In the last few weeks in EDTECH564 we have been working on a final portfolio for the class. The process had me looking back through the materials from the course and reflecting on what we have done. The website I created moves through our time analyzing and synthesizing augmented reality, virtual reality, and mobile apps. It then moves into the apps we created in App Inventor. Finally you can see my unit proposal and final thoughts as well. Overall, the project was fun to do and felt good reviewing what we have done. Check out the web site…
This week in EDTECH 564, we continued working on an instructional unit proposal. I chose to do my proposal on the initial unit in my Video Game Design course. In this unit, students begin by playing a series of games. Then they complete an Aurasma scavenger hunt throughout the school, finding and figuring clues as they go. There is a quick quiz app that students can review what they are learning about game components (character, setting, control, etc.) Finally, students create posters defining/describing the components they have learned about.
For some reason, I was thinking this was our final project for the class and I was thinking I would have time to actually build out some of the materials for this unit as I really would like to use it in the classroom. Turns out, I was wrong and we are moving on next week. I feel like if I had caught this earlier, I might have spent more time building up my proposal document.
While this post isn’t about projects done in either of my classes (EDTECH 534 & 564), I do want to record my reflection as it is a part of my journey…
Last Friday I noticed some pain in my gut along with overall fatigue. As the weekend progressed, the pain didn’t seem to get better and started to concern me. By Sunday, I was in pretty rough shape. Monday I ended up visiting the ER and spent the day being poked and prodded. What an interesting experience! The good news is that I left with a diverticulosis diagnosis which is totally manageable. Of course, it would be nice if once an ailment is identified, recuperation would naturally follow as quickly. With my shiney new diagnosis and meds, I foolishly decided to go to work on Tuesday. I made it about 1.5hrs before I was weeping and sent home with pity. Hmph. The next day I didn’t even try. Here we are on Thursday, I have emerged from my hibernation cocoon and I am SO FAR BEHIND.. double Hmph.
While I slept the most part of the last week, I have been thinking about both my final projects. For both classes, I plan on creating products that will support my gamification efforts in the classroom. For 534, I am making an app that will help track and deliver game stats in a gamified course. For 564, I am building out a unit for my Video Game Design course that explores game components.
This week in EDTECH 564 we created a mole-mash game. Since I created the original Mole Mash in EDTECH 534, I created a second different version this week. This version takes a different approach to displaying the holes and mole. I found it easier to determine what exactly was touched from the screen allowing me to more easily use the data for not only keeping track of successful whacks but unsuccessful ones as well. This is something I couldn’t figure out in the first version. I changed it up a bit from the tutorial by adding more holes, adding a missed count, updating the UI and adding a background. I definitly like the UI better in this version as well, but I attribute that to working a few more weeks with App Inventor.
This week in EDTECH564 we completed the Space Invader tutorial. The app was easy to build but I found it overall quite boring. I decided I would try to improve on the game by converting it to a BrickBreaker type game. I recreated the images and created a fancy color flashing ball. Changing the behaviors so that the ball bounces off of things instead of disappearing was fairly straight forward, especially when referring to the BallBouncer app I created earlier this semester for EDTECH534. My biggest challenge was trying to create the angle bounce off the platform based on where the ball landed. After a while of not figuring it out, I opted to have the bounce angle be random and changed the platform to have odd angles off of it. The game starts off really easy with the ball moving quite slow but as the user progresses, the speed of the ball increases and the game gets quite challenging.
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.
This week in EDTECH564 we started to build mobile apps using AppInventor. Since I am taking EDTECH534 at the same time and have been using the tool for a few weeks now, I completed this alternate assignment “Ball Bounce” instead of repeating Hello Purr. The original tutorial has a ball on screen that you fling with your finger to bounce off the walls. I extended the app with a colorful background, purposefully overly colorful to try and add some difficulty to the game. I also added a good guy and a bad guy. If you fling the ball into a good guy, you add to the score and the bad guy takes from your score. Additionally, in order to increase difficulty with game play, I increase the speed of the ball with every bounce off a wall. There are also buttons to stop the ball while keeping game play alive and reset the game. The “Score” and ” Speed” labels allow you to keep track of your game play on the fly.