Diagram 1: Centralised Database

Diagram 1: Centralised Database

We are at the stage where we are looking at the potential solution for a ticketing system set up by the PTC consortium. One of the technical concepts that we are trying to get our heads around is a distributed database and what that might look like as a viable solution. To get to this point, we first looked at the following concepts:

The links are all to the collaborative wikispace that we: myself, Andrew Churches (Kristin School NZ) and Julie set up to share with ITGS students (and teachers) who will sit the exam in May or November this year.

Distributed Database

Diagram 2

To help understand a potential solution based on distributing the data, we are about to tackle these questions:

Generic Technical Questions
  1. Define centralised database.
  2. Define distributed database. What are the advantages/disadvantages.
  3. Define DDBMS.
  4. Examine the diagrams and look at the research and notes posted in the wikispace. Does each model (centralised, decentralised and distributed) require the same hardware, DBMS and operating system?
  5. What are the networking requirements for users to access the data for each model? 1. centralised, 2. decentralised, 3. distributed?
  6. What is a VPN? Which models would require a VPN and for what purposes?
  7. Review the ACID: Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durabilty.
  8. Discuss the advantages of having a centralised db system over DDBMS (Your response should review some of the aspects of the ACID model).
  9. Discuss the advantages of having a DDBMS over a centralised db (Your response should review some of the aspects of the ACID model).
Questions relating to the case study

Use of technical terminology and explicit links to the case study are required here.

  1. Assume you are worked for CT at Site 1 (the first small theatre). How many locations can the same data be stored and accessed from in for each of the three configurations?
  2. What happens if two customers want to book the same seats at the same time at (site 1) CT for each of the three configurations?
  3. What are the advantages for (site 1) CT for staying as they are – ie their own database system? (diagram 3)
  4. What are the advantages for (site 2) MTG for staying as they are? (See diagram 3)
  5. Would a centralised system (site) be better for CT? (see diagram 1, the database is stored in one place at site, and not at site 1, CT)
  6. Would a centralised system be better for MTG? (likewise, see diagram 1)

    Diagram 3: Decentralised Database

    Diagram 3: Decentralised Database

  7. Would a distributed db system be better for (site 1) CT and (site 2) MTG? See diagram 2, the data for CT is stored on a server at CT (site 1) however users can also access data for other theatre companies in the PTC, for example site 2 and others.
  8. Overall, in your opinion and based on the case study and the points discussed above, what system should PTC adopt?


We aim to post some responses in our wiki here. We welcome any contributions so please post here or contact us in the wiki.


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The week ahead in the cyber-classroom

On November 21, 2010, in Madeleine Brookes, Uncategorized, by Madeleine Brookes

Grade 11 – The Great Debate

We look forward to this week’s work where the insideITGS students will be starting on the Great Debate project. We are using a fictional country “Edtopia” for our setting and students will assume the roles of various Edtopian citizens.

Front page of Le Canadien, November 22, 1806

Here is their brief:

Edtopia is a country that has a dictator ruling the people. Edtopia Press is a publishing company that produces newsletters and magazines for clients. Edtopia is moving into the 21st Century and starting to embrace more online and multimedia forms of publication, including the use of social media to attract more readers and therefore generate more profit for their clients. However, with the development of new forms of publication including online social media, many clients and businesses are now creating their own publications and managing their own online distribution.

The essential question that will be debated is:

Has the introduction of freely available online facilities and tools for publication (including desktop publishing and Web 2.0 forms of social media) been a positive step for society?

This project will take place over the next 3-4 weeks. We have broken it down into 4 stages: technical knowledge, research, debate and synthesis/evaluation. The students from the three participating schools (BISS, WAB and Vienna International School) will be collaborating on the first three steps and then will be required to generate their own evaluation for the last step, where each student will produce their own paper to address the question.

This week we will be looking step 1 and 2. For step 1, students will look at the technical tools and IT systems associated with this topic and will be collaborating in wikispaces to build a set of notes to share. At some stage we will be assessing their individual technical knowledge with an IB-style quiz.  We will also be allocating roles to teams of 3+ students, each from one of the participating schools: so that they can research, collaborate and produce their position paper which they will then use as a basis for their presentation in Voicethread.

We will blog more on this project as it develops. In the meantime, please join us here or leave us a comment.

Grade 12 – The 2011 Case Study

EthioGift - delivery service in Addis Ababa

I also have a Grade 12 class who will be working on the May 2011 case study. Again, collaboration will take place with the students at Andrew Churches’s school in New Zealand, where again, thanks to wikispaces, the students can build and develop their technical knowledge.  If you are interested in this aspect of the case study, the wikispace is accessible to anyone but to be able to edit the space you must be a member of the space. Teachers are invited to become organisers of the space and they in turn can invite their students to become members of the spaces.

The case study is about e-commerce and at WAB we are kicking off with an investigation into a very interesting ecommerce site, ethiogift.com, which is a gift delivery service in Addis Ababa. Our students will be looking at the underlying technology and the issues associated with this specific site,  for example: one of the of the ‘hot buys’ is a 35kg sheep. How does the company deliver the sheep in a country where addresses are vague and the phone service is limited? Please leave a comment here if you are interesting in learning more about this activity.

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