REFLECTION 8: MEDIA (GRAPHIC+AUDIO+VIDEO) EDITING WORKSHOP (ADOBE PHOTOSHOP + ADOBE SOUNDBOOTH + WINDOWS MOVIE MAKER)

ASSALAMUALAIKUM PEOPLE…MAY LORD BLESS US ALL~~

          From this week onwards, our lecture will mainly focus on the processes involved in the “post-production” phase of the video production encompassing the editing of the images, audios, and videos. Like on Saturday this week, we have had a special one-day workshop concerning the techniques of editing graphics using the Adobe Photoshop, editing audios using the Adobe Soundbooth, and constructing a basic video using the Windows Live Movie Maker. It is actually held on the nest day after we have the trip to Putrajaya, hence some of the materials used are also those taken from Putrajaya (^_^) .

SESSION 1

          The workshop comprises 3 sessions throughout the day. The first session which is on the graphic editing using the Adobe Photoshop is delivered by Mr.Faisal. Mr.Faisal clearly starts the lesson by informing us the learning outcome expected after we have learnt to use the Photoshop application later; which is for us to be able to use the Photoshop to create a banner/poster/moblog header/book cover on our own. I like that Mr.Faisal decides to clarify the learning goal before proceeding to the lesson since this way I may monitor my self-understanding and learning in the effort of realizing its objectives. What Mr.Faisal teaches us is the basic editing techniques using the photoshop.

         

          Basically, the first step in editing pictures using the photoshop is to set up the canvas and then import the image intended to edit into the Photoshop. The editing techniques include cropping the image, adding texts to the image, and re-editing the texts and items pasted on the canvas by erasing or moving them using the specified selection tools. A more complete and comprehensible series of steps of doing this may be observed below;

 

SETTING UP THE CANVAS:

1) FILE –> NEW

2) PRESET –> WEB

3) COLOUR MODE –> RGB

4) WIDTH –> 800

5) HEIGHT –> 600

6) BACKGROUND –> WHITE

IMPORTING A PICTURE:

FILE –>  OPEN –>  choose a picture from any folders contained in the computer

CROPPING A PICTURE:

1) Choose the “CROP” SELECTION TOOL

2) Click on the GREY-COLOURED tab –>  EDIT—>  COPY

3) Click on the “UNTITLED” tab –>  EDIT –> PASTE

ERASING THE UNWANTED PARTS:

1) Choose the“MAGIC ERASOR TOOL” from the SELECTION TOOLS list.

2) “Rub” the cursor on the unwanted area to erase it.

MOVING ITEMS ON THE CANVAS:

1) Press “MOVE TOOL”

2) Tick the box written “SHOW TRANSFORM CONTROL” provided in the tab at the top.

3) Click on the item to moved, and move it without releasing the click.

ADDING TEXTS TO IMAGES:

1) SELECTION TOOL –> TEXT

2) Click on the image and start writing the text.

EDITING THE ADDED TEXTS:

1) WINDOW –> CHARACTER

2) There will be a dialogue box appearing up, and then you can choose what to edit from this box, be it the colour, font size, or font face of the text.

          After managing to edit a picture using the photoshop, we are then given a homework task of creating a banner/moblog header/book cover using the same techniques employed previously and put it on our personal blog. The steps are exactly the same; except for the canvas size. This is because the size of the canvas depends on what type of image you want to create. As for those who choose to make a header for their moblog, the canvas size should be 1100 X 180 pixels as this is the only size that will fit into the header space of the blog. If you make it bigger in size, you will have to crop it again during the process of uploading it onto your page; causing the beautiful header which you make with all your efforts to only appear half of its original size. Apart from that, since the banner/header/book cover will also be evaluated, Dr.Rosseni has set two conditions of constructing it. The first rule is that it has to be created using the Photoshop; and the second is that we have to use at least 5 elements provided in the photoshop application in the making of the graphic. I’ve taken several hours to practise the photoshop techniques learnt in the workshop and finally managed to come out with a very rustic front-view book cover as seen below;

FRONT-VIEW-BOOK COVER BY NIK NURYASARAH (^_^)

In the making of this book cover i have used the following applications/tools:

1) Magnetic Lassoo and eraser tool for cropping

2) Gaussian Blur for the background

3) Double layers (picture+background)

4) Text for the title

5) Colour effects to enhance the colour of the main picture so that it looks detached from the background.

Below are the materials (two original images) i‘ve cropped and combined to construct the front view book cover ;

MATERIALS (THE ORIGINAL IMAGES) USED TO MAKE THE BOOK COVER

SESSION 2

 

                In the next session, Mr.Helmi takes over the workshop to teach us to use the Adobe Soundbooth application to edit audios/sounds. This is one of the most important skills to be mastered since in the process of editing our video later, we might need to edit the audios so that it synchronizes and gets along smoothly with other medias. I believe that the inappropriate use of audios in a video will ruin the presentation no matter how good the pictures and video clips it contains since audio is one of the important factors/elements in bringing up the mood and emotion of the audience when watching the video. Anyways, it is undeniable that the application is quite complex and requires a really intense observation and attention to understand. Below are the elements/applications of the Adobe Soundbooth we manage to learn in the workshop;

THE ELEMENTS AND APPLICATION OF THE ADOBE SOUNDBOOTH LEARNT FROM THE WORKSHOP:

1) CROP

2) FADE IN

3) FADE OUT

4) PITCH

5) LOOP

6) DISTORTION EFFECT (for amplifying the sound)

7) CLEAN UP AUDIO (reduce noise)

8) MAKE LOUD (also for sound amplification)

9) VOICE OVER RECORDING

10) SAVING THE EDITED VIDEO FILE AS MP3

          This audio-editing slot is meant for enabling us to edit and adjust the original sounds/audios until they satisfy our desires of how we want it to sound like and thus be appropriate to be infused into the video. Therefore, Mr.Helmi recommends us to add in more than one sound by overlapping it. Just like in the workshop, Mr.Helmi has demonstrated how the Final Fantasy soundtrack sounds much more “alive” when being combined with another audio.  I guess this is why the commercial movies we watch are so entertaining and addictive. This, other than the storyline itself, might also be due to its interesting background soundtrack produced from the appropriate blending of audios.

         At about 12.00 noon we take a break to have lunch and short leisure for recess. Again, just like in Putrajaya we once again enjoy our meal with the instructors. I always assume that getting the chances to join the lecturers to have lunch is such an honour; and that is why I keep mentioning about this (^_^) . Before dismissing for lunch, we are given a soft copy of the Adobe Photoshop module which is written by one of Dr.Rosseni’s post-graduate students Nor Syazwani Mat Salleh. This module is meant for our self-revision regarding the techniques of using the Adobe Photoshop as well giving feedback on its benefits to us. Anyways thanks lots Miss Syazwani, may your research be successful.

SESSION 3

 

                After the good lunch treat and performing the Zohor prayer, the workshop proceeds with the slot on the Windows   Live Movie Maker, which is also conducted by Mr.Helmi. The software intended to be highlighted today is actually the Adobe Premiere; yet since it is not yet installed in all of the lab computers Mr.Helmi decides to teach the Windows Live Movie maker instead and postpone the teaching of the Adobe Premiere to tomorrow’s workshop slot. The Windows Live Movie Maker is actually a kind of software for the very basic video making and thus very suitable for the novice video producers like us. There’s another software I know which functions almost exactly as this software; the one I used to use to do my Literature assignment  in my freshman year, whose name is the “PhotoStory”. The only difference is that the latter software supports only images and audios while the former supports all three (images, audios, and videos). Talking about the Windows Live Movie Maker , although most of us have at least a little experience using it, yet it is still very much beneficial when Mr.Helmi teaches us every single step of doing a movie using the software. This is because I realize there are certain applications of the Windows Live Movie Maker used by Mr.Helmi which I haven’t explored like some of the interesting visual effects and text transitions. Furthermore, I think it is always good to start from the basics in whatever you do (^_^) . The following are the steps of making a video using the Windows Live Movie Maker;

1) Gather all MEDIAS (photos, videos and audios) to be combined in the video. If your video is to have SUB-VIDEOS, kindly CONVERT all of the video files into the “avi” format. This is because the Windows Movie Maker only supports videos of such format. This CONVERSION may be easily done online through the following link:

http://video.online-convert.com/convert-to-avi

2) IMPORT medias

3) Drag PHOTOS and VIDEOS to the TIMELINE

4) Add EFFECTS

5) Add TRANSITIONS

6) Add audio to the AUDIO TIMELINE

7) Add TITLE and CREDITS

8) Put more than one audio to make the video more interesting. The audios may be blended by the “FADE IN” and “FADE OUT” technique. Just RIGHT CLICK to do this FADING.

9) SAVE project.

10) PUBLISH MOVIE to the computer. Kindly choose SUITABLE SETTINGS before publishing.

11) You can put more sound effects to “enliven” the video. Examples of the common used sound effects are the bird’s chirping, chimes, explosion, and such.

   

      The workshop ends in the evening after we’ve finished practising making videos using the Windows Live Movie Maker. Overall, I really think this workshop is HIGHLY INFORMATIVE. If our instructors aim organizing it to get us learn lots of things, I’m pretty sure they have achieved their goal (^_^) . Among all applications learnt today, I think the most complicated one is the Adobe Soundbooth which is used to edit sounds, while the simplest and easiest one is certainly the Windows Live Movie Maker which is used to combine images, videos, and audios to create a movie. This is maybe because we’re quite used to the software. However, regarding the Adobe Soundbooth software, though it is quite difficult for us to master it, yet it seems like we have no choice other than to learn to use the software in order to enable ourselves edit the audios we want and produce the best results. This is because the other audio editing software I know can’t do as much as the Adobe Soundbooth does. For example, the “mp3cutter” audio editing software may only be used to cut the sounds into parts, and we can’t apply any other elements like amplification, fading in and out, and overlapping as provided in the Soundbooth. This proves how the software does possess more advantages compared to the others. Other than that, this has also taught and ENABLED me to crop and combine images and transform it into one picture through the Adobe Photoshop slot. I am so gonna use it to edit my family pictures! I somehow feel we’d be much luckier if the Adobe Photoshop software is being taught at the early semester so that we employ it to complete our Literature assignment which requires us to produce a poster. However I know that Dr.Rosseni has setup the best course outline for us, with the best dates for each lecture! Moreover, I think that it is the best time to have this workshop right after we have gathered our materials for the video so that we may immediately employ all of the techniques of editing medias learnt to edit them; at the same time avoiding us from forgetting and losing the skills. I believe this might also be the reason why our instructors decide to have this workshop during this very moment.

          In addition, I have not seen any inconvenient imperfection in the workshop, except for the “missing” AdobePremiere installation. I’m  on the opinion that to make sure the lesson go smoothly, all of the equipments and tools needed should be sufficiently provided. I believe that Dr.Rosseni and Mr.Helmi have asked the lab technician to install the software to each of the computer prior to the workshop, and the technician herself has fulfilled the request; yet the software gets corrupted and fails to function the next day when we use the computer. This is obviously somewhat an unavoidable technical problem. However, this has actually given us another advantage; since we might not get the opportunity to learn the basic Windows Live Movie Maker if it is not because of this unplanned incident (^_^) . I would like to thank all of our instructors (Dr.Rosseni, Mr.Helmi, and Mr.Faisal) and all of the people involved in organizing such an AWESOME workshop for us!!! (^_^)

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REFLECTION 7: THE PHOTOGRAPHY OUTING IN PUTRAJAYA ~~~ AWESOME!!! ~~~ (^_^)

Assalamualaikum and Salam Sejahtera…

         We have no class on this week’s Friday morning (scream!!!! (^_^) ). However, in the evening we have a wonderful half-day trip to Putrajaya as a replacement. Please note that this is an educational outing, as the purpose of it is to allow us practise the photography techniques we’ve learnt in class practically; along with gaining the materials for our video production by capturing the beautiful sceneries of Putrajaya garden city

         We departed from the faculty at about 3.30 p.m by the UKM bus hired by beloved Dr.Rosseni. With us on the bus are Dr.Rooseni and Mrs.Hazrati; while Mr.helmi, Mr.Yusuf, Mr.Faisal and several other post-graduate students drive their own cars. For those who never know Mr.Faisal, he is actually a son of Dr.Rosseni which is invited to guide us with the photography techniques during the trip to Putrajaya as well as the upcoming workshop. Below are the pictures of us boarding the bus on the journey to putrajaya;

         

          Although the main destination aimed is the Putrajaya mosque, yet since we also have to pass by the Ministry of Finance @ Treasury to get there, we stop by to practise capturing some pictures at the wonderful government office. At this location, Mr.Faisal briefs on the usage of the DSLR camera including its every function. For example, from Mr.Faisal’s explanation I’ve now known that ISO controls the sensitivity of the light; the shutter speed controls the duration of lens opening; while the aperture controls the size of lens opening. These functions are used for specific purposes. For example, to take make a moving object look as if it is static in a picture, Mr.Faisal uses a low shutter speed so that the lens shuts more slowly than usual and captures the motions secene by scene. This is the picture shooting technique that makes a jumping person look as if she’s “flying” in the photo. From this, we can conclude that the lower the shutter speed, the sharper the view of the moving object the camera may capture. Mr.Faisal also explains that doing photography is like “drawing using lights”; and therefore we have to be efficient in adjusting the lights when shooting pictures or videos. Besides, we are also enlightened with the camera safety measures such as hanging the camera strap on the neck or wrapping it on the wrist instead in order to prevent us from dropping the expensive DSLR camera off (^_^) . Plus, while taking pictures at the Ministry of Finance we also get the chance to learn about the “rules of third” once again and what’s better this time is that we are shown a live demonstration of how to apply the rules by Mr.Faisal. We are then asked by Mr.Faisal to take pictures of several angles and composition which functions as an immediate enrichment practise of the theories taught.

          At about 4.00 p.m we continue our journey to the Putrajaya Mosque and reach there within just a few minutes. It was indeed a magnificent human masterpiece!!! I’ve never been here, maybe that is why I feel so surprised and somewhat “wonderstruck” by the unique building (^_^). When I enter the lobby, there is the full name of the mosque written on the wall. I now realize that the “Putrajaya Mosque” people have been talking about is the “Tunku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque” in its official name (^_^) . To enter the building, participants wearing no scarf and short sleeved t-shirts are obliged to wear the provided robe to cover their head and exposed body parts. Pei SI and Vanessa have to. I’m very proud of how the Islamic management really cares for the holiness of a mosque; and hence it forbids anyone not covering their “aurat” from entering it. Anyways, Pei Si and Vanessa look cute wearing the robes though (^_^) .

PEI SI AND VANESSA WEARING ROBES

           After a little wondering about around the building, we take a break to have the “late-afternoon lunch”. It was so nice of the management to let us have our meal and even prepare a cozy equipped space for us to enjoy eating. The food is provided by the generous Dr.Rosseni. We’ve had fried rice with fried chicken and some sweetmeats as desserts. It is good to have this kind of outing since through this activity we can have the chance to dine together with all the course mates and even the lecturers; something that is quite hard to get if it’s not for a coincidence like this (^_^).

HAVING LUNCH TOGETHER  

         

         After performing the Asar Prayer, we move to the upper part of the mosque building, specifically at the plane situated in front of the Imam Malik Entrance Door of the Putrajaya mosque. I guess our instructors have chosen this place instead of others since it has the best views of all. We’re lucky since there are no other visitors visiting the spot at that time. At this location, Mr.helmi takes over the turn of guiding us. All of the theories he taught in class are demonstrated practically here. He has shown us how to shoot videos using most of the techniques such as zoom, pan, and tilt with the help of the tripod stand; while techniques like “dolly” and “truck” are not able to be demonstrated since there no “roller” provided to move the camera.  However, we are contented enough to see some of techniques done alive in view! (^_^) . Other than that, Mr.Helmi has also demonstrated the techniques of taking pictures with different composition such as the up-close shot, middle shot, and long shot as explained in the lecture by capturing some of our photos and also the sceneries of the Putrajaya Mosque. Moreover, here Mr.Helmi also gets us to use the mobile augmented reality technology for ourselves practically. Vanessa and Dayang have taken this chance by using the iPad provided to scan the place we are at during the moment, and a few seconds later lots of dialog boxes containing information from the internet regarding the scanned place come popping out on the screen. We can see the “bubbles of info” tell about the neigbouring places of the Putrajaya Mosque, the map, the interesting activities held in the Putrajaya city, and many others. I am so glad to see the usage of the technology happening for real, since all this while I only get the chance to watch it on the internet!!! (^_^)

LISTENING TO MR.HELMI’S BRIEFING

MR.HELMI DEMONSTRATING THE PHOTOGRAPHY TECHNIQUES

MR.HELMI SHOWING HOW TO ATTACH THE CAMERA TO THE TRIPOD STAND

MR.HELMI TEACHING HOW TO USE THE MOBILE AUGMENTED REALITY APPLICATION

VANESSA AND PEI SI TRYING OUT THE MOBILE AUGMENTED REALITY APPLICATION FROM THEIR CELLPHONES

       

          After all of the briefing and demonstration, we are then allowed to take pictures, shoot videos, or any other activities meant for gathering the materials for our video production on our own. At this time, Dr.Rosseni, Mr.Faisal, Mrs.Hazrati and the postgraduate students ask to leave, leaving us only with Mr.helmi and Mr.Yusuf as the supervisors. We use the time maximally to gain the pictures and videos we want, and only stops by the time of the Maghrib prayer.

          At about 8.00 p.m we continue our tour in Putrajaya to the Pullman lakeside. This is Kak Lynn’s suggestion since we’ve appointed her a “tour guide”. Unfortunately, we are forbidden from visiting the exquisite lake by the security guard since it is already at night; causing us to leave and just head straight to the Putrajaya night market. For Aqila’s group who’s doing the food hunting in Putrajaya for their video, I think this destination is very beneficial for them since they may take pictures or even shoot videos of the food available at the market. As for my group, we only captured several photos of the food sold and the rest of the time is spent for shopping (^_^). I’ve also got the chance to introduce certain Malay foods that are unfamiliar to Pei Si like “cendol”. It’s funny when she complains the “cendol” tastes weird and just can’t get along with her taste buds. I bet she’s only attracted to try it because of its “colourfulness” after all .What an amusing Pei Si (^_^).

PUTRAJAYA NIGHT MARKET

          We head back to the campus at almost 10 p.m and reach each other’s college at around 10.15 p.m . It is indeed a tiring day, but filled with fun and excitement. This kind of activity really strengthens our bonding as the coursemates and I love the “togetherness” existing among us throughout the trip. Though I love everything about the trip, yet the one that “fills” and satisfies me the most is that I get the chance to witness the live demonstration as well as the practically practice all of the techniques and theories learnt in class for real!!! I can finally see how every of them really makes sense and not just plain memorized principles. I believe this is what people call the “AUTHENTIC” learning environment, where students can relate and even carry out the content learnt in the classroom in the real life; and it is proven highly effective since my understanding on the photography techniques has improved a lot after watching the practical demonstration along with trying them out for myself. To make this kind of trip even better, I think it should be held for a longer period of time like one entire day instead of half. This way, we can visit more places and the incident of missing the chance to call at certain places like the Pullman lakeside shall never happen. Anyways, I know that longer trips surely require longer preparation and bigger financial allocation. Hence, there is no doubt of saying this half-day trip to Putrajaya is more than enough and absolutely EPIC!!!!! Thank you lots to all of our instructors for being willing to spend time, money, and energy in order to do this for us. (^_^)

REFLECTION 6: VIDEO PRODUCTION ~~~ THE THEORETICAL EXECUTION OF THE “PRODUCTION” + “POST PRODUCTION” PHASES ~~~ (^_~)

Assalamualaikum and Good Day =) …

            This week Mr.Helmi once again dominates the lecture. I guess this is because this week’s lecture focuses on the video production matters which are exactly his thing. Furthermore, the lecture are conducted with a close reference to the module provided on his moblog (^_^). For this week, we are briefed with the technical theories involved in the production and post-production phases of the video production as the main content, yet Mr.Helmi also incorporates the topic of the ways of implementing all the things learnt from this course into our teaching in future.

            After recalling some of the activities done in the previous week, Mr.Helmi proceeds this week’s lecture with the explanation on one of the elements involved in the production phase of producing a video; which is the composition of a video shot. Briefly, there are three basic compositions in shooting videos. These include the close-up shot which is meant for focusing on the subject instead of the background; the middle shot which is suitable when we want to equally focus on the subject and its back view; and the long shot which is taken when we want the background to dominate the display. Other than that, we also have to concern about the appropriate angles when doing a video or photo shooting. The normal-angle shot is taken in a parallel line with the level of the subject’s eyes; a high-angle shot is captured at the level which is higher than the subject’s eye; and the low-angle shot is taken at the level which is lower than the subject’s eye. The angle of a video shot is highly crucial since it will give certain perspectives to the audience. For example, a high-angle shot will depict the subject as being mournful and gloomy; while a shot taken from a low angle will make the subject look bigger and superior. Apart from that, there also certain types of camera movements in video shooting which will make a video very interesting if being employed effectively. Basically, there are 5 movements of the camera that may be done by the cameraman according the appropriateness of the scene. These movements are “zoom” which functions as giving focus to the subject as well as giving the panoramic view of the display; “pan” and “tilt” that is used when we want to show the rapid movement of an object; “dolly” and “truck” that concern with having a shot of a non-moving object by a moving shooting (the cameraman moves along to shoot a static object). Below is the link to a video containing a complete tutorial of employing the entire camera movements mentioned above. Kindly click on the URL… it’s worth watching and very informative!!! (^_^)

CAMERA MOVEMENT TUTORIAL

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45e1XuA-oLY

         Apart from the composition and angle of the video shots, we are also given several other useful tips for video shooting such as the techniques of zooming, usage of tripods for easier shooting, and many others. However, what attracts me the most is the “Rule of Thirds” technique in capturing pictures and shooting videos. According to the famous photography blogger Liz Masoner, the “rule of thirds is” a technique of drawing an  imaginary tic-tac-toe board across an image to break it into nine equal squares, producing the four strongest focal points where these lines intersect. The rule suggests us to divide the image “view” into three parts both vertically horizontally; giving us 9 parts altogether. The points created where the lines intersect are the best point to focus on our subject. The way to do this is by moving the camera about so that our subject “touches” any of these 4 focal points and then just snap it. The employment of the “rule of thirds” technique is important to avoid the pictures captured from looking dull and uninteresting. Using this rule, a photo taken will seem more balanced and thus enable the viewer to interact with it more naturally.

          I’m really glad that Mr.Helmi exposes us to this technique; as all this while i’ve always thought that when i want to focus on the subject in a picture, i have to put it in the centre of the view. This is maybe the reason why the wedding photos I’ve taken are far less attractive compared to the ones captured by the hired photographer. Anyways now that i’ve learnt a great trick to it, i will sure implement it in my photography activities!! (^_^)

            For the “post-production” phase, Mr.Helmi enlightens us with the techniques of transferring the videos and photos captured from the camera to the computer. Then he continues with a little bit more tips concerning how to efficiently design our video when we are in the post production stage. This time we are introduced with a new approach named the “boundary game”. According to Buur and Oinonen 2011, a boundary game is a method to determine what belongs to the video and what does not. The game goes with the players arranging the pictures or any other materials inside and outside of the boundaries according to its theme and prominence in delivering the message of the video. For example, players may place images that indicate stronger themes inside the boundary and the ones with mixed and uncertain themes outside or at the edge of the boundary. At the end of the game, players may easily choose the materials which are supposed to be selected and included in their video. This boundary game actually helps players to observe the materials they’ve collected in order to choose only the ones that are appropriate and related to the concept of the video. Furthermore, by placing the selected items inside the boundary, players may directly have the panoramic/overall view of them and therefore may see whether the items they have chosen may produce coherence and cohesiveness when they are combined in a video. These are the reason why i think the game is very much helpful for us in designing our video.

            The next session is furthered with the instructions on the “mobile tagging” technology. Since in the last few weeks we have learnt about what a mobile tag is and its description, this time Mr.Helmi stresses on how to make our own mobile tags. The first thing to think of is which website of yours you would like to create a tag for;and then copy the URL of it. As for me, i’ve decided to create a tag for my personal blog (^_^) . Then, i simply log on to the the link http://qrcode.kaywa.com/ to find a mobile tag generator there. All i do is just paste the URL of my blog in the generator box and click the “generate” button. The system will later generate a “coded” tag for us. After saving the image of the tag, it is all set for use. I can’t believe it’s that easy. Plus, it’s totally free of charge! (^_^) . To test its function, i’ve asked for Pei Si’s help to download the mobile tag scan application to her phone since mine is not able to support such advanced and complex operation. Via the application on Pei Si’s phone, i can easily scan the mobile tag gained previously and then it automatically directs me to my blog page! I am so happy to see it works. Thanks lots to Pei Si for always being helpful to me (^_^). For those who want to download the scan application for free, kindly find it from the following link;

http://qrdroid.com/

            After completing all of the “technical contents”, Mr.Helmi progresses with the topic on the ways we may implement everything learnt in this course in our teaching. Actually, all of the technologies exposed to us throughout the course are very much beneficial in aiding the effective teaching as well as meaningful learning especially since they are able to fulfil the learning needs of students of different learning styles. According to Felder and Silverman (1998) there are miscellaneous learning styles students may have; which include the “sensory vs. intuitive”, “visual vs. auditory”, “inductive vs. deductive”, “active vs. reflective”, and “sequential vs. global” learning modalities. Therefore, we as teachers may employ any of the technologies learnt in our teaching according the suitability of the classroom environment and students’ learning styles.

                For example, a video is useful in teaching in an authentic learning setting along with successfully approaching students with the visual or auditory learning styles. Mobile blog, just like Dr.Rosseni uses to teach us is very effective in attracting the students who learn reflectively, sequentially and globally (Felder and Silverman (1998)). Mobile blogging also allows teachers and students to reflect on their teaching and learning respectively. This is important since through the reflections teachers may record their teaching content and also review the understanding level of the students. Teachers may also share knowledge and exchange opinions amongst them through a blog since it is provided with file-hosting application for teachers to upload notes and the forum threads for teachers to do online discussions.

            Mobile Augmented Reality technology grants teachers to conduct efficient outdoor learning activities such as the “treasure hunt” activity using mobile devices. This is also appropriate for learners with the active learning style. Just like the former, mobile tagging is also makes outdoor learning very convenient. Teachers may organize activities that require students to look for things using the tags placed at the strategic locations as clues. Mobile tagging is also useful in teaching subjects like marketing and entrepreneurship since the application is very much applied in the business discipline. Apart from this, the employment of the techniques of storyboarding, scriptwriting, and prototyping is also advantageous in the teaching and learning process. These techniques train students how to plan a project according to its goals, present their ideas in the visual form, and systematically structure a task. Besides, the User Innovation Management (UIM) tool is also as efficient in helping students scheme and design the approaches of completing their assignments and teachers plan their instructions. The UIM tool also assists teachers in identifying the needs and requirements of a learning lesson so that they may be prepared prior to the classroom sessions.

            At the end of the lecture, Dr.Rosseni takes over the class and briefs about our upcoming activities. According to her schedule, we will have one outdoor activity in Putrajaya to practise our photography skills and theories learnt in class as well as take pictures as the materials for our video production. In the subsequent week, we will have two workshops concerning the video editing. After finishing her short briefing, Dr.Rosseni gives us the opportunity to use the DSLR camera practically. Vanessa takes the first turn as she’s always into this kind of thing (^_^) . Pei Si and I also take the chance to have a look at the advanced camera.

            As usual, this week’s lecture is very informative and enlightening. I have gained a lot from it especially in the aspects of photography techniques and the uses of the learnt technologies in our future teaching. It’s good that Mr.Helmi provides many understandable examples for each point he introduce. I am so sorry that i ask lots of questions during the lecture since Pei Si claims that I am intimidating Mr.Helmi with my various questions (^_^) . I am the kind of person who gets discontented when i’m not clear about something, causing me to ask questions to my interlocutors irrespective of who they are. I apologize for this; yet indeed Mr.Helmi has given me great explanations and answers for all of my questions. Other than that, i personally think we’ve had a very satisfying lecture this week; it is just that i feel quite uncomfortable when the internet connection of the lab computer is there on and off. This has made it difficult for us to refer to Mr.Helmi’s blog continuously when he’s teaching us. Luckily, we have an LCD projector which reflects Mr.Helmi’s computer monitor display to the wide screen, enabling us to still see the module in front. Yet i still think that it will be better if the internet connection is made more secure and stable to maintain the computer lab as a conducive classroom for our lecture. Overall, i really have fun listening to this week’s lecture, and of course gain lots of information from it!!! (^_^)

REFLECTION 5: BLOG PROTOTYPING (CONTINUITY OF THE PRE-PRODUCTION PHASE) ~~~ (^_^)

Assalamualaikum everyone… May LORD bless us all with his love and mercy.

         This week, lecture is 80% delivered by our respectable Mr.Helmi. Dr.Rosseni is also there with us, getting reading and willing to aid our learning processes as always; yet Mrs.Hazrati is away for a 3-days course. This week’s lecture still focuses on the pre-production phase of the video production, yet is infused with a little different approach in the completion of the planning phase.

              Before introducing this week’s topic to us, as usual Mr.Helmi does some recaps on last week’s lecture activities which are the execution of the video planning using the 6-steps UIM tool proposed by Mr.Helmi; encompassing the stages of selecting, planning, gaining insights, having visions, sketching, and finally presenting. Last week all groups had produced their sketched storyboards and presented them on their blogs. However this week, we are taught to replace the step of sketching and drawing our plan in the form of storyboard (step 5) with the “paper prototyping” technique. Paper prototyping is an alternative to scripting and storyboarding since the purpose of creating them are the same; that is to present our ideas and planning in the form of a visual. This means that as we reach step 5, we could also construct a paper prototype instead of a script or storyboard to compile and exhibit our ideas and plans.

                 Since I am not really familiar with this “prototyping’ thing, I’ve done some revision about it on the internet. A prototype(noun) in the dictionary is defined as “a first or preliminary model of something, esp. a machine, from which other forms are developed or copied”; while the McGraw-Hill Science & Technology Encyclopedia describes it as “a  first or original model of hardware or software whose production involves the functionally useful and trustworthy systems through experimentation with evolving systems”. Besides, according to a source from the Wikipedia, A prototype is an early sample or model built to test a concept or process or to act as a thing to be replicated or learned from. It is also designed to test and trial a new design to enhance precision by system analysts and users. It also serves to provide specifications for a real, working system rather than a theoretical one. According to these definitions, I deduce that prototyping or to prototype is to create an early model of something to be created in order to plan, organise, and test the item, and improve the shortcomings contained in it before proceeding with the production of the real item.

 

                  In our case, we built a prototype of our company blog before really turning it into the real blog so that we can previously plan how it should look like, the features it should possess, and every other important characteristics of the blog that should be looked through very thoroughly by observing its prototype version. “Paper prototyping” of a blog simply means producing a prototype of a blog using papers. However a prototype may be construed using other materials too; it’s just that using papers is much easier and more flexible. I believe that building a prototype version of a blog prior to its real version is crucial so that when we build the actual life blog we may avoid making too much errors or missing too many important features. I’m glad that Mr.Helmi introduces to us this “prototyping” approach. I am used to listening to the word (prototype) but constantly assume it as a bad thing. This is because the entertainment magazines (the place where I always come across of this word) always refer a “prototype” to a foul thing when they call the new artists as the “prototypes” of the famous existing ones just as if the former are “copying” the latter and not having their own identity. But now that I’ve learnt about this, at least I know that a prototype may also mean in a good way. (^_^)

   

            Since we have implemented the scripting and storyboarding technique in the planning of our video production, this week we are asked to implement the same UIM tool (the six-steps strategy) to plan our construction of the company blog; yet with a little modification at step 5 where “sketching” is exchanged with “paper prototyping”. The main purpose of paper-prototyping our blog is to help us plan the overall layout of our website (blog) such as selecting the appropriate pictures, features, icons, presentation materials, information, and all other characteristics that a good blog should have in order to ensure enable and facilitate the visitors to easily search for the desired information from the blog page; as well as ascertaining the message intended in the establishment of the website is well-conveyed to them.

           Before commencing the production of the blog paper-prototype, Mr.helmi enlightens us with the essential elements which any website should contain. They consist of the “main” a.k.a “home” page which describes the general summary of the website; the “product” page which functions as a gallery holding images and videos; the “about us” page which informs the visitors about the blog administrators; and the “contact us” page that displays the contact details of the blog administrators comprising the mail addresses, fax numbers, telephone numbers, facebook or twitter pages, and even the addresses of the operation premise (if there is any). I’ve looked for a clear example of a tour and travel company which implements these elements in its website. Consider the following sample;

            In constructing the prototype version of our company blog, we strictly conform to and follow the steps suggested in the UIM tool as we did during the process of planning our video production in the precedent class. Basically, the whole steps in making the paper prototype blog are almost exactly the same with the ones in storyboarding our video production planning since our blog are supposed to relate to whatever we do with the video; except for the second and fifth step where the scopes are quite different. At step 2 of paper-prototyping, we have to plan the blog main interface layouts consisting elements like sections, buttons, navigation, colours instead of planning the involvement of actors like in the video; while at step 5, instead of sketching a storyboard, we build a paper-prototype version of the blog using mainly papers to represent the whole ideas of how our real blog should look like.

                    For this activity we’re separated into groups according to our companies. As for me, i’m with Pei Si, Dayang, and Vanessa. We’re given 30 minutes to brainstorm all of the ideas along with transferring them into a paper-prototype. To execute step 5, we’re supplied with differently coloured post-it notes, coloured pens, a huge corrugate board for each group, and adhesive tapes for pasting and organising. For the first ten minutes we’re busy discussing about the blog “header”, “icons/buttons”, and pictures; picking colours; and delegating tasks efficiently so that we may finish making the paper-prototype within the time duration fixed. During the next 20 minutes we somewhat “break a leg” struggling to finish our parts respectively. Dayang works hard drawing the “header” and “tagline”; Vanessa with the main page display; while Pei Si and I contrive the buttons, sections and colouring. The class is quite “uproarious” during the activity as everyone keeps busy throwing “orders”, instructions, questions, and even plain talks. The first time ever in this course, we’re brought back to the “kindergarten” vibes where we may witness miscellaneous funny incidents like preventing and fighting our friends from copying our ideas to do their task; seizing each other’s pens and papers; consulting teachers for the best tips; laughing everytime our group members’ drawings turn out hideous , the situation that prompts us to dispense teasing critique like “the hair makes your character look as if she’s wearing a helmet”; and many other funny events which just can’t stop us from laughing that day.            

                   After 30 minutes, whether done or not, all groups are asked to stop and come forward to the front of the class to present each other’s blog paper-prototype. This session is taken over by the sweet Dr.Rosseni. I like it when we get to present our blog prototype since this is also the opportunity for us to present our ideas and plans regarding the video production. Kak Lynn’s group which infuses the elements of nature as their concept for the blog and video takes the first turn. I’m impressed with their drawings on their blog prototype. Well, i know that Rozaidah and Zura from that group always have artist-like drawing skills (^_^). Sam’s group has the theme of the “family escape” for their blog as well as video project. Based on their description, i believe that they will focus on the recreation spots which are suitable for family getaways; and this is a great plan as Malaysia has myriad choices of such places. Aqila’s group’s blog and video highlight on the food hunting in Putrajaya. Although the other’s ideas are also as good, but this group’s focus really attracts me as i’m a food lover! I just can’t wait to watch the kinds of food they discover when they present their video later (^_^). My group takes the last turn with me as the “spokesperson”. During the presentation I simply brief to the class on the features contained in our blog as well as the function of each button and section; the theme of our video which will feature the complete travel throughout Malaysia that covers most of the states and their enchanting places -the concept that also justifies the relevance of our group’s name (“Our Million Steps”)- ; and that all of our activities in the process of producing the video will be updated in the company blog. For my group, the blog is actually built with the purpose of introducing and promoting the exquisite tourism venues situated throughout Malaysia to all people, be them the tourists, backpackers travellers, researchers, and even the local citizens; since our blog will be featured with the visual materials narrating about the chosen places, including the video produced for our educational technology course project. After the presentation Dr.Rosseni and Mr.Helmi give their commentaries on our prototype blog and video planning; yet almost all of of them are constructive. Overall, Dr.Rosseni and Mr.Helmi seem satisfied with our ideas, and that really relieves me as this means that we can just proceed with whatever we’ve planned without altering it. Below are the images of my group members and i along with our blog paper-prototype (^_^) ;

that is me presenting the blog prototype of our group

                  Conducting this type of activity as one of this week’s lecture slots is epic! (^_^) . It’s been a long time we don’t have fun time like this as lectures usually demand us to be formal and behaving; yet this week we really let go of ourselves doing the pasting and drawing jobs. Other than the excitement it gives us, I also believe that this activity really gets everybody closer and friendlier as well as instills good values like being competitive, patient, critically and creatively thinking, helpful, and many other noble elements indirectly. For example, from the collaboration between group members in finishing the paper-prototype blog, I can see how working together, cooperation, and teamwork spirits may lead to the success of the group. This activity has also boosted the group members to be responsible. This is evident when those who usually take everything about their group tasks for granted also pull together with the others creating the blog prototype. As for me, I am very happy to be with my group members, work with them, and give my contribution to the making of the prototype. Pei Si, Dayang, and Vanessa have always been good friends and also nice group mates to me. I’m lucky enough to have them in every of my group task, as Vanessa is highly creative in planning graphics; while Dayang is very good at drawing; and Pei Si is always neat-handed and efficient in doing works. Besides, by holding this blog paper-prototyping session, Mr.Helmi has prompted to us to embellish and organize our company blog rite on the spot. This has avoided us from postponing the work just like we did last week. At least now I know how to complete and decorate our actual blog page by just copying the features provided in the prototype version (^_^) . However, I’m on the opinion that there are still several things that can be done to make this kind of activity even better. I suggest that Mr.Helmi and Dr.Rosseni extend the activity session so that we won’t have to really rush in completing the prototype. Longer time duration will also let us brainstorm more ideas and improve our blog prototype. Furthermore, I think we should also be supplied with enough stationery and papers to avoid us from having to share and snatch each other’s as this will make the prototyping process even longer.              

                   On the whole, I think we’ve had a great lecture this week as I’ve learnt lots of things from it; especially the concept of a prototype and the guidance and ways gained from Mr.Helmi and Dr.Rosseni in enhancing our company blog and video production. I do love everything about the lecture, yet on top of all of course it’s the fun prototyping activity we’re engaged in. I really think the activity has let us spend our quality time together while finishing the tasks at the same time. Also, it is indeed a very much interactive session as it gets everybody even the shy one to communicate and consult each other in order to finish their blog prototype within the time limit. Thank you to our SIFUs for this ultimate lecture!!! (^_^) .

REFLECTION 4: (DESIGNING MEDIA AND INSTRUCTION) + (EXECUTION OF THE PRE-PRODUCTION PHASE) (^_^)

ASSALAMUALAIKUM WARAHMATULLAHI WABARAKAATUH.. (^_~)

          I hope everyone is as fine as I am these recent days. This week’s lecture is delivered by Mrs.Hazrati; which is entitled “Designing Media and Instruction”. It is all about the procedures of designing proper instructional media according to the students’ needs. To relate this week’s lesson with the one from the previous class, Mrs.hazrati does some recaps on the ASSURE and Dick and Carey Model and discuss with us in which phase we are now according to cycle in the models. Regarding this, since we’re currently in the pre-production stage of the video-making, I suppose that we are now in the phases of “Stating the Objectives” and “Selecting Materials and Media” as set in the ASSURE model. These are the phases where we set our goals for making the video and then find and select materials that conform to our needs of realizing the stated objectives.

         Mrs.Hazrati proceeds this week’s lesson with the concept and the basic processes required in designing media for instructions. According to Dick and Reise in 1989, the designing of instruction can be described as a systematic process of designing, developing, implementing and evaluating instruction; while according to Richey (1989) it is the science of creating detailed specifications for the development, evaluation, and maintenance of situations which facilitate the learning of both large and small units of subject matter. Based on these two stances, I think it’s reasonable for me to deduce that the designing of instructional media is actually a mechanism or technique used to design and develop media which are meant for instructions, and implement it in teaching and learning processes; and then evaluate how does it affect the students’ learning especially in the aspects of facilitating their understanding and nourishing their interests towards the taught lesson. Before designing an instructional media, we first have to identify the problems in order to determine the best solution. Initially, I get so confused listening to this first step from Mrs.Hazrati. I wonder where the problems come from when we have not designed anything yet. Then I just personally conclude that the identification of “problems” means the identification of issues, requirements, and features that should be infused in the media that is to be designed in order that it will give the learning facilitation expected by teachers.  Apart from that, since this system commences with the problem identification, I think it may also be used for improving the existing media that is found ineffective and thus prompting teachers to look for the shortcomings or problems contained in it. -However this is just my personal point of view, so anyone please do correct me if I’m literally strayed (^_^) – . There are two methods teachers may employ in the identification of problems; which are the “needs assessment/ analysis” and the “goal analysis”. The needs assessment encompasses all of the activities of collecting information about the students’ learning needs, interests, wishes, and desires using questionnaires, test scores and interviews; that are carried out throughout the 4 phases of execution which are the planning, collecting data, data analysis, and final report documentation stages. In reverse, the goal analysis which functions as an alternative option to the needs analysis possesses majorly different execution phases of the former one, which include the steps of identifying aims, setting goals, refining goals, ranking goals, re-refining goals, and making a final ranking. Both of these methods actually function in different situations; and hence causing them to involve the different amount of cost, time and target audience. The needs assessment method is employed when the problem is not identified; a condition that causes a large amount of time and money to be used since it has to involve a large target audience in the study. Contrarily,  the goal analysis approach is used when the problem is already identified and valid; requiring teachers to only contribute minimal time and cost as the research conducted will involve just a few individuals. After conducting either one of the analysis, it is highly suggested that teachers compile a final report of the study that contains the summary of purposes, processes, and results presented in the form of table and narratives, and recommendations or further action to be taken made based on the finding. I believe that compiling a final conclusive report is crucial since it will help teachers to figure out the solutions for the problems or improvements for the lacking parts of the media by looking through, analyze, and deduce from the well-organized gained data. The next big step in the designing of instructional media after executing the needs assessment or goal analysis is the performance assessment. For me, the performance assessment is basically the evaluation done on the effectiveness or success of implementation of the designed media in teaching and learning processes, as well as the discovering of its deficiency so that the implementation technique or the media itself may be improved. Just like the two methods, this particular assessment also needs to be started with the identification of the problems latent in the performance. As the matter of fact, teachers usually find their performances problematic because of the lack of knowledge or skills, insufficiency of motivation or incentive, and the factors of the environment, management, and interpersonal relations among students and instructors.

         In designing an instructional media, it is good for teachers to get to know what it really is, what it does/contributes to the learning and teaching processes, and the importance of using it. This is why I think Mrs.Hazrati includes this in her lecture. “Media” actually comes from the Latin word “medium” that means “between”. According to this, we may describe “media” as a means/channel for communication which include anything that carries messages and information between a source and a receiver. In a more precise definition, a “media” according to Mrs.Hazrati is a medium that can be used to deliver message from the sender to the receiver in a manner that can stimulate thought, feeling, interest and student’s attention which later occur in learning process; while according to Heinich(2002), if the media convey a message about instruction, then that media can be called as instruction’s media. There are miscellaneous functions of media in instructions; which are the reason why it is highly recommended for teachers nowadays. These include exposing technology to students, infusing innovation in instruction, attracting students’ interest through various ICT activities, delivering interesting and entertaining teaching and learning, promoting meaningful learning in students, enabling clearer and more effective explanation, as well as integrating the ICT elements in subject matters. Other than that, in preparing instructional media, there are 8 steps teachers have to undergo as presented in the following diagram;

To make it easier to remember, I have created a simple acronym for the whole complete steps, which is

IOSAm VIER ” . Below is how each letter of the acronym represents each step;

I  – initiating IDEA

O – defining OBJECTIVE

S – analyzing STUDENTS

Am – gathering and ARRANGING Materials

V – converting ideas into VISUAL

I – planning students’ INVOLVEMENT

E EVALUATING plan

RREVISING plan

         Apart from following each step discussed above, it is also important for teachers to ensure that the media prepared possess the characteristics as shown below;

Just like the media preparation steps explained previously, I have also created a simple acronym for this particular set of media characteristics with the purpose of easy memorization. Kindly check the acronym below;

MoViCoMEL

MoMovement

Vi   – Visual

Co  – Colour

M  – Mobility

E  Editability

L   – enhancement of student’s Learning.

          Other than these 6 characteristics, Mrs.Hazrati also highly recommends the designed instructional media to have the element of interactivity. To help us understand better, she further discusses with us the features that make a media like videos and animations very interactive; and later takes the “Dora The Explorer” cartoon series as one of the examples of a video that encourage audience to interact with the presentation while watching it. Assuming everyone knows, Mrs.Hazrati does not further explain why she chooses the cartoon series as the example. As a matter of fact, everyone does, except for Pei Si who claims she never watches the series. Laughing, I then help her find the series on YouTube, and watch it with her for a couple of minutes; and it happens that Pei Si likes it! What a cute Pei si! (^_^)  . “Dora The Explorer”, though merely a children cartoon series with very simple storylines, it does possess high interactivity element imparted through the characters and also the dialogues. In the story, the main character whose name is Dora, travels to different places to explore it. Throughout the mission of reaching her destination, Dora invites/encourages audience to join her and help her find clues to go through the right routes by asking questions to the “imaginary” audience. Other than “Dora The Explorer” there are also several other cartoon series I’ve known using the similar method of gaining audience’s participation; such as the “Blues Clues” which invites audience to get involve in simple investigation missions, and the “Go Diego Go!” which encourages watchers to join the adventurous rescue mission to save the animals. I personally think this technique is brilliant and very much effective in obtaining interactions from audience as I’m used to seeing my little brother and sister talking to the TV while watching these cartoon series! (^_^)   . In this kind of videos, audience’s immediate reactions are initiated through the questions asked, interrogatory remarks, pauses which are meant for allowing audiences’ responses, and even the clickable icons provided on the screen.

To witness all of these creative video making techniques for yourself, kindly enjoy watching the three cartoon series I’ve mentioned earlier below;

DORA THE EXPLORER:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBUYCaleh5o

BLUES CLUES:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCcEuDxb81E

GO DIEGO GO!:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QSz_xhUxKw&feature=related



         Before ending her instruction Mrs.Hazrati manages to explain a little bit on the classifications of media. I think this is important since they are countless types of media existing presently and hence knowing how to classify it may help us to easily describe any media we’re referring to according to its category. I’ve printed a chart containing categories of media from the lecture notes and hand-write all of the examples using coloured pens at each of the categories. Kindly check it out below; (^_^);

        To conclude the whole topic as well as prove the significance of being knowledgeable in the designing of media and instruction, Mrs.Hazrati lists out some of the advantages gained from the integration of instructional media in teaching. They include improving the effectiveness of teaching and learning process, saving time, stimulating student’s interest, providing various teaching methods, enriching student’s experience, and producing more efficient teaching materials. However, the usage of instructional media may become destructive if it is not properly planned and designed; and it is usually in consequence of the improper selection, preparation and implementation of the media. The employment of this unplanned media in instruction will then cause various undesirable effects such as boredom and non-meaningful learning resulting in students; and thus making the media unusable, nugatory, and wasted.

         The lecture session is subsequently continued by Mr.Helmi, yet with his own different topic – the video production- . It is a pleasing surprise that this time Mr.Helmi has come together with a slideshow containing the overall content of the video production module. This is very much conducive compared to using merely blog pages during instruction session as the PowerPoint allows us to view the whole thing in one complete document instead of having to switching the blog pages to see different parts of the topic. For this week’s lecture Mr.Helmi starts by recapping the phases of the video production learnt in the previous class and emphasizes on the pre-production part, the first phase of producing a video that contains mainly the planning of it. Before focusing on the pre-production phase, Mr.Helmi allows us to questions out on anything we’re not clear about. Like always, I use this golden opportunity to ask him about the mobile augmented reality technology, which I do not fully apprehend in the previous class – I believe so does every of my classmate (^_^) – .  To make us understand how the mobile augmented reality works, he searches on the YouTube a video of a man using the technology in a city street and projects it onto the widescreen for our view. Plus, Mr.Helmi himself then uses the augmented reality application from his iPad to track on the places existing in the UKM campus and shows it to us. We are literally amazed to see various icons representating the online pages related to the scanned spot (UKM) popping out on the tablet screen. I now understand how the mobile augmented reality functions. Via this technology we will be able to automatically and directly gain the sources from the internet that are associated to the outside real world by just pointing our internet-connected devices to the target location, scan it, and wait for the “magical” dialogue boxes to appear. For example, if we are now in the Kuala Lumpur Merdeka Square, we can use the mobile augmented reality application to know more about the place by just scanning it using our device and a few seconds later the screen will be filled with the diverse icons showing information regarding the scanned Merdeka Square; including its neighbouring places like the Old High Court and the Kuala Lumpur City Hall, the map of the place, the exciting events which used to happen there, and many other interesting information related to it. Now that I’ve understood how and what it works for, I find this technology to be very useful as it extends the “reality” we are in to a wider scope through the miscellaneous info and guidance about the location. Besides, I think its function simply justifies the “augmented” word from its name which means “being made into greater size or value”.

MOBILE AUGMENTED REALITY

         

          Now let’s go back to the discussions on the pre-production phase. The first step in planning a video is to select the messages of the video, its genre, and the audience which are targeted to watch the video. All of the elements are actually related to each other as the genre has to be appropriate to create the mood that will aid the delivery of the message to the target audience. The next thing to do is to plan/determine the involvement of actors in the video, the time and place for the materials to be shot or recorded, and the list of photography and sound equipments that may be required.

Talking about the “involvement of actors” in a video, I have actually raised my hand and asked Dr.Rosseni the appropriate number of actors that should be involved in order to produce an excellent video. She replies that there’s no such “appropriate number of actor thing” in making videos. When I ask her why, she simply relates it to the parody videos made by “Mat Lutfi” as an instance. Now I know that how many actors we involve in our video will not necessarily determine its effectiveness. It is the CREATIVITY of the video producer that matters. To illustrate, “Mat Lutfi” only uses himself as the actor in his videos yet still manages to play different roles and characters and successfully impart the intended messages to the audience. For everyone’s reference, I’ve put a video by “Mat Lutfi” below. Just observe how he brilliantly changes into different characters yet still maintain the comprehensibility of the video.

MAT LUTFI:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8N4BLv0-fc

        The third step in the pre-production phase is to figure out the resources of getting the insight, information and ideas to be infused into the video. As for our group, Dayang, Vanessa , Pei Si and I have discussed and decided  that our major sources would be our personal experiences and knowledge, interviews on people we know, and the internet websites like YouTube, Facebook, blogs and such. Our personal experiences will contribute a lot in the making of the video since lots of materials meant to be included are from our hometown backgrounds; and it is believed that if you narrate about something from your own knowledge, it will be much more effective. Other than that, it is also necessary for us at this step to think about what emotions do we want to bring to the audience when they watch our video; and I think this is closely associated to the message we intend to deliver to the audience. For instance, since our group is planning to produce a video that portrays the serenity and exquisiteness of the places in Malaysia especially the islands and coasts, the mood that’s supposed to conquer the audience should be the relaxing, pleasing, exciting, and soothing ones. Moving to the next step, this is the time when we have to have in our vision of how the scenes of the videos should appear, including determining the key scenes and in what arrangement they should be in order to attract the audience. After a lot of brainstorming, it is finally the moment of transferring the gist of all the ideas into a story board. For this particular task, Dayang and Vanessa function as the director of planning which scenes to sketch; and Pei Si works on the sketching and drawing; while I take the responsibility to write the description of the whole storyboard; which I assume as some sort of script or storyline writing. For the storyboard sketching, Mr.Helmi suggests us to use the application available on the iPad. Since we’re not familiar with it, we just play around with the iPad by clicking various icons and trying everyr of the functional buttons, just to see how they work. It’s so funny indeed especially when it comes to my turn of using it. I definitely have no idea how to draw on the iPad screen, yet Vanessa generously help me with it. Anyways, using the iPad storyboard application is somewhat only a fun practice since we decided to sketch our storyboard manually on the paper instead. Moreover, we are only allowed to use the iPad for a limited period since we have to share it with other groups; leading to the time insufficiency for us to finish our storyboard using the digital tablet. 

          All of the ideas expressed and the complete planning made are then recorded on our company blog page, inclusive of our adorably-drawn storyboard as seen in the “print screen” images below;

You may also take a clearer look at the storyboard, its description, and our detailed out planning on our blog; by clicking on the following URLs:

VIDEO PRODUCTION PLANNING:

http://ourmillionsteps.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/following-step1-pre-production/

STORYBOARD + DESCRIPTION:

http://ourmillionsteps.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/story-board/

         

                 Only at the end of the lecture session Dr.Rosseni intervenes to sum up this week’s lecture. She reminds us to finish the story board and the planning outline, and then jumps into the question and answer slot. I take the opportunity to ask Dr.Rosseni for the list of the criteria she wants us to have in the video and also the aspects that shall be evaluated. As nice as always, she promises to prepare that for us. It relieves me since all this times I’ve been wondering what our video should actually focus on and what characteristics it should have in order that it obtains the maximal scores. Thus, the list of expected criteria given will definitely guide us to make our video as satisfying and excellent as it could be! (^_^)

          I can say that this week’s lecture is the best lecture amongst all of the previous lectures we’ve had. The collaborative teaching delivered by Dr.Rosseni, Mrs.Hazrati, and Mr.Helmi successfully aids our meaningful learning through the varieties of explanation and efficiently distributed content delivery by each instructor. This is very much evident in the part when Mrs.Hazrati assists Mr.helmi to explain to us about the mobile augmented reality and the moment when Dr.Rosseni helps Mr.Helmi to summarize the whole lesson. Dr.Rosseni even works together with Mr.Helmi and Mrs.Hazrati to answer our abundant questions. I’m highly on the opinion that a collaborated teaching like this really works especially for a long lesson as it promotes better understanding on the lesson, saves time, as well as avoids students from getting mentally weary. Like Dr.Rosseni always says, we are truly lucky to have three teachers at the same time; and to all my SENSEIs, you’re the BEST ones!!! (^_^) . Apart from that, I’d really like to remark that Mr.Helmi has really improved his teaching delivery this time as he comes up very much prepared with his teaching aids(especially the PowerPoint slides), clearly and orderly imparts his explanation from topics to subtopics, and manages to give examples that makes us really understand a complex issue, just like the mobile augmented reality part. The most important thing of all, I could conceive his lecture for this week much much better than the last time!(^_^) . For instance, from his lecture provided this week, Mr.Helmi has managed to make it very clear to me and make me realize that the aim of learning and mastering the video production module is to enable us to design and develop our own video to be integrated in our teaching in future. Plus, the introduction to this module is also with the purpose of  exposing is to the the current video, mobile and  web 3.0 technologies. Furthermore, another thing I love about this class is that it always engages us in the group tasks; giving us the chance to nourish our teamwork along with strengthening our friendship. However, to get the group tasking much more effective and successful, I think that there should be more iPads provided so that each group will not have to share and may use the device fully until the class ends; instead of having to be interrupted while busy using it to finish the tasks. I also think it will be better if the usage of the storyboard-sketching application from the iPad is explained further and its steps being demonstrated since it is in fact quite complicated for us as we’re not really familiar with the device.

  

          Overall, I think we’ve had a very exciting class this week. The best thing of all is the interactive question and answer session at the end of the class which unravels lots of my unclarity and confusions. I know that this time my reflection is quite lengthy, but I just can’t help making it short because everytime I want to stop writing, there’s always something to add in coming across my mind. I guess it’s maybe because I’ve gained substantially from this week’s class. So, a billion thanks to all of our instructors for such an informative lecture! I hope everyone would enjoy reading this no matter how wordy it is; since it contains lots of valuable things. (^_^).

REFLECTION 3: THE VIDEO PRODUCTION : LET’S MAKE OUR OWN VIDEO (^_^) !

PEACE BE UPON US ALL,

        For this first time ever in this Educational Technology course, we’re given lecture by a respectable instructor who’s doing his PhD in UKm. Our new sensei whose name Mr.Helmi is accompanied by his colleague Mr.Yusuf. Dr.Rosseni is there with us, but only to control the session as well as expedite our understanding and answer our countless questions. Mr.helmi is the one teaching us, while Mr.Yusuf functions as the photographer taking pictures of the class activities held on that day. Big welcome to both of our new teachers (^_^).

          There are so many things occurring this week. Mr.helmi starts the class by introducing himself and his friend to us first, and then continues to his lecture by briefing out the topic of the lecture and other several things related to it. This week’s lecture is mainly themed about the video production; which is in line with our group project that requires us creating a video. The content of the lecture is actually based on the video production module published  in Mr.Helmi’s mobile blog which encompasses everything regarding the processes of producing a video on our own. Before going any further on that video production part, I suppose it’s better for me explain a bit what “mobile blogging” is. What I understand from Mr.Helmi’s explanation, mobile blogging refers to the actions related to blogging be it narrating or writing on blogs, uploading pictures and videos, editing posts and any other blog-associated activities executed through mediums or machines that is mobile or in its easier word “moveable” and this includes gadgets like smartphones, iPads, iPhone, and other machines with internet access that may be moved; this justifies the term “mobile blogging” itself. The first time Mr.Helmi utter the term, it really sounds alien to me, not knowing that I’ve been “mobile-blogging” all this while. I mean, I’ve always been updating my blog through my portable notebook computer, isn’t it considered blogging via mobile equipment? People around the world have been mob-blogging since many years and it is no longer a new thing, it’s just the term that seems quite unfamiliar to users. I believe that due to this widely practiced mobile blogging also the communication gadgets manufacturers are currently producing more phones with ability to access the internet such as presently the most popular ones ; the androids. I also think that mobile blogging is an advantageous technology in the education sector especially as it allows educators or students interact online whenever they want through the mobile medium they have. It also lets the academicians update their works and writings on their blogs on the spot, without having to wait until they reach the computer. I happen to have these thoughts since i used to witness my sister sticking to an educational blog waiting for the teacher to update the latest popular topics each day when preparing for her exams.

          Other than mobile blogging, Mr.Helmi also touches on the mobile augmented reality and mobile tagging, another two odd things for us all. Nonetheless, from what I’ve understood from Mr.Helmi’s explanation, the mobile augmented reality is some sort of virtual technology which is combined with the real world, while the mobile tag is the 2D tag displayed via barcodes which contain the information that are able to connect the real world objects to the related information available on the internet; and it is usually used for commercial purposes.

          Regarding the video production part, we’re informed by Mr.Helmi that the processes contain of several stages comprising the pre-production, production, and post-production phases. The pre-production stage is the first phase one undergoes in making videos and it involves two important steps which is the script-writing and storyboard-production. Script-writing actually helps a lot especially in determining the objective and direction of the video, the message to be delivered, the target audience, and as well as the mood or genre of it. Also, the script-writing facilitates the video producer to plan and organizes the scenes which will be presented in the video according to the appropriate chronology and thus help avoid him from making errors during the incorporation of the materials into the video. Furthermore, this may aid evade any additional cost and mis-organization of scene sequence, as well as ease the resource management comprising the preparation of the required equipments and shooting site. I strongly feel that this pre-production part is the most essential part among all since in order to produce a good and quality item, we’ll definitely have to provide a plan, since further procedures will run smoothly according to the set plans compared to preceding any action in a sudden. Different from the scriptwriting, the storyboard construction is the visualization of the written script, meaning that we have to finish up the script or the whole ideas of the video content prior to this. Storyboard guides the video producer especially in the organization and association between scenes, ranging from the video shot composition to determining the chronology of the scenes. The production phase takes place when we start working on shooting pictures and videos as the items to be included in the video later. During this phase Mr.Helmi together with sensei Rosseni will teach and guide us in the aspects of the movement of the video camera which encompasses techniques like zoom, pan, tilt, dolly, and truck, the angles of video shot comprising three different ones (normal, high and low) , and finally the composition of video shot that consists of the close-up, middle and wide/long shots.What’s so good about this module is that we will also be given tips like the do’s and don’ts in order to produce good materials for the video.  This production phase will require us to get on the move lots since we’ll have to capture outdoors views(especially for my group project). Since in the materials are to be gathered during the production phase, the next phase which is the post-production is meant for combining the items and transform them into a video. These processes will definitely involve lots of editorial activities such as cropping pictures, adding in texts and captions, choosing appropriate transitions and colours, organizing scenes according to the produced storyboard and also selecting suitable audio. Regarding the visual items, I believe that skills of using image editor softwares such as the Picasa, Photoscape and Photoshop are highly needed. As for the selection of audio, creativity in choosing and mixing multiple tunes are crucial as audio crucially functions in generating the mood of the video as well as attracting the audience to watch it. Though most of the above mentioned knowledge and expertise are very unfamiliar to most of us and hence may cause a bit insecure and worried feelings yet I believe that with Mr.Helmi’s and Dr.Rosseni’s guidance we’ll be able to master all the techniques and finish this project being excellent photographer and video-makers at the same time. In the later session, we are separated into groups and assigned to create a company blog and come up with the company name, organizational members, company profile, and the rough ideas on the video to be produced. For this task we’re given iPads. Since there are not sufficient iPads to be distributed to each group, we have to share them. However this is not a problem since we may discuss about the other aspects while waiting for our turn to use the iPad. We managed to complete the given task and provide all of the items listed above on our company blog as you may observe in the “print screen” images below;

COMPANY BLOG PAGE:

ORGANIZATIONAL CHART:

SUMMARY OF VIDEO PRODUCTION:

VIDEO PRODUCTION THEMES:

As you may see, in our “company” i function as the secretary and scriptwriter, a perfect job for me as i do love writing much more than anything else!!! We name our company blog “Our Million Steps” as the video we’ll be producing places from all over Malaysia, which requires us to do lots of travelling and visiting to gather the materials. Kindly click on the following links to check out our blog and take a closer look to its content.

BLOG HOMEPAGE:

http://ourmillionsteps.wordpress.com/

VIDEO PRODUCTION SUMMARY AND THEMES:

http://ourmillionsteps.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/summary-of-our-video-production/

          I like that Mr.Helmi has presented interesting new topics for us during the lecture; yet unfortunately I’m gonna have to admit that the delivery of the instruction this time is fairly unsatisfying.  This may be observed when all of us get apparently confused and unclear about the lesson for the first one hour. It’s not that we don’t understand whatever Mr.Helmi teaches; it’s just that we can’t really associate one thing to another and simplify into a cohesive conclusion since we can’t see the connection between one point and the others. For example, when Mr.helmi first talks on the mobile blogging, I can completely understand it, but when he jumps to that mobile augmented reality thing, I just can’t figure out what this latter thing has to do with the former one. Anyways, seeing our tense and obscurity, Dr.Rosseni comes forward rephrasing and re-explaining the gist of the lecture. She even uses the whiteboard to elaborate on each point. I feel relieved that I eventually got something from the lecture. I wonder why Dr.Rosseni may comprehend the lecture and even simplify it for our understanding, but we ourselves can’t although we are all in the same classroom. It amuses me sometimes thinking about this. It seems that it’s not Mr.Helmi’s instruction that is lacking, maybe I myself should start to learn and think like an adult in lessons, just like Dr.Rosseni did. However, I’m impressed by Mr.Helmi’s and Mr.Yusuf’s patience and professionalism in handling our fussy behaviours. I believe that our unstoppable frowns and repeated questions are quite disturbing yet they both still receive them calmly.

          Despite the lacking aspects, it is a very exciting class especially to see the class getting uproarious while exploring the iPad. It’s funny to see our excitement and awed faces everytime a sophisticated application is demonstrated by Mr.Helmi. We even take pictures of us holding the “sacred” iPad. 

         Overall, the lecture is satisfying. I’m on the opinion that the confusion is not due to the instruction alone, yet also the way we learn or our thinking level itself. Since we (particularly me myself) are moderate learners, there are several ways that I believe may  be executed to facilitate our comprehension. The most important one is for the instructor to plan or organize the contents such as the main topic and its subtopics in an appropriate sequence so that we may relate one previous given point to another new point. Other than that instructor should also emphasize on the main parts, and simplify the gist of the content into mind maps, charts or any suitable visuals. Plus, just like since we’re in the kindergarten, the use of the whiteboard is always relevant. The writing of the main points, arrows used to connect between items and such to accelerate our learning processes.  The last crucial thing is for the instructor to ensure students’ understanding before proceeding with further topic in a lesson. These suggestions come out when I think about the teachers and kind of instructions that always manage to give me maximum input and compare it to this week’s lecture; and i come to realize that such lessons do possess the criteria mentioned above.

          As always, what I love the most about the lecture of this Educational Technology course as is that the lessons always occur in the relaxed manner, it’s neither too serious like the theoretical TESL courses nor too playful like the Literary Play for the Literature courses we have. The fun group discussions, the free question and answer between Dr.Rosseni, Mr.Helmi and us, the photoshooting by Mr.Yusuf and such stuff make the class alive and cheerful. Therefore, in spite of any flaw (if it has), I do enjoy this week’s lecture very much.

LAKSAM SPIRAL KELATEY UNTUK ABEY ;)

 

 

Ini laksam made especially for mohd nasir(as requested 😉 ) . Agak leceh jgk nak buat ni sbb mee nya kna bancuh sndri and steam sendiri..xde jual yg instant kat kedai yea tuan-puan ;p  . Tapi xpe,,dulu kat skolah ustaz ade cakap, lg susah nak buat lagi banyak pahala dapat..lebih2 lagi sediakan makanan untuk hubby. Anyways mmg worth it segala usaha masak laksam ni that day sebab 4 pinggan mee laksam yang terhasil tu kami berdua jea yg habiskan (mmg ada kawan yang cakap kami mmg compatible bersama because= both banyak makan =p   ahahhaha ). For those yg tak tahu, mee laksam ni sebelum jadi rupa spiral camni, they are initially flat round pieces which are rolled into a cylinder and then cut to form spirals. Kindly check the following pictures;

laksam is initially rolled into cylinder shape

 

 

Apart from the laksam noodles and the gravy, we usually prepare a number of side dishes/raw ingredients whenever serving laksam that include finely chopped veggies and cili;