The Computer Science Field Guide is an online interactive resource for high school students learning about computer science, developed at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand and funded by Google.
We’ll be using this as a first point of reference as it was developed here in New Zealand specifically for the purpose of Digital Technology classes like ours.
This article from The Atlantic raises numerous questions about technology, privacy and ethics. Do developers have a responsibility towards society to not create systems that allow personal information to be disclosed to government bodies? With the privacy laws in New Zealand, how far away are we from a complete surveillance state?
“Computer scientists and cryptographers occupy some of the ivory tower’s highest floors. Among academics, their work is prestigious and celebrated. To the average observer, much of it is too technical to comprehend. The field’s problems can sometimes seem remote from reality.
But computer science has quite a bit to do with reality. Its practitioners devise the surveillance systems that watch over nearly every space, public or otherwise—and they design the tools that allow for privacy in the digital realm. Computer science is political, by its very nature.”
This article is well worth a look as many of our assessments require discussion of ethical considerations.
Here’s an excellent tutorial that introduces the concept of Object Oriented Programming (OOP) in PHP. It is written lucidly but may be a little confusing if you don’t already have some basic familiarity with the PHP language.
Here’s another tutorial if you find that one a bit much.
public $prop1 = "I'm a class property!";
$obj = new MyClass;
echo $obj->prop1; // Output the property
The Codeworx Challenge is an annual competition here in New Zealand that rewards innovation and initiative. In groups of up to four people, students were tasked with solving a real world problem this year using a Raspberry Pi and code. The results were outstanding as you can see for yourself on their website.
Industry professionals were also impressed if this article from the New Zealand Herald is any indication.
digitalartsonline.co.uk have excellent tutorials. Here’s one that shows you how to make a vector illustration from a camera image. It uses both Photoshop and Illustrator and is a good way to experience the strengths of either.
In this tutorial, Eelco van den Berg lets you behind the curtain to see how he creates his incredible vector portraits by turning a photo into a ‘poppy’ vector illustration.
It says that it could take 3-4 hours so you may want to make a cuppa.
photoshopessentials.com has a lot of well developed tutorials. I find them easy to follow even though some of the tutorials are for different versions of Photoshop than the one I have a license for. Regardless, most of the features are the same as Adobe is one of those companies who release new versions often despite very little change (something I find annoying).
This tutorial on how to use the Free Transform tool is a great place to start.
I’m very happy to introduce you to freelance animator and web designer Billy Blob. He’s been putting out interesting work for over 15 years and was one of my inspirations while I was at uni. HIs website is so different from all of these boring “themey” designs (like … ahem … the one for this site). He’s an artist who adopted a digital medium, as opposed to a tech guy having a crack at being artsy.
Trapped and dying on a car windshield, a bumblebee contemplates the meaning of his life with an optimistic butterfly.
This article by author Matt Weisfeld brings up an important subject that will no doubt become more relevant as the public becomes more familiar with “The Internet of Things“. Matt points out that the conceptualization inherent with Object Oriented Programming is what makes IoT possible.
“It can safely be said that the object has been the driving force in the programming industry for a very long time and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future. The evidence to support this statement is pretty compelling! Today, just about every major software development methodology is based on objects. As a result, virtually all programming languages, scripting languages and application designs are object-oriented or object-based.”
Adobe’s Flash software is a sad casualty of tech-politics and corporate rivalry. It has, however, been adopted by the digital animation community. Here’s a creative example by animator Alan Becker. Check out more of his stuff.