted in this publication to give them more attention.
While attending the P4 Game Institute for Teachers, I worked with some really outstanding free Web 2.0 applications. Here is a list of those applications. If you are interested in teaching video game production, try these applications.
The New iPhone 3G
With the new iPhone 3G, Apple addressed many of the problems of the first gen iPhone. It's twice as fast and half the price. Apple has released software for both the creation iPhone applications and the creation of ring tones. But there is one major problem that, I feel, Apple did not address properly. The flange or lip that surrounds the touch screen is extremely fragile. A sudden jolt will break the flange. If you have an iPhone or you plan to purchase one, I would suggest that you get a protection case such as the Griffin Nu Form.
Continuing Vista Problems
Vista was, from its very beginning, problematic. Even after more than a year, things haven't gotten better. Many of the drivers don't work, many applications are not compatible with the OS and other problems start, then disappear, recur and go away again in the same day. Microsoft promised Vista users that Service Pack I would not solve any major problems and they delivered on their promise and more.
An article in The Washington Post referred to SP1 as a "Threat or Menace." Chris Pirillo, a somewhat noted "everything created by Windows is great" web spokesman says, "Windows Vista:"’I'm Breaking Up with You!" So what is a person to do if their school district just refuses to use anything but Vista, and the district refuses to upgrade to Windows XP Pro?
Go to this blog to find the top 10 Vista problems and how to work around them.
Multimedia and Politics
Media and politics have always gone together. Abraham Lincoln was the first president to have a photographer. John Kennedy was the first to understand and use the TV media—which was probably the major reason that he was elected.
This run for the presidency has really broadened the use of multimedia. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton made liberal use of podcast, vidcast, blogging and the use of other web materials. Obama received so much in money donations from his web site and blogs that he is not accepting federal matching funds in his quest for the Whitehouse. And not to be outdone, John McCain has placed a delightful little video game on his web site. All the candidates have made great usage of the TV media. This may well be referred to as the first Web 2.0 campaign.
The DNC, and to a lesser extent, the RNC are major media events with large jumbo trons of projected images and video behind every speaker. With the massive amount of TV network coverage, there is media within media within media. It's really going to be interesting to see how media is going to play out in the next few months.
Multimedia Resource Center
This is the the Multimedia Resource Center E-notes. E-notes will be published twice yearly. If you would like to contribute materials or projects to either this newsletter or to the web site, go to Submission and follow the directions. It is hoped you enjoyed reading this issue. The next issue will be in the Spring semester of 2009. Back issues of this newsletter will be placed on the Multimedia Resource Center Web site.
Did You Go Anywhere Special This Summer?
At the end of each summer break, when you return to school, there are always the same questions. "How did your summer go? Did you go anywhere special?"
Most of the time you say, "Oh, the summer was okay. I went to visit ___________." —you can fill in the blank. This summer, however, I am going to say, "My summer went great. I did go somewhere special, I went to the P4Game Institute for Teachers."
The objective of the P4 Game Institute is to use video game production as a core to teach computer literacy, programming, science and math concepts, art and game production. Sponsored by the University of Denver, the workshop is facilitated by Scott Leutenegger, Director of Game Development Programs, Rafael Fajardo, Director of Digital Media Studies, Debra Austin, Morgridge College of Education and Sturm College of Law and Susan Meyer, the School of Art and Art History. High School teachers spend the first two weeks receiving instruction in game programming, drawing and character development, pedagogy and curriculum development and game production philosophy for the creation of humane video games. During these two weeks the high school teachers also make their first humane game. During the second two weeks, the teachers not only develop a second game but also work with 9th and 10th grade girls.
In years of attending faculty development workshops, I cannot remember when I received so much relevant information, in such a short time and had so much fun doing it. Teachers receive a stipend for attending the institute which can be traded for graduate credit, if needed. If you would like to attend a outstanding workshop get more information at P4 Games.
Teacher Game Institute Photographs
Student Web Space!
Earlier this year, a colleague and I sponsored a portfolio review day. We invited college and universities to send representatives who would evaluate student work in relation to their institutional offerings. It was a great success—one student was offered a large scholarship during their review.
When my students returned to the classroom, however, they asked if I thought they should have a web presence. They told me that two of the college representives had asked if they had a portfolio on the web. Initially, I had reservations about students having a web space because of the dangers associated with teens being on the web, but after some thought, I now realized how relevant that question was. Many students already have a personal presence on MySpace, they publish their photographs on Flicker or they may place their videos on YouTube. They should also have a portfolio site. Here are suggested guidelines and other information that could help you and your students.
Once the portfolio has been developed, web space must be acquired. Although free web space may be considered (this will be discussed later in this article), commercial space provides many benefits such as free domain name registration. Three + (3 or more) GB server space should be considered minimum for a portfolio—5 GB is better for students use video as part of their portfolio. Many commercial providers are offering unlimited space at very low prices which would make it extremely reasonable for three or four students to share the same space.
All of these commercial web hosts provide complete service which includes e-mail accounts, unlimited web space, unlimited transfer and one free domain name registration. There are no setup fees. Prices are extremely low.
Free web hosts may come with many shortcomings. Most provide very little web space with large advertising banners at the top and sometimes at the bottom of the page. Their security is not good and their down time is much greater than most commercial hosts. There is also the added expense of domain name registration.
These hosts do not place advertising banners on the pages. The space is adequate for a portfolio site. Domain name registration must be with another provider which is an expense. Domain name registration cost as little as $6.95 per year. This is the best of the free web hosts.