This week provided proof that, at least for me, I am more motivated and struggle less when a lesson is personalized. This week’s app was a game involving a ladybug eating aphids and avoiding being eaten by a frog. My career is in creating math educational materials, so I changed the app to make it a game for PreK-K students learning the numerals 0-9 and their matching number words.
There were several challenges in creating this app. I had to search and find information on a few coding issues (e.g. lists and while) that hadn’t yet been discussed or used in previous apps. In the process, I discovered a bug in App Inventor that makes the tilt functionality work in a opposite way in Android OS 2 than in versions 3 and 4.
After several unsuccessful attempts at getting the initial instruction screen to show up first, I was about to throw in the towel when a helpful friend pointed out that I had used a capital letter in one place but not in another. This actually helped me feel more confident in my ability to get the code right. I just need to be more careful with the details.
In previous weeks, I have not put in this much time in developing the apps. I have been more frustrated over issues that were minor in comparison to what I was up against this week. I was more interested in puzzling out the problems I faced because the app felt more meaningful to me.
If I had waited until this weekend to begin work on the app, I would have never accomplished as much. I needed the whole week to mull over possible solutions, test little bits at a time, and go away to think about alternate solutions.
Creating apps using App Inventor takes time, but it is time well worth it when you are creating something you are interested in.
Please try this app yourself. I’d love to know how it works for you. If your device runs on Android 2, the right/left tilt may work in reverse. Use this QR Code to download the app.