To HD or to not HD?

I’m debating whether or not to order Sky HD. I’ve blogged quite a bit on the HD front recently and how it’s starting to create a viewing revolution. Although I’ve got blu-ray and a lot of HD discs I feel I am missing out with HDTV. Maybe I should listen to Antony Hopkins advice in the above video? Actually I’m unsure if this is advice and question whether he’s got Sky HD (since he lives in the US) – but that’s a whole different advertising argument.

I find it strange that the person who uploaded the video above didn’t upload it in HD. While I’m busy making my decision here’s a HD video I used a few months ago in class – while teaching explanation texts and electricity (about how this whole show actually works).

This isn’t even full HD quality and it still looks amazing!

Rise of the new literacy practices…

One of my favourite television series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles has finished its current run in America. The general word on the internet is that the show won’t be renewed and the current season was the last. I find the reaction by fans on the internet to this news to be very interesting.

Obviously there are various postings on forums providing a voice for the renewal of the series. Online petitions and Facebook groups are also appearing left right and centre. These seem to be the norm when internet users have an issue to voice their opinions on as part of a community of fans.  With a simple Google search you can find an online petition or facebook group for practically anything.

More interesting is the way in which YouTube enters the equation. One user has created a video which shows the stunning final scenes of the season with messages around the edge. The messages urge viewers to speak out for a third season by writing to the studios, signing a petition, following a link to a wiki, pre-ordering the DVD, contacting the show’s advertisers and emailing studio executives directly. The contact details are played on a loop around the video. Nearly every type of communication is utlised in trying to save this show.

So from the serious plea to the slightly bizarre; here is another video of Hitler’s (yes Adolf Hitler) reaction to the cancellation of the show. I initially thought this was purely a joke but it is a serious retaliation towards the Fox network. Someone has spent a lot of time planning and making this video attack towards the studio. It’s really strange to watch but just shows how web users are using different channels to voice their opinions and air their views. It’s clear that the internet allows us to make our voice heard in new and diverse ways, to a much larger audience than in the past. But what effect will it have?

My emails to the studios were sent this afternoon.

Fighting the Web 2.0 battle…

I have been enjoying the new series of The Apprentice on BBC1, which has at its core the need to be proficient with communication, language and literacy. If you cannot communicate effectively, for a range of purposes and audiences, you quite simply fail. Above is a picture of Margaret Mountford, one of the senior advisors, who is dismayed at her team’s lack of ability to articulate a simple sales pitch.

Margaret portrays exactly how I feel after a week of fighting a very fierce battle with the school website and trying to set it up to allow children to submit content in a safe and controlled manner. I’m all for freedom of speech and creativity, but eSafety is a huge issue which cannot be ignored.

Joomla (the content management system) runs by a set of rules and procedures. Typically what I wanted to do wasn’t allowed or possible according to these rules. So I decided to purchase an extension which, in theory, would allow the creation of different rules for teachers and pupils. So the plug-in was installed and it conflicted with a range of other plug-ins that were already on the system. Therefore over the past week I have been doing the Mountford hand on head, slumped on the desk expression on an increasingly daily basis. After many (and I really mean many) hours of experimentation and changing settings there is only one problem remaining (which requires recoding by the company I bought the extension off). The systems are now in place for the children to add their own content, blog posts and soon images. It has taken some doing but it is there – a completely personalised system for the school, which would have cost about £6000.

 I breathe a sign of relief and move onto the next battle… end of Key Stage Assessments.