Having given the ICT Suite an update recently, it was time to make the room look a bit smarter too.
Having made a wall mural for an old house of mine before, I remembered an old piece of software which ‘rasterised’ images. Basically, this expands an image into a very large size (as in wall size) by making the image into a series of dots. When viewed up close you can see the dots, but when viewed from a distance your eyes make out something close to the original image. Examples of this can be found here.
The software (Rasterbator) is freeware and is available for download here.
I started out by measuring each wall-area to see what sized images I would need. With this information, I then used Photoshop to make blank images with those dimensions. Once this was done, I then found appropriate images for each of the landmarks and then pasted them into the photoshop image for the wall space, I could then work on them in photoshop. You can see the original images in the gallery at the bottom of this post.
Inspiration – why this?
My girlfriend mentioned that I should do a ‘technology timeline’ and having received some old images of computers, the plan was set into motion for the website. I was going to go through the history of modern Information Technology and Science, with my own personal choices of what were important pieces of technology. Sadly, I couldn’t fit everything, so I had to select things I think would inspire the students of the school.
The ‘Technology Timeline’
On the first wall area (above the doors into the ICT suite) was the starting point for the ‘Technology Timeline’.
Starting with the ‘Colossus’ computer (1943), I then chose the ‘Sputnik 1′ satellite (1957), the home computer (a Commodore PET represents this – late 1970s), Space Invaders (1978) and the NASA Space Shuttle (1981). The software outputs each image as a multi-page PDF document, which you then print. Once printed, make sure to keep the pages in order and then add mounting tape (or sticky tape if you have none) to the back of each page. Once done, start sticking up on the wall – it’s best to start on the top left corner and work down, this helps the pages stay in line (I had to start from the bottom right on the first wall to keep it snug with the corner).
We then moved onto the area above the whiteboard in the room, where I included Mario Bros. (1983), The Mouse (Late 1980s) and ‘Apple Vs. Microsoft’ (1994). This is a pretty small area, before the largest wall area of the mural comes up next to it.
The main wall area took the longest amount of time, I now know what it feels like to be the print head on a printer – moving back and forth repeating the same job line over line! It’s worth the effort in the end though. This part of the display includes the advent of 1G Mobiles gaining popularity (late 1980s/early 1990s), the Hubble Space Telescope (1990), Sonic the Hedgehog and 16bit gaming (1991), the launch of the first 2G Mobile networks (early 1990s), the World Wide Web (1993) and the International Space Station (1998). In the middle of all of this is a large map of the world, something which may well be used for subjects by teachers at a later time.
The next section, above the windows of the ICT suite, show us moving into very recent history, with the launch of Facebook and YouTube, the iPhone (and 3G networks) and the take-off of Tablet PCs. It’s amazing to think that these things have existed for less than 10 years!
The last part of the wall mural includes the Mars ‘Curiosity’ Rover that landed in August of this year and then poses the question of ‘What Next?’.
I hope the children and staff of the school enjoy viewing the wall mural – it’s been a fun project for me and a bit of a departure from administering ICT at the school and looking after the website. Take a look at the gallery post below for more pictures as well as the descriptions for each image.