Archive for the ‘IPT’ Category

Today you are to explore the creation, design and impact of social media on individuals, society and business. You are to research and document your findings to your blog. Points for consideration include:

  • How social media was/is designed and created
  • Ways in which social media is used
  • Impact of social media on:
    • Business,
    • Youth / adults
    • Relationships
    • Communication
    • News
    • Other…
  • Future developments and trends for social media design and use

A good starting read is,


Whilst checking and reviewing some student blogs I have noticed that the speed and quality of the posts written is negatively impacted by the time it takes to write and format a post. One method to speed this up, and improve the visual impact of the posts is to use the blog posting feature in Microsoft Word. To help people along with how to use this function follow the steps below.

Special Note: I have recently established that for these instructions to work your office software needs to be set to save the document as a .docx file before you try to connect your site.

  1. From the File tab select the ‘Save and Send’ option then ‘Publish as Blog Post’. This will seem to open a new window with a different set of options along the top for blogs.

  2. From the options at the top select ‘Manage Accounts’

  3. From these options select ‘New’

  4. Now choose your blog provider. In our case ‘WordPress’

  5. Now enter your blogs web address into the Blog Post URL text box. Please note that this will require you to add an ‘HTTPS’ at the start. Otherwise copy and past the URL of your website and leave the ‘/xmlrpc.php’ on the end. Following this enter your Username and Password information.

  6. If everything is correct a message box will appear to inform you of your success. You should now be able to post using Word to your blog. If an error pops up then you may need to check the details and URL are entered correctly.

As a teacher of the HSC Information Processes and Technology (IPT) course I find myself annually contemplating the content that needs to be taught and trying to find new and interesting ways to fulfil the syllabus requirements.  The hardest part I find here is getting the balance right between what the students will be stimulated by and what will provide the students with the greatest depth of understanding, knowledge and practical skill.  For those out there that teach the IPT HSC course you will know that ‘Information Systems and Databases’ is one of the core content areas from the BOS syllabus.  As a core topic, it is easy to understand what needs to be taught and where we hope we can get the students’ understanding and knowledge/skill to.  This can be both a relief and a constraint on how we teach our content.  This year I decided I wanted to try something new in how I am approaching this topic.

Social Network Icons

Late last year, fortunately for me, I discovered that a colleague had worked within the field of Project and Database management prior to becoming an educator.  This discovery proved to be a catalyst to some dreams and thoughts I was working through as I had someone who I could bounce ideas off who has significant knowledge (much greater than me) of the creation, management and use of databases in the real world.  I expressed that I wished to take a different approach to the exploring and teaching of databases than I typically had and that I wished to use Social Media and Networking as the basis of the content. 

Part of my rationale for this lie in the fact I know that my students are extremely fluent in the uses of social mediums and that they would be able to identify some of the data that they create or that is stored about them.  But where would I start???

To start I began by exploring the general notion of what data is and how we collect it personally.  I have done this by getting the students to liken their brains to an information system that actively and continually collects data.  This I also added to the syllabus as a non-computer based information system.  We have completed activities such as creating mind maps of what data items we collect, understanding the difference between a data item and compound data, explored the differences between data, information and knowledge, created spreadsheets of data sets (unsorted and sorted) and have since started making databases.

At the end of this unit I am hoping that my students will have gained a deep insight to the concepts associated with the accessibility and collection of data, particularly in the area of databases.  I also hope that they recognise the extent to which databases have become engrained in the function of our lives.

I am also interested in how other educators teach the topic of databases.  Feel free to add your comments, links to examples or otherwise.

I have been continuing to search for more examples of Social Media database design.  My reason for this is because I am using / intending to use this structure as the back bone to teaching database design to some of my students (More on that in my next post).  Here is another example Schema to do with social networking websites. 


Social Network model - Database Schema