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.
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.