Posted in 1.1 Creating, 1.3 Assessing/Evaluating, 1.4 Managing, 3.3 Assessing/Evaluating, 4.1 Collaborative Practice, AECT Standard 1 (Content Knowledge), AECT Standard 3 (Learning Environments), AECT Standard 4 (Professional Knowledge and Skills)

Magic 8-Ball

This week for EDTECH564 we completed a Magic 8-Ball tutorial. This was a fun easy tutorial to complete. I enjoyed using lists as I haven’t yet been able to play with them. It bothered me that the answers showed up in a label below the imagery of the toy so I spent the bulk of my time figuring out how to get the text to display approximately where it should. What I ended up doing was putting the image as a background to a 300×300 horizontal container and center/middle aligned a button whose text I replaced with the answer. I also added a simple radial gradient background to add some flair.

As far as functionality, I removed the tap for an answer because my new setup didn’t allow for the whole ball to be clicked. Plus it seemed more true to the toy to shake it anyway. The noises for this tutorial annoyed me a bit so instead I opted to have the app read the predictions out loud after the user shakes for an answer.

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Posted in 1.1 Creating, 1.3 Assessing/Evaluating, 1.4 Managing, 3.3 Assessing/Evaluating, 4.1 Collaborative Practice, AECT Standard 1 (Content Knowledge), AECT Standard 3 (Learning Environments), AECT Standard 4 (Professional Knowledge and Skills)

Mobile Games in Education

This week in EDTECH 564 we took a look at mobile games and their place in the classroom. I ended up evaluating Brain It On! and I Love Hue as educational games. Both of these games provided challenging puzzles that were quickly addictive. For games on the non-educational variety, I evaluated Bejewled Blitz! and Dots. Like the educational games, these games were addictive and are the puzzle variety. One of my peers had mentioned our class discussion my tendency to see puzzle games more educational. While I obviously would agree based on this weeks assignment but upon reflection, I would say this is true mostly for mobile games. I feel like the digital divide is still wide enough to not be able to effectively and reliably use mobile apps in the classroom. Now, I understand there are places where schools have devices, or have great wifi, or perhaps have students who all have current devices, but at my school, we’re not there yet. Therefore, using any mobile app, educational or not, is very difficult. That said, if I lived in an area where using mobile apps in the classroom was realistic, I’m not sure I would use them for anything more than time filler for several reasons. Most importantly, unless the app is trackable, how would I assess how students do with the app? Assuming that wasn’t an issues, wouldn’t it be neat to be able to analyze these games as a class. I would love Brain It On! in my Video Game Design course when discussing physics in video games. I feel like the physics in the game were spot on and it really challenges the user to use physics to their advantage.

Posted in 1.1 Creating, 1.3 Assessing/Evaluating, 1.4 Managing, 3.3 Assessing/Evaluating, 4.1 Collaborative Practice, AECT Standard 1 (Content Knowledge)

AR Experience

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.

Reference:
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

Posted in 1.1 Creating, 2.1 Creating, 2.4 Managing, 3.4 Managing, AECT Standard 1 (Content Knowledge), AECT Standard 2 (Content Pedagogy), AECT Standard 3 (Learning Environments)

Design Journal (EDTECH564)

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.

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Posted in 1.1 Creating, 1.2 Using, 3.1 Creating, 3.2 Using, AECT Standard 1 (Content Knowledge), AECT Standard 3 (Learning Environments)

Selection Principle: Emphasizing Figure and Ground

The main idea behind this weeks EDTECH506 graphic is using emphasis to draw out meaning. The terms used in the chapter are figure for the thing that you want to emphasize and ground for what is in the background. The readings for the week showed different examples of calling attention to content using many basic design principles such as manipulating positive and negative space. As I browsed through the examples, I got a better understanding of applying these principles to creating instructional materials. For my project this week, I chose to create a poster for the classroom showing the Google Slides toolbar.

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The instructional purpose is to provide students this toolbar cheat sheet for quick reference. I tried to make the toolbar and labels pop out of the page by subduing the background image. I feel like this worked ok but after showing it to my test team (my family) I felt that there wasn’t enough “pop.” I solved this problem by adding some drop shadows which I feel does a good job of separating the foreground and background.

rainville_wk8-2

Posted in 1.1 Creating, 1.2 Using, 2.1 Creating, 3.1 Creating, AECT Standard 1 (Content Knowledge), AECT Standard 2 (Content Pedagogy), AECT Standard 3 (Learning Environments)

Using Shapes in Instruction

This week we are tasked with creating instructional materials focusing on the use of shapes. Here is my project:

shapes

The students using this “at a glance” guide are high school technology students. They have already learned about Google Drive, Docs, and Sheets and are familiar with the Google layout. This handout is meant to provide a quick snapshot of the concept of Themes and Masters. Many students have used Google Slides often but do not know about Master pages and the ones who do know, don’t seem to take advantage of the tool. I feel this handout (poster?) provides a quick reminder.

The use of shapes in this handout is throughout the document. The header uses simple shapes to define a heading and title area. These shapes provide for a clean look (Lohr, 2008, p. 250) and tie together with the overall theme of the unit. The arrows bring attention to the main point of each image. I chose the overall display shape based on how many points I wanted to make. (Lohr, 2008, p. 255) In this case, I kept it simple with 4 squares as I didn’t want it to get too busy and move away from an “at a glance” tool.

The person I had test my design gave feedback on the graphic aspect vs the instructional one. Based on this person’s feedback, I can see areas where the spacing could be tightened up, for example between the header and first squares as well as the very bottom of the page. It was also suggested to add a footer similar to the header, I agree that would be a nice touch.

Reference
Lohr, L. (2008). Creating graphics for learning and performance: Lessons in visual literacy(2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson/Merrill/Prentice Hall.

Posted in 1.1 Creating, 1.2 Using, 1.3 Assessing/Evaluating, 3.1 Creating, AECT Standard 1 (Content Knowledge), AECT Standard 3 (Learning Environments)

Typography

Oh how I do so love Typography. I would consider myself a bit of a type snob. I notice subtleties of type that most do not. Things like kerning, leading, and tracking are all big blaring overlooked settings IMO. In fact, if you’re into it like I am, check out this kerning game, I can spend hours kerning mindlessly.

For this assignment, we are tasked with creating typographic images to represent lessons/objectives of a unit of instruction. For my unit, I will be creating materials for lessons on Google Slides. I chose to go with a typogram theme and tried to create literal examples of the type.

rainville-week4-01

The first image is to represent “Presentation“. The main objective of this lesson is to review the big picture rules of creating a presentation. I chose to use the words to outline the shape and the Google Slides “GS” as the content. For the second image, the lesson is about adding and manipulating shapes to your presentation. Therefore the words “Using Shapes” are displayed using shapes. The third lesson focuses on formatting text and images. For this image, I’ve used words to express formatting text and I created a “picture” to indicated formatting an image. For the fourth lesson on collaboration, I have created the outline of a document using the word “collaborate” and added bits of input being added from various directions.

All of the images, since they will be used for the same unit, have commonalities to tie them together, most notably they use the same typeface (Lohr, 2008, p.215). The typeface itself,  Fingerling Tall would be considered a decorative typeface which makes it best for titles and headings. A paragraph with this typeface would be difficult to read (Lohr, 2008, p.224). I feel it works well here because it is boxy enough to create the shapes I needed as well as being readable enough to use for the art itself.

My very simple test consisted of showing the images to my two teenage daughters and my husband. Their opinions are likely biased but they all seemed to understand the overall message. Of course, the act of showing my stuff makes me see the flaws, there are some funky things happening in the last shape, the word collaboration is bent in weird spots.

Lohr, L.L. Creating graphics for learning and performance: Lessons in visual literacy. 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson, 2008.