Sunday, 8 November 2009

Silent reminders from a golden age

Classic Poster - Silent Film

One of the new developments in the OCR A2 Media Studies syllabus is that students have to make two ancillary tasks to accompany their main coursework production.

For those making film and video based work it's interesting that one option is to produce a print design. This ranges from posters to CD/DVD covers, and I was reminded today of how powerful posters can be. Even in an age of online and TV saturation, there's something scintillating about a well-designed poster, that grabs your attention when you're out and about.

I read about the following blog on Twitter and it's full of great posters from the silent movie era. If nothing else, they're great works of 20th century commercial art and I do recommend you check them out.

Enjoy looking!

Using Google Apps in Education

Well, it's been a long time since I last posted. There are two reasons for that.

The main one is that for the first half of the new year, as well as taking on Head of ICT at school in addition to being Head of Media Studies, I've been covering for a colleague who was sick for 6 weeks. So, I found myself running a House. In the British independent school system the House system is a way of splitting students up into smaller units, of around 40 students. The Houses compete against each other, share in daily life, and provide a pastoral backbone to academic life.

However, I haven't been idle and currently we're trialling Google Apps for Education. You can find out more about it here. Basically, this offers a suite of email and cloud-based applications, that provide powerful learning and collaborative platforms. At present we have a selection of teachers and students experimenting with it. Our main VLE is Moodle, but I think that based on early results Google Apps could make it onto our list of recommended tools.

Incidentally, my mobile phone contract expires next February, and I'm increasingly drawn to replacing my Samsung Omnia with one of the new phones running Android, Google's mobile operating system.

In the bigger scheme of things I wonder how long it'll be before the European Union takes Google to court for being a monopoly? Certainly, Google have been canny at making it very easy to upload and export data in a range of popular formats, and most services are free, so it could be an interesting showdown, should it ever happen.