Category Archives: Communication Technology

Comtech Computers are almost here

I’m excited. “Mac-cited”. In July my proposal for ComTech lab equipment was approved and purchases began, finally, for this project. I’ve been tracking orders from UPS, Purolator, FedEx like a kid listening to the radio for reports from the armed forces about Santa’s arrival on Christmas eve. I’ve been to the office to look at every parcel dropped off at the school for the last week only to trudge back to the lab empty handed. When I arrive home, without a word spoken, my wife knows why.

My data projector and ceiling mount arrived today, but it’ll be a while before they are installed.

I’m most excited about the MacPro Server, it seems an eternity since I’ve managed any significant server (since AppleShare 4->6 on a Mac II->G3 circa 2001 was replaced by Redhat 8 – managed by central office ITs). The server’s primary function will be file sharing with the 25 iMacs and accounts for students I teach in the Comtech courses. I’ll be using it to chew through digital video and images, group projects, collaborations multi-user documents with Adobe Master suite, – should be suhweet gazing into the Apple cinema, too. Oh, and a 66 key M-Audio keyboard with Bose Companion 3 speakers – kids on break in their vehicles will come a’knocking on my door to turn it down.

Some specs:

1 MacPro Server
Two 3.2GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeo
4GB (4x1GB) RAM
ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256MB
4x1TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb
One 16x SuperDrive
MAC OS X SERVER (UNLIMITED)

1  APPLE CIN HD DISPLAY 23″ FLAT PANEL

25 iMacs:
2.4GHZ INTEL CORE 2 DUO
2GB 800MHZ DDR2 SDRAM – 2x1GB
250GB SERIAL ATA DRIVE

BOSE Companion 3 speakers

I’ll use my new MacBook Pro to present project ideas, tutorials, instruction. I can manage from home/road the school’s web domains and especially iblogs via WPMU(as more of a CMS, really) which sports a blog for every student I teach. I have a 2007 Macbook(personal), but the Macbook Pro should demonstrate anything Adobe Master can do with speed.

The SLR and Video cameras from Canon should be here from Long’s, I phoned Jason on his first day back from holidays… what a kid I am.

Today I made a pile of old Blueberry iMacs, Indigo iMacs and iMac SEs, to redistribute/sell/trash. The Rev C 266 iMac(9 years old) has been running OS X on 256MB RAM on a partitioned drive for several years – a marvel. I’ll find a reason to keep it. Maybe I can scavenge an SE to take home for my kids.(3, 5, and 8 year-old boys still love Webkinz. They still play DVDs, too.)

Managing a iMac lab for the last 10 years has had it’s ups and downs, but the best source for support has always been the software/manuals from Mike Bombich. Panther(10.3) worked effortlessly, and even if a machine borked once in a while, cloning a new working drive with every piece of lab software intact and active, took  a couple clicks, 3 lines in Terminal, and the patience to wait for the disk to copy. I could swap out drives from a troubled iMac with ease and even had a collection of old pre-cloned drives ready to go in the event of a drive failure, but that was rare. One lost its monitor pmu, one was fried by lightening induced power surge, one had the prongs of the ethernet port vandalized. 7 eMacs just came back from a warranty repair for the bizarre “bulging caps” plague (I was successful talking to Apple’s repair service for laptops near Boca Raton about their “out of warranty period warranty extension”).

Over the last few years our school networking(Cat6, fiber, switches, wirless) has become increasingly stable so I will deploy using Netrestore. Given that each iMac has 250GB, copying bootable disk images(even if by trial and error at first) should be a snap. Space was never a luxury on the 6-20 GB iMacs these behemoths are replacing.

What is “back to school” look like for me? Checking my iblog logs, email via MobileMe, uploading iPhoto pics to the school Galley2, managing the online store, and marking – oh the marking – on my new MacBook pro, with some Johny Winter in iTunes.

My wife, can start using the home iMac more than I do. She accepted my “friend request” in Facebook today. I’ve been in Facebook for 2 years, but I’ve logged in less than 10 times in that span. How do I gracefully reject 12 other friends’ invites to play Bingo that are 10-20 weeks old? I finally put the summer photos from Kodak EasyShare into iPhoto. Maybe she can push them to her Facebook page as I seem not to find the time or the interest to do so.

I’m listening to “Winter Kills” by Yaz now, major flashbacks. Time to go. UPS says the 25 iMacs are in transit from Calgary on time to arrive tomorrow. I’m gonna find a movie to watch, maybe Vantage Point is still on the PVR.

But the VP has a new iPhone. Wonder if he can get a GPS fix on the FedEx van at the staff meeting tomorrow? Out.

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Present a Text in Multimedia

Theme

  • create original texts to communicate ideas

Project
Working in small groups, research a poem(novel, story, drama) using electronic and print sources. Choose a narrative poem, such as Tennyson’s The Lady of Shalott; a ballad, such as Keats’ La Belle Dame Sans Merci; a dramatic monologue, such as Browning’s My Last Duchess; or any other poem that lends itself to research that can be developed into an appropriate presentation.

Blend text, images, music, and sounds in an original presentation, animation, or short film that conveys the poetic elements in an effective multimedia form.

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Students Study Latest Energy Efficiency Technologies

Theme
Many nations and corporations are investing considerable resources in technological innovations to improve the efficiency of energy transfer. Such innovations will result in making society’s economy and the environment more sustainable.

Project
Create a multimedia presentation that provides an overview of the latest energy efficiency technologies being developed around the world, including developing nations.

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Frugal Finances for Fossil Fuels

Theme
The economies in the developed nations, whether they be net fossil fuel producers or consumers, are influenced greatly by the cost of oil and by implication the cost of energy.

Project
Produce a 3-5 minute documentary film on the real costs of increased energy prices on teens.

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My Mother’s Kitchen

Theme
3D Modeling

Project
Take digital photographs of common geometrically shaped objects found in your kitchen. Transform your objects into 3D models using Adobe software.

Place your collection of 3D objects in a single point perspective map of your Mother’s kitchen using Adobe mapping/rendering tools.

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Extended Film Study Podcasts

Theme
Film Review

Project
Select one film for extended study. Prepare a audio or video podcast review of that film. The review should reflect your thoughts about the film, as well as opinions expressed in published reviews.

Your discussion should include the following:

  • your response to some of the elements of the film; e.g., acting, action sequences, characterizations, film techniques and effective telling of the story
  • references to critiques of the film from several reviewers.

In your research, you should consult a variety of sources, including more than one print and/or online source, that reflect critical viewpoints. Compare the critical commentary with your own personal responses. Trackback/pingback the completed podcast, include links to your outline of the research plan that you followed and a list of the resources from which you quoted.

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Students Querie “Quality of Life”

Theme
Some individuals believe that the best way to measure “quality of life” is to adopt the model of a developed nation, such as Canada. These individuals point to Canada’s high standard of living, material wealth and its highly developed industrial and technological base. Others believe that “quality of life” can be measured by other standards, such as traditional values and beliefs, community standards and environmental considerations. Still others believe that societies can incorporate contemporary and traditional ideas to ensure a better “quality of life”.

Project
Your task is to investigate the lifestyles of an Alberta high school student and a high school student in a developing nation, in order to compare the Western emphasis on technological advancement with at least one other perspective.

Produce a 3-5 minute documentary film that compares and contrasts the lifestyle of an Alberta student with the lifestyle of a student in a developing nation.

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Pauling Electronegativities in a Flash

Theme
Lewis dot diagrams, VSEPR theory and Pauling electronegativities can be used to predict the polarities are small molecules, generally with fewer than ten atoms. Once the polarity of several molecular substances is known, it is usually possible to indicate the relative order of their boiling and/or melting points with some confidence.

Project
Use Adobe Flah to draw faithful animations, with perspective, of the following bonding arrangements: AX and AX2 (linear), AX2 (V – shaped), AX3 (trigonal planar), AX3 (trigonal pyramidal) and AX4 (tetrahedral). Craft a short flash animation illustrating the polarity of these bonding arrangements.

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Pupils Prohibit Plastic Polymers in Personal Product Packaging Project

Theme
Plastic is used to package all manner of household goods. Six polymers constitute the bulk of the material incorporated in household plastic packaging. Since there is no commercial market for mixed plastics, numbers from one through six adorn all plastic packaging to aid recycling depots.

Project
Using a suitable source of information, electronic or otherwise, identify which polymer corresponds to a given recycling number. Armed with this information, perform an audit of the plastic packaging products in your household.

The digital document that reports your investigation is to incorporate:

  • information outlining the frequency of each of the plastic types and their uses in your household
  • a computer-generated bar or pie chart illustrating the relative frequencies/numbers of each plastic used in your household
  • a second bar or pie chart illustrating the relative frequencies/numbers of each plastic used in the average household, according to industry sources
  • a short discussion of any similarities or differences between the two charts.
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Students Photoblog Alberta Aquatic Ecosystems

Theme
The intent is to build a database of information on the aquatic ecosystems of Alberta. Opportunities should be made available for this information to be expanded, updated and refined by other school groups over time.

Project
Your task is to:

  • identify at least five abiotic factors that are crucial to an
    aquatic environment
  • create a photoblog documenting your findings.
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