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.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Welcome to Principles of Computer Technology, Fall 2014!

Week of September 1-5, 2014

  • Who Are You? - a survey to help me know a little about you
  • Discuss rules and expectations, course outline, current events assignment
  • Give out Good Questions assignment, start in class - due  Monday

  • Introduce AppInventor 2:
    • demo text-to-speech with projector, students follow along at computer
    • students start "I Have a Dream" tutorial.  When you get to testing your app (in the middle of page 7) you won't be downloading the AI2 companion app, since we'll be using the Android emulator instead. Just go to Connect->Emulator. . .

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Week of June 16th-20th, 2014

  • Wrap up presentations
  • Discuss subroutines that return values (known as functions)
  • Start codingbat worksheet

  • JES list/loop/drawing exercises due at beginning of class.
  • Continue with return values, codingbat
  • Begin reviewing for final exam

  • Last chance for current events
  • Continue with review for final

  • final exam

  • chill, have a great summer

Friday, June 6, 2014

Week of June 9th - 13th, 2014

  • No class, Rutgers Health Sciences tests
  • for today, read The Way of the Program - skip parts 1.9, 1.11. Know the difference between syntax, runtime, and semantic errors, the difference between formal and natural languages, and the vocabulary in 1.10.
  • Work on list/loop/drawing exercises
  • Your Robotics/AI presentation is due by midnight tonight, via email or googledocs link shared with me.
  • (Why not do a current event?)
  • Robotics/AI presentations.  Names are chosen randomly, everyone must be ready.
  • Continue Robotics/AI presentations
  • Mr. J. out with senior trip.
  • Last in-class time to work on list/loop/drawing exercises.  Due Monday by the end of lunchtime.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Week of June 2nd - 6th, 2014

You can download JES here. The files to download are listed in the left-hand column under the green Featured banner. Use jes-4-3.exe for Windows, and for Mac.

  • continue to work on guessing game challenges with JES.
  • 45 minutes of class time to finish up guessing game challenges and code reviews
  • introduce lists, nested loops, range()
  • guessing game challenges due at lunchtime
  • why not do a current event?
  • continue with lists, nested loops, range()
  • begin working on loop homework
  • personal day for Mr. J.
  • everyone working independently on subroutine parameter slides and worksheet
  • can work on loop homework when done
  • loop homework due
  • review subroutine parameters, introduce JES drawing APIs
  • everyone working on list/loop/drawing challenges
  • for next Tuesday: read The Way of the Program - skip parts 1.9, 1.11.  Know the difference between syntax, runtime, and semantic errors, the difference between formal and natural languages, and the vocabulary in 1.10.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Week of May 26th - 30th, 2014

  • Memorial Day holiday, no school.  Take some time to think about the meaning of the day, and thank a vet while you're at it.
  • Last in-class time to work on RUR-PLE.  Please make sure that you have something constructive to do with your time if you've finished.
  • Hand out RUR-PLE test review sheet.
  • Remember, you can download RUR-PLE from here. Get the .exe for Windows, or the .dmg for OS X.
  • AI and Robotics paper due at the beginning of class, on paper and via turnitin.
  • Review for RUR-PLE test.
  • Introduce JES and Jython.  You can download JES here.  The files to download are listed in the left-hand column under the green Featured banner.  Use jes-4-3.exe for Windows, and for Mac.
  • RUR-PLE test
  • Students work on Intro to Jython Programming: Using JES when finished
  • Continue with Jython, begin Guessing Game challenges.