This week we created a whack-a-mole type game. The Mole Mash tutorial we completed introduced us to the ImageSprite, Canvas, Clock , and Sound components. We created Procedures to implement repeated behavior, such as moving the mole & bee and practiced using Math blocks. I really enjoyed working through this tutorial and am feeling more and more comfortable in the AppInventor environment. I’ve found myself wanting to explore just a bit farther each week and sometimes have to hold myself back. Not a bad problem to have 😉
For my customizations, I enhanced the imagery and tried to use good layout design practice by organizing data and function logically. I added a slider to control the speed of the mole and a label to let the user know what speed they were playing at. I also had to work the speed into the reset button.
This week we were tasked with evaluating the popular augmented reality game Pokemon Go using Shute & Ke’s “seven core elements of well-designed games” as the criteria. There is no doubt that Go is a great game. It captured the imagination and engagement of the masses almost instantly. While initially there were bugs and issues to resolve, there have been strides in the app since it’s initial release. I’ll admit that I wasn’t thrilled to download and test the game and I had a bit of a biased chip on my shoulder during the process. I’m just not into the game itself, I’ve never really understood the Pokemon craze. That said, I love the functionality of the game. I love how it gets people up and out. And I love the potential for other games based on the same ideas. For example, imagine a game where real live creatures are found and collected (or tagged, for the conservationists) that are native to the region the player is currently in. Shoot, why stop at creatures, why not plants and trees or types of rocks.
Shute, V. J., & Ke, F. (2012). Games, Learning, and Assessment. In D. Ifenthaler, D. Eseryel, & X. Ge (Eds.), Assessment in Game-Based Learning (pp. 43–58). New York, NY: Springer New York. Retrieved from http://link.springer.com/10.1007/978-1-4614-3546-4_4
This week in EDTECH 534 we continued getting familiar with AppInventor by completing the PaintPot tutorial. I really enjoyed the tutorial and learned quite a bit. I ended up deviating from my normal homework routine and started this assignment very early in the week. This allowed me to finish the tutorial with enough time to play with the tool. Admittedly, there were some things I just couldn’t figure out and gave up on but on the flip side, there was still plenty that I managed, notably the new blank canvas buttons. I had difficulty getting the slider to operate the stroke width but was able to work it out with a solution from a fellow classmate. I am hoping to explore more with AppInventor’s ability to control the interface, I suppose I am a UX designer through and through 😉 (a nostalgic reference to a past career)
This week in EDTECH 564 we created augmented overlays using the Aurasma app. The app itself has a bit of a clunky user interface but the overall experience was pretty easy. I ended up creating a bunch of triggers and overlays around my school and showing anyone who would look. It made me think about applying this tech to an existing scavenger hunt another teacher in my school hosts. I can’t wait to give it a try.
My favorite bit of playing with the app came with setting up my globe at home to have a bunch of movies trigger depending on where on the globe you are focused. The only drawback, and it’s a HUGE drawback, is that you would have to use my very unique globe in order to view all the work I put in to it. The trigger basically matches a picture to the environment so if distributing your experience beyond a limited location is your goal, it is best if you use a widely available trigger or image. Overall, I see a huge potential to create engaging activities using tech students are already comfortable with.
This week in EDTECH564 Gamified Augmented Reality and Mobile we looked at VR headsets and available apps. Back in the spring I cleared a bunch of generic headsets on clearance from a local store’s shelf so I had a headset available. I have found that since the headset is generic, it didn’t have any selection mechanism in it. After tinkering unsuccessfully for a bit I ended up caving and buying a separate hand controller which went a LONG way in enhancing the experience. The apps I chose to review for the weeks assignment covered games as well as educational content. I was most impressed with Discovery VR in experience quality. I think that there are lots of ways an app like this can be incorporated into existing lessons. After looking at the educational stuff, I really wanted to see what the games are like. I ended up spending a bit of time playing Pac Man VR and found it quite entertaining. Since looking at the PacMan app, I have shown it to students, friends, & family and they all have loved it. In fact, at a picnic, I gave a viewer away to an enamored friend who ended up spending the night downloading games himself.
This week in EDTECH 534 Mobile Apps Design for Teaching and Learning we completed a basic tutorial building a simple app in App Inventor. This was my first real experience using the tool but not my first go at programming, thankfully. I thought it was really cool that we start this journey with a kitty app when I wickid love kitties. I felt a little pressed for time so I didn’t explore as much as I would have liked but I feel like I got the jist of the program. Since I completed it, I’ve shared it with people like the proud student I am. Even though all I did was follow directions, the promise of building more is exciting.
The app is simple, you pet the kitty. The app responds by vibrating and playing a meow sound. If you shake the device, it meows but doesn’t “purr.” If you wanna take a look, you can check it out here.