Friday, September 26, 2014

Week of Sept 29th - Oct 3rd

(Each person's App Concept Overview due - 500 words maximum:
  • App Name
  • Clearly identify the need or problem in the school or community
  • Describe how the key features of the app offer an appropriate solution to the identified need or problem - most important!
  • Explain how the app concept aligns with one of the 3 Verizon Foundation Focus Areas of Education, Healthcare, or Sustainability.)
(Each student makes at least one screen with Balsamiq.  Please download your image (using the download image link under the mockup) and print it out to turn in.  If you can't get to Balsamiq for some reason, you can use this template to draw your screen on paper.)

In class, plan on meeting with your group for the first 40 minutes to share ideas and agree on the features you want to include in your app.  Avoid the "kitchen sink" approach, and try to identify a Minimal Viable Product - the bare minimum set of features that would still make a distinctive and useful app.

Each group will present their ideas to the class and get feedback.

Each group will allocate subtasks so that they can deliver the items required for this project:
  • Final Concept Overview (500 words, reflects the final group consensus on the product's key features)
  • Essay responses to Verizon prompts (each 200 words):
    • Team Research: Describe the team's research to locate existing/similar app solutions to the identified need or problem.
    •  Identified Need or Problem: How does the mobile app concept offer an innovative approach to solving the identified need or problem? 
    • Unique Form and Functionality: Explain how the app concept leverages the unique form and functionality of a mobile app. 
    • STEM Principles and Practices: How were STEM principles and practices applied during the design process?
  • 3 - 5 minute video
  • Wireframe mockup of user interface, using Balsamiq.
  • Poster - maximum 24" tall, 40" wide (so that 6 will fit on our bulletin board).
  • Class presentation
by Tuesday, Oct 7th.  There will probably not be any class time to work on this on Monday. Presentations (including the videos) will take place on Tuesday, October 7th.  Each group will have a maximum of 15 minutes, including the time to show the video.

Groups reconvene at the end of class (stand-up meeting) and share progress, identify plans for Wednesday.  Every student fills out an exit ticket.

(why not do a current event?)
Groups convene at the beginning of class (stand-up meeting) and share concerns, verify that everyone is on the same page.
Groups continue to work on project deliverables.
Groups reconvene at the end of class (stand-up meeting) and share progress, identify plans for Thursday.  Every student fills out an exit ticket.

(Probably the last in-class day)
Groups convene at the beginning of class (stand-up meeting) and share concerns, verify that everyone is on the same page.
Groups continue to work on project deliverables.
Groups reconvene at the end of class (stand-up meeting) and share progress, identify plans for completing tasks by next Tuesday.  Every student fills out an exit ticket.


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Week of Sep 22nd - 26th

(App Evaluation Project due - on paper and via turnitin)
Review AppInventor quiz
Review Verizon App Challenge  - creativity, smartphone resources
Groups review and evaluate problems from brainstorming session, prepare 5Ws and elevator pitches for apps. Here is the link for your elevator pitch.
Pass out Verizon consent forms and letter.  You can get the consent form online here.

Turn in Verizon consent forms!  Please!
Make sure you have submitted the elevator pitch (link is above)
Continue with problem/project evaluation exercise
Students present elevator pitches, vote on most promising - reduce to 6 candidates per class
Here's an inspiring example of what's possible.  (These were middle school kids, by the way.)
Here's the BTHS entry that was best in state last year.

(Why not do a current event?)
If you didn't submit an elevator pitch yesterday, your homework assignment for today is to submit TWO, in writing, by the beginning of class.
Last chance for Verizon consent forms
Break into teams, start working!

No school

JSUMC rotation

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Week of Sept 15th-19th

JSUMC orientation
MoleMash writeup due


for Tuesday, read about sprite animation in App Inventor 2
In class, we will work through the Pong tutorial and then do some extensions


(Why not do a current event?)
for Wednesday, read about making a slideshow app that can step through a list of images.  You may find this confusing - try to follow along, we will clear up any questions in class.
We won't actually be making a slideshow, we'll be making a quiz app.  Here are the directions.
When you finish the basic app, extend it:
  • make it speak - have it say "You answered " + your answer (use the Join block) and have it say "Correct" or "Nope" or something school-appropriate
  • make it count correct and incorrect answers
  • make the background change colors for correct and incorrect answers, and go back to white when you move on to the next question.
  • think about how to make it be multiple choice.  Tricky!  You might want to look into how to work with lists of lists. . . 
Review for quiz on AppInventor
Introduce group App project based on the Verizon App Challenge.  In particular, here are the guidelines for Education, Healthcare, and Sustainability that they offer.

Hand out "App Investigation" project - due Monday.

Here are some links to help you get started with this:
quiz on AppInventor
continue with group App project

Here is the link for your elevator pitch.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Week of Sept. 8 -12

Please remember that AppInventor is new material for me, and I don't know how long these lessons will really take. This plan will be adjusted as necessary.

("Good Questions" homework due)
I think everyone will be able to finish "I Have A Dream" parts 1 and 2 by the end of class

If you do finish, see what you can do with


(For today, read App Inventor Architecture and be prepared to both ask and answer questions.)
(Also for today, look at:  (event handlers) and (conditionals))

Start working on PaintPot part 1 and part 2


(Current events can be handed in)
(For today, look at (using the Canvas component for drawing), (properties of AI components), and  (using variables to remember values that have to be used in a program))

Continue to work on PaintPot part 1 and part 2.  Parts 1 and 2 are to be done individually.
When you finish, work on extensions (with another person, if you wish):
  • The user interface in the PaintPot tutorial app does not display the current chosen color-- the user can only tell what color will be drawn by actually drawing. Add immediate feedback for the user so that when he clicks to change color, the UI changes to make it clear which color is chosen(e.g., when a color button is chosen, change the background color of the button to its color, and gray others)
  • The dot size used for circle drawing can only be 2 or 8 in the text version of the tutorial. Change this so that the user can enter the dot size with a Slider component, and can change it to any reasonable size (you decide what is reasonable).
  • Provide a way for the user to control the thickness of the lines that are drawn, similarly to how the dot size can be changed. Hint: Check out the properties of the Canvas component for one concerning line width.
(For today, look at (incrementing and decrementing values) and (using the Clock component to do some action at a regular interval))

Students work on MoleMash

Students wrap up MoleMash. Spend the remaining class time customizing it. Here are some possibilities:

  • Customize the app with a different image (not a mole), a canvas background image, and custom sound effects. 
  • Add a label to keep track of and display the number of times the mole has appeared (moved). 
  • Add a second ImageSprite with a picture of something that the user should not hit, such as a flower. If the user touches it, penalize him by reducing his score or ending the game. 
  • Allow the user select a picture for the “mole” using the ImagePicker component. 
  • Allow the user to specify how fast the mole should move either with faster/slower buttons or by entering a number in a textbox. The number should be in "jumps per second" and this should be clear to user. If a textbox is used, constrain the app so that the user can only enter a number that is reasonable for the speed of the mole. If the user enters an invalid number, display an error message using the Notifier component and keep the speed as it was. 
  • Show the user's score using a colored bar that changes in size instead of a label. 
  • Add "levels": when the user hits the "mole" x number of times, make the mole go faster automatically and show the user that the level has changed. 
  • Keep a high-score for the user and display it in the app. 
  • Remember the high-score the next time the user plays, using TinyDB
The last 15 minutes of class are to write up what you did as an MS Word document. Submit an image of your app's blocks, one or more screen shots of the emulator as your app is running, and a description of the features you added. If you worked with a partner, you can submit one writeup for both of you -- be sure to include both names!  This can be turned in at the end of class on Friday, or the beginning of class on Monday.