Thursday, June 29, 2006

The preliminary plan for our final project: a learning object

The preliminary plan for our final project: a learning object
Drafted by Beryl & Peon

Theme: Sound

Question: How does the amount of water in a glass affect the pitch of sound?

Subject: General Studies

Textbook: New general studies: Light, sound and electricity. Primary 5, Book 3. Educational Publishing House Ltd. (2004)

Target audience: Primary 5 students

The purpose of the project:
This topic is chosen because it shows the relationship between pitch and vibration of substances. This is an important concept because sound is all around us; in music, in speech, and in nature. Different instruments produce different pitches.

The objective: To conduct an investigation of factors affecting the pitch of sound.

1. Inquiry approach:
With the hands-on learning materials, pupils can learn through activities. Their inquiring and problem-solving skills are also developed and enhanced through these activities.
2. Interactive learning:
Instead of didactic approach, diversified learning activities are used. Pupils can learn the knowledge and skills through interacting with the learning object.

Tool: Flash

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Task 4 - Design a simple learning object

Theme: Shape of a Raindrop

Tool: Photo Impact, Microsoft PowerPoint.

This simple learning object is designed by Beryl and Peon.

Has a clearer look, please mouse over the image.

The attached summary shows the idea that we have in the development of this learning object. Please click here.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Construction of Angles and Parallel lines in Geometry

I thought that Photostory is amazing. It is handy and easy to use. I used the software to make a short video about the construction in Geometry including parallel lines, perpendicular lines, and constructing angles of 60 degrees and 90 degrees. Bisection of an angle is also included.

Every year, I have difficulty in teaching some construction topics in mathematics. While I am doing the construction demonstration on the board, it is very difficult to give a hand to those students who have problems in following my steps. I have tried to take a video about the construction of different angles some years ago. I have big trouble in doing that as I needed to make the arrangement with the AV technician and booked the necessary equipment. Even though it is only for 2 to 3 minutes show, we spent hours to make the preparation and the recording. Then we needed to add the narration. The effect was not good and it took too much time using the traditional way to make educational video. It was the only trial to make my own educational video.

Taking digital pictures will be much easier. I could retake some of the pictures when I discovered that some pictures are not good enough. I did all this at home with the help of my very young daughter to hold the ruler, pencil and compasses for me. I finished the photos within 20 minutes. Then I retook some pictures later when I found some pictures not satisfactory. It is really convenient to make videos using pictures only. The insertion of narration is also very simple. It allows correction and editing immediately. I can make many more educational videos later with this software.

Our students need to produce projects in various subjects with multi-media function. They needed to produce a video in doing some experiments. They have to take video when interviewing some guests. This is a very good idea to use this software to make video with pictures only. It is because their skill of taking video is very bad and the quality of video is low. However, taking pictures will be easier.

For the media player version, please click here.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Reflection on session 2: Good graphic design to facilitate dissemination of information

Steiner (1997, quoted in Allen, 1997) stated that enrichment in artistic education in childhood can contribute to their life-long openness to experience, to the intensity of their vision, and to their ability to test the boundaries of the known and the familiar. However, schools in Hong Kong do not value the subject Visual Art in the whole curriculum.

In fact, we are flooded with information which comes into different format. We need to the skills to use graphic as well as to understand it. A good design of graphic will help us to disseminate information in a more effective way. A good design of graphic will save us time to read and facilitate the understanding of it. As a teacher who acts a facilitator of learning of students, mastery of the skills of graphic design of information is not only beneficial, but necessary.

An information-oriented, systematic graphic design should help people understand complex information. Successful visual communication through information-oriented, systematic graphic design relies on some key principles of graphic design (Martin, 1993).

Principles of User Interface Design (Martin, 1993)
There are three fundamental principles involved in the use of the visible language.
Organize: provide the user with a clear and consistent conceptual structure
Economize: do the most with the least amount of cues
Communicate: match the presentation to the capabilities of the user.

1. Organize: Consistency, screen layout, relationships and navigability are important concepts of organization.

2. Consistency: Same conventions and rules should be applied to all elements of the design.

3. Layout: A grid structure can help locate menues, dialogue boxes or control panels. The screen should be less cluttered and easier to understand.

4. Relationships: Linking related items and disassociating unrelated items can help achieve visual organization.

5. Simplicity: Simplicity includes only the elements that are most important for communication. It should also be as unobstrusive as possible.

6. Clarity: All components should be designed so their meaning is not ambiguous.

7. Emphasis: The most important elements should be easily perceived. Non-critical elements should be de-emphasized and clutter should be minimized so as not to hide critical information.

8. Readability: display must be easy to identify and interpret, should also be appealing and attractive.

These principles can give me guidelines when I make design for the teaching aids.


Allen, A. (1997). The polemics of visual thinking. Retrieved June 5, 2006, from .

Steiner, John. (1997). Notebooks of the mind: explorations in thinking. New York and
Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Effective Visual Communication for Graphical User Interfaces
by Suzanne Martin

Martin, S. (1993). Effective visual communication for graphical user interfaces.
Retrieved June 6, 2006, from

Task 2 - design a visual display

Task 2 - design a visual display
Theme: Atmosphere

This visual display is designed by Beryl and Peon.

Have a clear look, click here !

Friday, June 02, 2006

My e-profile

Reflection after the first lesson:

I found that the first lecture very interesting. The many ideas introduced in the lesson are new to me. The ‘google earth’ is a great attraction to me. I can trace the place I have visited. It also gives me different view of our earth. My kids shared the same feeling with me. The responsive face is also amazing. The use of different colour to link to news is also impressive. I thought that the lecture gave me new ideas and inspiration to generate ideas on the innovative use images in my teaching.
In my workplace, the teaching time is limited and I tends to employ the use of “chalk and talk” teaching method to finish my lessons. Students’ response is mechanical and very often they found the lesson boring. It is especially common in the weaker class where the students are less intrinsically motivated. Two weeks ago, I used the interactive software, sketchpad, to teach the idea of trigonometric ratios. Students enjoyed the lesson and felt more interested. I understood the impact of the use of images and interactive software to the learning of students. However, I need to learn more about this. I hope that I can have more ideas after taking this module.
On the other hand, the use of blog is another experience new to me. It is worth to try further so that I can communicate with my friends and students more effectively.

I found the following site showing interesting images in a way which is new to me. The link is

by Beryl