Back to the quad!

Hello again, I am writing this post to let anyone who still even vaguely remembers that this blog exists know that I’m returning to CTYI this summer (hence the title) and I’m planning to ressurect this blog to record my endeavours, or to put it in English: I’m going to use this blog to bore you to death with what I’m doing, which is, I’m told, what blogs are for anyway.

So, for anyone who does not understand what CTYI is here is a few links that will hopefully clear things up for you : www4.dcu.ie/ctyi/index.shtml and en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CentrefortheTalentedYouthofIreland and finally www.talesofthequad.com

Anyway,  this blog is far from dead so don’t give up on it quite yet as I aim to make good use of it over the summer. I probably will not post anything for the next few weeks or possibly even months but I will almost certainly make at least one post and hopefully quite a few more over the summer. So… Watch this space!


Milking an opportunity

Today we were studying how augmented reality can be used in advertising Avonmore Whole Super milk and the best idea we could come up with was a platforming game that I christened “Capman”. Here’s a slideshow we made about it :

Incidentally anyone who doesn’t know what augmented reality is (probably the vast majority of people) here’s a link.


Facebook opened up

Today we went to visit Facebook’s offices in Dublin at Hanover Reach, Grand Canal Harbour, Dublin 2. To tell the truth it was no different to any other office I have ever been in  apart from the floor guide and the sign on the wall inside saying ” Facebook “. Still it was an interesting trip with free chocolate available to staff and guests ( like us ) and a load of freebies including :

  1. a frisbee ( with ” Facebook ” stamped on it needless to say )
  2. a Facebook laptop sleeve ( but no laptop )
  3. a USB key ( fairly handy )
  4. a five in one highlighter pen
  5. a set of earphones ( quite good – shuts out other sounds when in use )
  6. and finally a small canister of sweets ( which went down well ).

All in all quite a good trip then,  the earphones in particular are very useful – YouTube has never sounded better!  Incidentally if I ever set up a Facebook account then I’ll make sure to put a link to it here. That’s it for the moment but watch this space, there’s more to come in the next few days.


School … on a screen?!!!

Hello again, the title today refers to a webinar (web seminar) which for those who do not know is a seminar that is streamed over the internet enabling a speaker to give a seminar to people even if they are on the other side of the world! Personally I found it quite an interesting experience. It was very similar to being in a classroom except for a few key differences:

  1. We were looking at a computer screen instead of a blackboard (obviously)
  2. All we could see of the speaker was a webcam feed (and all he could see of us was what we typed – vast improvement!)
  3. Instead of putting up our hands and answering yes or no to questions we pressed on-screen buttons.
  4. Note passing became incredibly easy as you could direct comments to one person and one person only without anyone else seeing – even the teacher!
  5. We couldn’t be told to stop staring at the computer screen because that was the only way could have the lesson 🙂

Generally webinars are much better than traditional lessons with only one major disadvantage:

  • No excuse for not being able to take a lesson because of being forced to stay at home

which I suppose could be construed as a good thing depending on your point of view.


Wet Wednesday

As  indicated by the title above it was raining today. But to move on from the weather it was actually quite a good day. To start within the morning someone came in to explain about e-Bay and its humble beginnings as auction web.She then went on to explain about buying and selling on e-Bay, feedback, setting up a business account and how to make money. We also watched a funny video called “Ebay Parody Song”. For more information on e-bay go to http://pages.ebay.com/education/.

Later on we used a program called ScratchEssentially its a combined animation/computer programming tool that’s fairly simple and easy to use with built in tutorials. Needless to say we had a lot of fun testing its capability as a computer game making tool. When I finish making something worth playing I’ll either post it or a link to it here so watch this space!


Tuesday No.Two

Today two people came in to tell us about GoogleAdWords and about Search Marketing in general. Personally I barely understood half of it but I’ll make a (proverbial) stab at explaining some of the terms and acronyms that we used:

  • GoogleAdWords is an application that helps connect you with potential customers in the right place, and at precisely the right time by placing relevant ads on the right-hand-side of our search results pages.
  • SEO is short for Search Engine Optimisation meaning how near to the top a site is on the SERPs .
  • SEA is short for Search Engine Advertising meaning the advertisements that appear at the side of the SERP and occasionally at the top of the results list.
  • SERP is short for Search Engine Results Page.
  • Search Network is a term used by Google to describe their advertising network on SERPs.
  • Display Network is where Google serves ads on third party sites.

For more information go to http://www.google.com/onlinechallenge/student_guides.html


A further update on what’s going on in C.T.Y.I. a.k.a. Video Inferno

To launch into the middle of a topic such as making a video and uploading it to the internet would make no sense whatsoever , so I’m not going to do that or at least I’ll try not to. There are two ways to do it : you can just film something when it happens as it happens then just put on YouTube or your blog or whatever.The other way involves careful planning and scripting whatever it is you want to video. This involves the careful arrangement of props , actors , scenery and settings following an hour of brainstorming. This is the hard method , the method that if it goes wrong looks a hundred times worse than if the first method goes wrong.  Naturally this is the method that I used. It took at least three takes to get a mediocre result. Why? you might ask. Because we were hampered by:

  • software that we barely knew how to use ,
  •  a ridiculously short time limit and
  • some idiotic bystanders that had nothing better to do than stare at the person holding the camera , and in one or two cases either walk across the camera’s view while it was still rolling or jump out in front of the lens.

The lesson in this : never ever EVER let someone else decide

  • your time limit ,
  •  your software or
  •  your theme

when your going to shoot a video.