​Tasks and Research

  • 17/02/10 Secured new team email - ict@mackillop.vic.edu.au which will be used by Shane, Jade and myself
  • 18/02/10 Purchased $50 iTunes for shared use. Waiting to activate on set up of Mac in Shane's office
  • 05/03/10 Requested set up of generic ICT login for Mac in Shane's office
  • 16/03/10 AB Tutor set up on laptop - will begin testing in Friday's Year 10 Multimedia class
  • 14/04/10 Mac set in Shane's office - however issues connecting iPods as well as to iTunes store for account creation. Aaron to investigate
  • 15/04/10 Wii for lunchtime gaming/VC for video game course?
  • 19/04/10 AB Tutor trial software expired. To get reinstalled would require laptops to be reimaged
  • 27/04/10 Met with Aaron - he is going to download neccessary updates for the Mac to enable iTunes store and iPod registration
  • 29/04/10 Meeting with Travis regarding Lighting for Video area (1B)
  • 04/05/10 Podcasting PD with Steve and Sarah
  • 13/05/10 Reminder to chase up Travis regarding audio lighting and to check in with Aaron regarding Mac updates....
  • 14/05/10 Sitting in the ICT Inquiry PD - talking about wikis!
  • 23/06/10 Sent Optex Animation Station for cataloging with AV | iTunes redeem code dead - sent email to Apple support to request new code
  • 09/09/10 Upgraded to Office 2010 - Word, Excel etc... easy to navigate....still getting my head around Outlook
  • 07/03/11 Updated ICT Centre research
  • 11/03/11 Podcasting Day - updating Podcasting PLM for 2011
  • 18/03/11 Admin rights for PC granted
  • 25/03/11 Updgrade to Firefox 4 (issues with timetabler). Contacted Videoguys regarding Television studio set up, after sales support and testimonials. Waiting to hear back.
  • 28/03/11 Spoke with John at Videoguys. Explained that he hadn't sold any TV studio packages as yet. They are put together by their distributors GDB in Canberra. Got the GDB contact Roger (0262815483) for further clarification. Also said they do not offer set up or support. They do recommend that Cat-5 cabling would be need for external viewing out of the mixing desk. Will breakdown package to detail individual costing and see whether Tasman AV or the like.

ICT Equipment Investigations

Electronic Copy: .

Costings (Excel):

I have had discussions with Travis (regarding lighting) and Sam (regarding video/mixing) and have come up with ballpark figures for the following:

Film Studio

Lighting: Travis thought a portable lighting solution may be preferable.

- Portability allows to film in various locations around the school.
- The students get an opportunity to gain experience and knowledge in setting up for a shoot.
- Lights can be packed away when not in use.
- The space in the multimedia area can be more versatile and spacious.
- Easily change the position of lighting.

- Trusting that things will get packed away.
- Time lost in setting-up.

Cost: around $4500 – Tasman AV (which we deal with) have the equipment. Travis has details on the specifics.

Greenscreen: While the painted wall is a great idea, there is a 3m X 3m portable greenscreen available which could mean we set up the studio area with couch, plant and MacKillop logo. Might be an option as, like the lighting it makes for a more flexible space.

Cost: $549

Video Camera: Three cameras would be ideal to cover the sitcom/talkshow setup. Two for close ups with the third for wideshots. There are a number of ‘prosumer’ cameras which would be able to be used for both camera work in the studio and other events such as the Opening School Mass, Speech Night and other events. Preferred brands would be Sony or Panasonic.

For example the Panasonic HDC-SD700 utilises SD cards and provides high quality images. AV have bought 2 of these (I myself own one and can vouch for its quality)

Another option would be to get an entry level professional camera such as the Sony HVR-HD1000P for the same price. This however records HD on DV tape. It also costs around the same as the digital camera.

Cost: $1400 each

Alternatively a lower end Full HD camera may also be sufficient such as:
SONY CX110 HD Handycam

Cost: $700 each

Three tripods will be needed for each camera, preferably with fluid head and dolly wheels. Tripods can be quite expensive – in some cases more expensive than the cameras themselves. Middle of the road tripods such as those made by Velbon would be more than adequate.

Cost: $110

Dolly attachments for the tripods are reasonably cheap such as the unit below.

Cost: $60 each

Video Mixer
Sam suggested a video mixing desk would be great to do live on the fly video editing. We already have a portable Data Video SE 500 desk which works great – so having a permanent one for the studio would also be beneficial.

Cost: $1300

Video Studio Package (Distributors GDB Canberra)
Alternatively VideoGuys offer a complete school Television Studio package - http://www.videoguys.com.au/Shop/p/23357/education-church-tv-studio-package-1b-entry-level-edpkg1b.html

The EDPKG1B entry level studio package is designed for school, university and church groups looking for a complete TV studio package. This package includes a 4 channel vision mixer with video and PC connections, an intercom system, monitors, cameras, tripods, lights, a microphone, a teleprompter and cables.
The EDPKG1B package also includes a DVD recorder plus a video streamer so that your live TV presentation can be uploaded to the Internet. Benefits are systems are the same as we use here for video editing (same desk)
· 1 x SE-500 Analogue Vision Mixer
· 1 x TLM-702, 2 x 7" LCD Monitors
· 1 x Studio Carry Case
· 2 x TH650DV Tripods including plus 2 x bags
· 1 x Lighting Kit with Three Lights, Stands and Soft Boxes
· 1 x BT800 Hand Held Dynamic Microphone
· DVD Recorder and VCR Combo
· 1 x NVS-10 Video Streamer
· 1 x Teleprompter
· 2 x Sony HXR-MC50P Ultra Compact Professional AVCHD Camcorder
· 2 x 10m RCA Cables (plus 2 x RCA to BNC Adaptors)
· Format converter
· DVI and VGA to Composite video converter
· 1 x ITC-50 Intercom System (based on ITC-100 Intercom System)

Cost: $12,582

Final Cut Studio – Industry standard video editing package.

· Final Cut Pro 7 for video and film editing
· Motion 4 for motion graphics and animation
· Soundtrack Pro 3 for audio post-production
· Color 1.5 for color grading and finishing
· Compressor 3.5 and DVD Studio Pro 4

Cost: $1349 (Education pricing)

Final Cut Pro keyboard skin

Cost: $45

Podcasting Booth

Rode Podcaster USB Microphone
Transducer Dynamic (neodymium) 28mm
Polar Pattern Cardioid
Frequency Response 40Hz - 14kHz
Dynamic Range (Typical) not specified by manufacturer
Signal-to-Noise Ratio >78dB
Maximum Input Sound Level 115dB
Power Requirements Supplied via USB port
Output Impedance not specified by manufacturer
Output Connectors USB
Pad No
Low Frequency Roll-Off No
Dimensions 8.46 x 22.20 x 2.04" (215 x 56 x 52mm) (LxHxW)
Weight 610g (21.5 oz).

Cost: $235 each

Rode Microphone Shock Mount

Cost: approx. $50 each

Rode Microphone Studio Arm

Cost: approx. $100 each

Microphone Pop Filter

Cost: approx. $20 each

Professional Development

Games 4 Learning Conference

Session 1 - Games for PC, Mac and iPhone with Conor Kane, RMIT

Session 2 - Introduction to Gamemaker with Nat Bradshaw, Caroline Chisolm College

Session 3 - Machinima with Vincent Trundle, ACMI

Session 3 - Gaming with Andrew Owen, Monash University

ACEC 2010 Digital Diversity Conference

  • Keynote by Adam Elliot and his talk of Stop Motion Pro was fantastic! However, not technical in nature more of a retrospective look at his career. (Still, I was lucky to meet him afterwards and got a signed Blu-ray of Mary and Max which was cool).
  • Sylvia Martinez' keynote on the 92% Solution - the typical amount of students within a school body was interesting as she saw them as an IT resource - such as Tech support, peer support groups and to develop resources - and also discussed why teachers are reluctant to take up technology.
  • Game Maker for beginners helped consolidate some of the skills I had gained during the Games 4 Learning conference, but it was interesting there was no context given to the games we were creating, or any emphasis on story telling which is an important factor in the creation of gaming.
  • Game Design using Scratch was interesting, but is something that may be more useful for primary or 7-8 students. The interface is very simple, and you can get games up and running very quickly. I have collected a number of resources which I will link to when I get back to work.
  • There were a number of trade displays - of note the Adobe Creative suite discussion and Podcasting with Apple were interesting, but part presentation/advertorials. Having said that, I would buy both. And I definitely need to look at Garage band and its ability to create enhanced podcasts. I have a bunch of promotional flyers that I collected on my desk if anyone would like to take a look at them.
  • Bonus that I won a copy of Adobe Illustrator CS4 Classroom in a book text - it is on my desk if anyone would like to borrow it - just let me know!

Audio Lab set up

07/04/10 Had a brief meeting tonight with John Sandles - the Group manager for Grant Engineering and the designer of countless radio stations across the country. We spoke a bit about designing an audio lab. He said will send some detailed information to me which I hope to apply to the 'wish list' for the ICT Learning Centre.

11/04/10 Heard back from John Sandles re - fittings for Audio Lab.

  • General room would need to be carpeted and soundproofed. Walls should have a support frame on existing structure (plaster etc...) under which sound dampening batts - there are a variety to choose from at varying costs - but the Pink Batts Silencer would be a good start - are attached. To further the sound dampening, material is then stretched over the panels. An example can be seen here:

  • Further wall detail can be seen here:
  • Door fittings should use some type of acoustic dampening - this can be the elaborate mechanical type which creates a sound proof seal between the door and the floor as seen here:
  • Raven also provided door seals that cushion the door and door frame and also prevent sound transmission:

  • 2 audio isolation booths that are separate from main room - IE the are rooms within a room. Each room would be soundproofed as per the larger room and include standing room for 1 to 2 performers, a music stand and microphone as well as 2 headsets. The headsets are linked to an operator in the main room who can control the editing process. Alternatively, the students have access to a keyboard, mouse and monitor that is linked to a computer outside of the sound booth to give them control of the editing process.The computer needs to be outside the booth to minimise the sound during recording.
  • In the main room would be 3 computer desks used for sound editing and/or stop animation.These desks would have each have a computer with Stop Motion Pro, Adobe Premiere, Audacity and a digital library of sound effects. They would also have headphones which would be patched into the sound booths. The usual powerpoints and network points would be required.
  • Next to each computer would be an area with a mini green screen which can be used as staging area for the animations. These areas need to be well lit, though additional lighting may be brought in.
  • A pull down floor to ceiling green screen (or alternatively a painted wall) would be used for video work. Fluorescent lighting strategically placed would be of benefit when keying out the green screen to give an even colour. A table and 2 chairs would be great for news style programs - a small couch for talk show or interview style programs. Below is a top down view of the proposed layout:

  • Secure storage for video equipment, lighting, stop animation project work etc... would be required.
  • Animation Stations could consist of Optex Mini Photo Studio Kits - these provide a mini chroma key environment for animation that is uniformly lit. It would also double as a mini studio for photography students. The kit retails for around $110 - $190. See below:

  • Features:
  • Bright photo tent with diffuser screens and dual concave reflectors provide soft, daylight-balanced light
  • Excellent color and clarity without harsh glare and shadows
  • Double-sided backdrop provides a background choice of blue or grey for optional contrast with light or dark objects
  • Bright energy efficient light bulbs – 15 watt compact fluorescent
  • Portable all-in-one kit includes photo tent (400mm cube), double sided backdrop (blue/grey), 2 light fixtures, bulbs and mini tripod

ICT in the Inquiry Classroom Seminar

iPad / eBook pricing

iPad (wifi) - prices from www.apple.com.au
  • 16gb - $629
  • 32gb - $759
  • 64gb - $879

Kindle - prices from Amazon.com (USD) www.amazon.com
  • 6 inch Kindle (1500 books) - $259
  • 9.7 inch Kindle DX (3500 books) - $489
  • Australian power adaptor - $4.99
  • Kindle App for iPhone/iPad - FREE

Kobo - prices from Borders Australia www.borders.com.au/ereader
  • 6 inch display $199 (also can read pdfs)

Stash W950 Ebook Reader - price from OfficeWorks www.officeworks.com.au
  • 2gb (SD compatible) colour 5 inch LCD - $129

DSi / DSi XL proposal for LOTE

The My Language Coach on the Nintendo DS is a unique way for students to hone their language skills using interactive games, drawing, recognition and voice recording. The series covers Japanese, French, Spanish, Chinese and

Nintendo DSi XL (4.2 inch screens, wider viewing angle, preloaded software)

Nintendo DSi (3.25 inch screens)

My Language Coach games – Ubisoft: http://mycoachgames.us.ubi.com/language.php

Ed, here is a couple of interesting forum comments pertaining to My French Coach - Read the comments, some good, some bad. Given the price point, it will be no substitute for a French Teacher but as an additional tool in the classroo I think it will suffice.

Currently spending some time with the DSi XL - My Japanese Coach is a great intro - at least with my limited experience with Japanese. Brain Training is also great (Brain Age of 20 - yay!) and Scribblenauts has great applications for English. DSiXL also comes preloaded with a number of lite versions of games - Brain Training, Clibhouse Games and the Flipnote Animation Studio.

10/09/10 Sent DSi IXL to AV for cataloguing
14/09/10 Contacted Ai and Satoko regarding DS - they have been enthusiastic and look to investigate it over the school holidays. Will update Wiki with there findings

07/10/10 Spoke to Silvio about Art Academy - definitely interested in getting a copy. I've attached a video ontro to it - its in Japanese so you may need My Japanese Coach to translate - but you will get the idea of its potential.

And an English review of First Semester...

ACMI Storyboard Generator

ACMI have as part of their website an online storyboard generator. It enables uses to upload their own photos or drawings or use a selection from the online photo gallery. It also provides 'actors' again which can be simply dragged onto the storyboard template.

The Storyboard Generator Interface

In addition to this you can add camera moves, determine the duration of each frame and add any other information such as dialogue or props. You can then save the finished storyboard as an expoertable pdf.

All in all this is a very user friendly experience that would enable students to start storyboarding quickly and effectively - particularly those of which drawing is not one of their 'superpowers'.

You can find it at ACMI Storyboard Generator