“God is in the details.... Less is more.”Mies van der Rohe


Sat Aug 14, 2004

What Is Multimedia?

MY VISUAL ANSWER TO Dr C.'s question "What is Multimedia to you?" is as follows:

Mindmap for Educational Multimedia

(Click here to see full-sized mindmap.)

by tree#138680 on Sat Aug 14 04 9:21 am | profile
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Thu Aug 05, 2004

Understanding Comics

Started on two interesting and complementary modules this semester (late July to end Oct): Training Methods & Strategies and Multimedia Development I. Thanks to a great idea by new project mate L., i'm now looking forward to working on an old subject dear to my heart with an unusual and fun perspective: a comic one!

Read a very interesting book by Scott McCloud over the last few days. As the overview on the author's website put it, "A 215-page comic book about comics that explains the inner workings of the medium and examines many aspects of visual communication along the way. Understanding Comics was a Harvey and Eisner winner, was praised in The New York Times, Publishers Weekly and Wired, and is in over 13 languages. A favorite of interface, game and Web designers despite the fact that it doesn't mention computers once!" read more...

by tree#138680 on Thu Aug 05 04 4:09 am | profile
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Tue Apr 27, 2004

What's In A Name?

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." -- Romeo to Juliet, in reply to her complaint that his name is all that keeps him from her (a play by William Shakespeare)

WHILE BROWSING IN THE LIBRARY two weeks ago, i happened to pick up a book published in 2002 by Diana Laurillard entitled, "Rethinking University Teaching -- a framework for the effective use of learning technologies". Was quite excited when i learnt about Laurillard's five media forms for supporting active learning. They overlap almost neatly with Nichani's four Interactive Visual Explainers (2003).

'Narrative' is the same in both, 'Interactive' is equivalent to 'Explorative' and 'Adaptive' to 'Simulative'. Laurillard's 'Communicative' and 'Productive' are not in Nichani's classification, but they coincide with the 'Collaborative' and 'Constructive' in my extrapolation last year (see 'Industry' vs. 'Academia' III).

Just now, during a lunchtime talk, when the manager of the eLearning Competency Centre mentioned Dr Ruth Clark's Four Learning Architectures, my curiosity was piqued. Other than the different names, 'Receptive', 'Directive', 'Explorative' and 'Guided Discovery' seem to be identical to Nichani's 'Narrative', 'Instructive', 'Explorative' and 'Simulative'! read more...

by tree#138680 on Tue Apr 27 04 4:04 am | profile
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Sat Sep 20, 2003

'Industry' vs. 'Academia' III

(See also 'Industry' vs. 'Academia' II in OnlineLearningTeacher.)

AFTER HEARING MAISH NICHANI SPEAK at an e-Learning Practitioners' Forum in the National Institute of Education last Thursday, i felt excited and yet later, vaguely uneasy.

i was excited that Information Design was finally introduced to e-learning practitioners, and Maish has done it very well, with lots of diverse and interesting examples. Particularly liked revisiting the first two -- Charles Joseph Minard: Mapping Napoleon's March, 1861 and The New York Times' From One Hotel Guest Many Infections (SARS) infographic).

i also felt concerned about a few probable issues: (1) The examples were mostly CBT-like, with little indications of actual information design principles at work (perhaps not enough time), (2) Maish's focus had been wholly on visual design and nothing on the writing, (3) How are we going to teach this complex stuff to our academic staff (or students) who have very little time and motivation?

Is this a problem of academic theory vs. industry practice again? read more...

by tree#138680 on Sat Sep 20 03 10:07 pm | profile
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Wed Aug 27, 2003

Discipline vs. Freedom

"It's not wise to violate the rules until you know how to observe them." -- T.S. Eliot
"I don't think anybody can be creative when he has to deal with people sitting around a conference table." -- Charles Shultz

Paul Rand - photo from commarts.comTHESE DAYS, i'm once again intrigued by the concept of duality -- just like earlier days when i was continually fascinated by many apparently contrary sayings of wise men such as Laozi, Buddha and Kahlil Gibran.

Was reminded of this while showing my Engineering Communication students a Graphics Design video last Monday evening. The narrator was introducing the key steps to successful design: (1) Purpose, (2) Media & Arena, (3) Supplies & Results, and (4) Discipline & Freedom.

Yes, Discipline & Freedom! Seems like a paradox, doesn't it? Yet, it ties in closely with what Paul Rand (1914-1996) wrote in the A.I.G.A. Journal for Spring 1951 and with what have been written in many biblical and mystical texts that I have loved. read more...

by tree#138680 on Wed Aug 27 03 10:22 pm | profile
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Mon Jul 14, 2003

Plagiarized Appreciation

HAVE BEEN MOVING OFFICE since last Friday - so, no time to think, except to plagiarize. Let's talk about music, through the words of a Mr Lim Siong Guan, head, civil service -- a colleague of mine is a fan of his writings:

"Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 - 1827) was a famous composer. He started going deaf in 1800. He had to use his 'inner ear' - his memory of sounds - to compose his great music.

"His Ninth Symphony is the longest symphony ever written. It closes with a choir singing the Ode to Joy. He took 10 years to compose it. Here was Beethovan, deaf, but demanding that the choir sing about joy!" read more...

by tree#138680 on Mon Jul 14 03 1:38 pm | profile
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Wed Jul 09, 2003

The Splash Ink Master III (cont'd)

AHHH... TO PICK UP WHERE i stopped the last time:

Quite a coincidence. Since the forum was down, i've attended an SCO concert, a TheatreWorks play and a StageIt! musical on May 31, June 14 and July 4. The SCO concert happened to feature a pre-concert forum and some live calligraphy demo by Tan Swie Hian (TSH) during the concert itself.

Was truly glad to finally meet TSH in person. He seems so cheerful and humble. And the live calligraphy demo was fantastic. His was really good -- to be half-squatting for about 10 minutes as he moved around and wrote large Chinese characters on a huge piece of rice paper. Also saw his works and heard him talk on a ChannelNewsAsia Dreamseekers interview.

(Imported from a forum.)

by tree#138680 on Wed Jul 09 03 10:37 pm | profile
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Wed Apr 23, 2003

The Splash Ink Master III

Tan Swie HianIT'S PROBABLY TIME TO HONOR a local talent. ;-)

Painter, calligrapher, poet, writer and philosopher Tan Swie Hian (TSH) received the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Crystal Award on 28th January 2003 in Davos, Switzerland - joining the ranks of Umberto Eco, Lord Menuhin, Paulo Coelho, Elie Wiesel...

TSH is also one of the very few living artists who has a museum dedicated in his name - the Tan Swie Hian Museum at 460 Sims Avenue (near Geylang Lor 31), Singapore.


by tree#138680 on Wed Apr 23 03 6:37 am | profile
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Mon Apr 21, 2003

The Splash Ink Master II

ANOTHER SPLASH INK MASTER I LIKE is Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) -- he often dripped paint on canvas. "On the floor I am more at ease. I feel nearer, more a part of the painting, since this way I can walk around it, work from the four sides and literally be in the painting."

Pollock dripping paint on canvas.

Was he inspired by Zhang DaQian's splash ink?

by tree#138680 on Mon Apr 21 03 10:37 pm | profile
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Dare I Say the Word... II

AS MENTIONED EARLIER, Vincent van Gogh was a Post-Impressionist. Post-Impressionism is an umbrella term used to describe a variety of artists (such as Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gaugin, Paul Cezanne, George Seurat) who were influenced by Impressionism but took their art in different directions.

According to Artcyclopedia: "Impressionism is a light, spontaneous manner of painting which began in France as a reaction against the formalism of the dominant Academic style. Its naturalistic and down-to-earth treatment of its subjects has its roots in the French Realism of Corot and others."

The movement's name came from Monet's early work, Impression: Sunrise in 1873.
Monet's Sunrise

Monet painted this picture of the sun seen through mist at the harbour of Le Havre when he was staying there in the spring. A sketch quickly executed to catch the atmospheric moment. "The hallmark of the style is the attempt to capture the subjective impression of light in a scene."

Earliest Impressionists include Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Alfred Sisley. Others include Camille Pissarro, Edgar Degas, Gustave Caillebotte, Frederic Bazille, Edouard Manet, and Mary Cassatt.

(Imported from a forum and edited.)

by tree#138680 on Mon Apr 21 03 6:37 am | profile
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