Student Charter

Below are the edits and additions I made to the Student Charter on Google Docs. I changed some statements in order to make them more succinct, and made some additions where I felt something was lacking. With guidelines like this I think it is more effectual to use positive statements rather than negative.

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I think Google Docs are a really efficient and convenient way to collaborate and communicate with others. They have been incredibly handy during group assignments in the past, and I plan to continue making use of them throughout my studies and career.

Storify The History

  1. I have selected some entries from Netmed’s ‘History of the Internet’ group on LinkedIn, and with this content have created an outline of the history of the internet:
    Backtracking all the way through the Internet’s evolution brings us to the starting point, the birth. The link below provides a great timeline of these early events, with simplified facts and graphics.
  2. Below, Shannon provides some great information and resources covering the birth of the web.
  3. HTML was the next step to make the web accessible and usable for the public. Tim Berners-Lee came up with “Enquire”   , a type of organised data language and this kicked off other models of HTML coding. Simon goes into some depth about the invention and impact of HTML here.

  4. From here, the internet continued its growth from a static, one directional platform (Web 1.0) to an arena of contribution, participation and multidirectional sharing (Web 2.0). This video uses digital storytelling really effectively to convey this transition.
  5. HTML went hand in hand with hypertext: links and integration of sites made engagement with the web much more interesting, immersive and convenient. Jackson discusses this progression of the web, referring to the links on Wikipedia as a great example of hypertext.
  6. The expansive nature of the Internet with its enormous breadth and depth of data has meant that the organisation of the web is now crucial. The way we organise this is reflective of our culture. This must be considered as the Internet will continue to increase in size every day. Angela outlines these issues of databases below.

Locative Media

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QR Codes are great tools for digital storytelling. Above is the QR code, which, when scanned, brings you to THIS STORY!

My first day at RMIT, I was super keen to arrive on time and get started. I found my way to Building 12 and jumped in the lift to make my way to my first class. I was already feeling lost and overwhelmed which was not helped by the lift jolting to a stop between floors and the lights going out. I did not make it to my first class at RMIT

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The App Phenomenon

The popularity of mobile phone applications has continued to rise, as their usage has become prevalent across mobile phone users. The downloadable software fulfils an array of various needs from weather, banked email services to games and music.

Pros: Apps make life infinitely easier. Everything you need is in your pocket, and as a bonus, many of them are free.

Cons: Just as everything you need is in your pocket, everything you need can fall out of your pocket. It’s also sometimes concerning how reliant and hugely dependant we are on our devices, and its mainly due to apps.

Apps I would recommend:

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Google Maps

This app provides super accurate and easy-to-use maps, directions and panoramic imagery. It also helps out with public transport and can guide you to the best places to eat, drink or shop. I am easily disoriented so this app is my number one.

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Skyscanner

This amazing app searches and compares millions of flights in seconds, giving you the best dates or places to fly. It also allows you to buy the tickets directly and get the best deals. What I love most is how user-friendly and easy to understand the app is.

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Commbank

This app makes checking accounts, making transfers or payments easier than ever, wherever you are. There are a few glitches and the software can be slow, but still a service worth having.

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Cat Effects

Endlessly entertaining.

Digital Storytelling Reviews

Take This Lollipop

The first example of digital storytelling I watched was “Take This Lollipop”, an interactive short film which incorporates data from the viewer’s Facebook profile to create a creepily personal narrative. Writer and director, Jason Zada, constructed the film to convey a very close to home warning to those who post too much personal information on the social media site.

The film is very well executed, it is of incredibly high quality, is edited effectively to create the necessary intensity and utilises music to accentuate the eeriness of the story. I struggle to find any fault with this multimedia narrative, and believe the smooth integration of fiction with personal data is brilliant.

The Sound of My Voice Trailer 

This 12 minute extract from the beginning of “The Sound of My Voice” is slow-moving but packed with intrigue and suspense. I had to restart the video several times as I kept zoning out, but once the plot got moving I was really engaged with the story.
The trailer follows a young couple as they arrive at a house and participate in strange behavior, finally ending up in a van, blindfolded in hospital gowns. What eventuates is the pair arrive to a cult-like environment and they meet the the two leader figures, Klaus and Maggie. The trailer cuts as we find out Maggie claims to be from the year 2054.

I really enjoyed the subtle and minimal way this was filmed. The structure is also really effective, the viewer is so bewildered by the weird beginning that you are sucked right in, dying to gain some sort of explanation. A setback could be the slow pace of the story, those more impatient would probably bail out before things get interesting.

Security 

This example of digital storytelling, by Lars Henning, conveys the story of a middle-aged security guard and his unfolding relationship with a beautiful Polish woman he has caught shoplifting and has taken pity on. Many of the scenes are quiet, minimal and beautifully shot, simply expressing the life of the lonely man and an underlying sad feeling of emptiness and resignation.

The plot is structured around the interactions between the two characters and this is definitely the strength of the film. I really loved the way this story was presented, and the style of cuts and edits suit the very real and human story being told.

E-Books

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Electronic books are a significant innovation of the digital age and arguably a vital part of the contemporary mediascape, but something we can live without.

There were many forms of electronic publications throughout the 20th century, but the true E-Books, and subsequent E-Readers such as the Amazon Kindle, have only come into play recently with the rise of technology and the web.

I’ve always had a bad relationship with E-Books. I’m not adverse to change but I am adverse to spending every waking hour staring at screens, and parting with the sensory experience of reading a real, bound, physical book. I shun those on the train with Kindles and always look forward to reading as a break from the digitalisation of everything else.

However, I will admit to the benefits of the E-Book. They are often cost-effective, readily available and accessible, environmentally-friendly, and convenient for people like students or travellers who would otherwise be lugging around heavy books. It is also possible that E-Books are an attractive option to younger generations who prefer digital formals, and hence the E-Book has the capability of bringing new life and a new appeal to reading.

But don’t forget the constant downfalls of dealing with battery operated gadgets, download faults, files and backups, and glitches with page sizes vs screen sizes.

So, although I will agree that in terms of academic reading or light, portable reading, E-Books are practical and worthwhile, when it comes to reading for pleasure I will always need a paperback.

Nothing beats the book-swap shelf at an overseas hostel, and why go for the new technology that “reflects light like ordinary paper” when you can have the real thing.

Search Engine Comparison

I thought this NetMed task would be the perfect opportunity to start looking for accommodation for my stay in Byron Bay, NSW. Entering the keywords “byron bay accommodation” into Instagrok, Duck Duck Go and Google enabled me to effectively analyse and evaluate each of their individual strengths and weaknesses as search engines.

Instagrok

“Grokking” made no sense and I was unable to comprehend the information I retrieved. My search term brought up a graph leading to words such as “guest” and “visitor”. When I clicked on these parts of the graph, hoping for some useful information, the whole graph started moving and became very confusing and made me feel sick. On the right hand side of the page were “Key Facts” such as “Byron Bay is a paradise with bacteria” which was not something I needed to know and was not helping me find somewhere to stay.

Instagrok is ridiculous. 0/10

Duck Duck Go

This search engine provided a simple and easy-to-use interface. The top results for my keywords were byronbayaccom.com, wotif.com, and virtualbyron.com. Duck Duck Go got the job done but felt it was lacking. 

So-so. 6/10

Google

Google was fast and brought up relevant results. Each link listed in the results contained more information than Duck Duck Go, in terms of popularity of the site, links within the site, and the last update of the site. The best thing about the search results, however, was the Google map on the side which marked the location of the most popular accommodation sites, with alphabetical marking, then listed them all with quick contact information and google reviews from other users.

Google ticked all the boxes. 10/10

It only takes 3 simple steps to make Google your default search engine:

  1. Open your browser’s preferences
  2. Go to Search Settings
  3. Change your default search engine to Google, and maybe even make it your homepage.

Advanced Blogging: White Melburnians

The only thing better than “Stuff White People Like” is the Melbourne-version of “Stuff White People Like“. Through NewsBlur, I subscribed to this site for some entertainment in my RSS Feed, and couldn’t look past this article on Melbourne’s war between North versus South, or more specifically in this case, Brunswick Street versus Chapel Street.

The post takes the side of Brunswick St, claiming the “more diverse array of shops means that even the most caffeine and YouTube stunted attention spans can survive a little longer”.

Brunswick Street’s nightlife and the demeanour of inhabitants are also preferred:

“The vomit is ankle-deep rather than knee-deep and drivers prefer to brake rather than accelerate when they run you over.”

So ignore what you hear about Brunswick St and “just go there yourself”.
Enjoy the post here.