Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Parameters & the Interface

The parameters will be the speed of the movement of the laser head, the power of the laser beam, the pen mode.

The interfaces will be the control panel of the machine and the laser settings tab on the computer. The effect will be simulated by the virtue cutting table. Goggles will be put on for the safety measures.

A reference for this visual is
Edheads - Virtual Knee Surgery - Total Knee Replacement - TKR

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Control panel of laser engraver

Page 1 of the manual of the control panel & page 2 of the manual of the control panel are attached here for exploration.

In this assignment, I intent to include all the details in using the laser engraver to produce Design and Technology subject learning outcomes - the artifact of students' design in the lesson. Students have to learn from the visuals how to operate on the laser system. The concepts of setting up the machine of the correct lens focal length will be introduced first. Then the modes of cutting, i.e. the vector mode and the raster mode, will be introduced. The effects of power, speed and PPI settings will be shown. See the following pages of instructions.

They are to be condensed into the visuals. At last, the safety precautions are to be included. This will be a learning package for students with or without prior experience in using the laser system. If they want to use the system, they have to learn by self access to the learning module to finish the study before turning on the machine for CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing).

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Laser engraving process

I've analysed the topics and come to a preliminary conclusion that the laser engraving process is the most exciting one for the visuals assignment.

If you want to have a glance on the features of a universal laser system, you may visit the following websites:

Universal Laser Systems, Inc. manufactures computer controlled laser engraving, laser cutting and laser marking systems:

*Plywood: 3mm, artwork on M-1200 / 250 W

Application examples
*A simplified process of placing words, signs, and symbols on virtually every imaginable surface.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Task for this week: after lesson 5.

To inform about what interactive visual representation you intent to develop as a part of your final assignment. Also tell us about reasons for your decision and purpose of the final representation:

There are several possible visuals that can be developed for facilitating my students to learn in my Design and Technology lessons.

How to make an injection molding artifact

How to engrave acrylic sheet in a laser engraver

How to design the program for controlling a Fischertechnik model

How to make a designed pattern on a T-shirt

These topics have common features of comprising a series of procedures and various modes for success in doing the practical work. Students need to familiarize with the procedures with the understanding of the underlying concepts for the task.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Self reflection: Lesson 4 - Interactive Visualization and Learning Objects

Dr Churchill introduced different learning objects. There are too much to be studied at one time. There should take some time to categorize them.

Two questions are to be answered after the lesson:

Q1: How can visual and interactive material engage student learning in your discipline?
A1: I'm teaching Design and Technology subject in a secondary school. Students can familiarize themselves with the steps and the underlying concepts in doing the practical work in designing and making activities.

Q2: Can you think of a learning object in your own curriculum?
A2: Lab-Volt, a purchased self-directed learning module in which there are on-screen exercises. The exercise requires students to fill in the names of various parts of a robot arm or to fill in the experiment data for an electrical circuit. The computer programme can check out the answers for students.

Self reflection: Lesson 5 - Learning with Representations

Dr Churchill has shown us how to organize learning from setting tasks which is very familiar by the student to difficult tasks which deal with misconceptions. At the beginning of the course, he asked us to make a one-screen presentation to introduce ourselves. The content is about oneself such that it one is most familiarize with. The second task was to make up one-screen visual about the atmosphere. I was totally unfamiliar with it. Then the Photostory was asking for subject content that one is also familiarize with. The fourth task was the raindrop which is also not my familiar subject.

The implication for me is to set some topic for students that can be alternatively familiar topic to attract and to challenge student’s ability so that they can expend their horizon when they attempt the problems.

If we want to design something for students to manipulate, we really want them to explore the different parameters so that they can grasp the concepts. If students don't know the parameter, they can manipulate and find out what is all about.

I’m thinking hard for the following recently. If I introduce the interactive visuals during the lesson, do I expect students to explore them by themselves? How do I organize the lesson so that when they are not one to one computer ratio but they can explore the visuals and the classroom activities can still be engaged by most of them?

NPAC/OLDA Visible Human Viewer: freezed body and put in liquid nitrogen, cut and scan and stored in a database. Whenever it is loaded, just call the data from the database.

Weather Bonk - Live Weather, Forecasts, WebCams: pulling data from 3 different sources: 1) library of Google map; 2) weather channel; and 3) web cam. This is a very good example of calling data from different sources and “remix” for a new application.

We must validate things before we accept them. This was realized when there are different descriptions about the changing shapes of a falling raindrop.

Dr Churchill mentioned that it is a descriptive model. Multimedia learning hypothesis: “People can learn more deeply from words and pictures than from words alone." (Mayer, 2005)

This induced me to re-examine the Photostory task I’ve made. I used narration but I didn’t use text to help me to consolidate the information to assist the picture. If I have a second chance to re-work, I’d like to add some text to the screen to assist.

I just keep on thinking about how to engage students to learn deeply as I initiate them with visual objects.

How do students learn deeply: beyond facts remembering, but they also understand the relationships between relevant concepts.

We must keep thinking about “How do we think?”, “How do we learn?” and “How is our mind work?”

There should be some investigation on “Depictive and descriptive Representations (Wolfgang Schnotz)” because I know little about this.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Our raindrop visualizer

Our Raindrop Visualizer

Here is the very first FLASH program we (Kelvin and I) made. It is our raindrop visualizer:

Alternatively, you may run the program by clicking HERE.

Source of information: (Raindrop sound) (Bad Rain)

Please don't laugh at our raindrop at > 4.5mm radius. Although it looks funny, it was the result of some very hardwork and countless cups of coffee in front of a computer screen.

It took us long enough to make this little program. We understand how frustrated an experience it is to try to use Flash for the first time. If you have any questions or difficulties in using Flash, feel free to ask. We would be happy to share with you what we have just discovered.

Here is our conceptual design:

Friday, June 16, 2006

This is my digital story.

Friday, June 09, 2006

This is my Task 2.

Please comment.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

My attempt to task 2

This makes me realize that selection of content is an important task for success. Prioritize the concepts and familiarize the contents can reduce the time needed and hence raise the efficiency for production. This in turn will promote the interest in making learning objects for teachers. Thus increases the feasibility to incorporate IT into the curriculum.

Ruling out unnecessary information can help our students in understanding the key concepts without side-tracking their learning. Vigorous analysis should be done before and during the production.

At first, I was a bit greedy. I wanted to include the sun into the representation. But when I constructed the stage, I realized that I had to drop out the sun because I need the screen to be focus on the atmosphere contents of the earth.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

My reflection after the second lesson.

I start to recall how I learnt things in my secondary school life. It seems that I could perceive meaning of the words in a way that I guess the meaning without really understand word by word. The visualization power existed then. Through practicing the skill over and over, I could translate the text descriptions into visualization in the mind.

I start to think about the Design and Technology curriculum for next school year. I hope I can integrate IT into the curriculum. I plan to use "jigsaw approach" for grouping students and let them learn through reciprocal teaching activities.

As for Task 2, I used the "elimination" approach to narrow down the contents first. Then, I'll study the key concepts for the information design. Mind map or concept map are to be drawn to facilitate planning.