Building the Candy Factory

Screenshot of Level 1While it has been very tedious and detailed work, I’m enjoying building my Candy Factory app. It requires creating and keeping track of many variables. I’ve gotten hung up a few times when I didn’t have the code ordered correctly. Verifying answers requires several nested If and IfElse statements that I’ve had to tinker with to get to work the way I want. Overall, I’m pleased with my progress. When I’ve run into a snag, I’ve been able to read the code and find the error in a fairly short amount of time.

I have 3 levels of the game working. The screenshot to the right shows the program in one of my testing modes. The table is for level 1. The answer boxes are for level 2. It took a bit of testing to make sure the variables for the two different levels were working correctly. I kept the “Cartons” answer box visible for a while to make sure nothing was happening with it during Level 1.

I was going to have the user progress through all three levels of the game in one sitting, moving up a level after getting 5 problems correct. I’m thinking I’ll change that. I can let the user choose the level he/she wants to work at and progress up when they feel they are ready for the challenge. I just need to figure out a way to show a user’s progress/score after each attempt.

I’m disappointed with the look of the screens in my program. I found the perfect image to reinforce the groupings of 10 candies, but it shows up a little blah on the screen. It also takes up way too much room. I’d also like a background that gives the feel of a factory. (Oh! I need to look for a factory sound, like a whirring machine or the end-of-the-day whistle.) I wish I was a graphic artist so I could create the exact image I want.

Tomorrow I hope to show my current version to my co-workers for some constructive feedback. Once every couple of weeks we review iPad apps. I’m going to ask them to review my app as harshly as we have reviewed others. I’m sure I’ll come away with a long list of things I’ll want to fix/change.

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App Development Proposal

The final project for EdTech597 is to develop an app of my own choosing. In my previous class (EdTech 532 Games and Simulations) I designed a very large math game that teaches math in the context of internship scenarios. At the beginning of the game, students take and interest inventory. The results are used to place students in fictitious businesses. Their math abilities are assessed in the background, always within the context of their internships. Students learn the math they do not know through the activities and tasks they are assigned to at each company.

The internship game will take a lot of time and resources to develop. The app I am developing for EdTech597 will take me one step closer. The app is one activity within one internship scenario. Students work in a candy factory where candies are sold individually, in trays of 10, and in cartons that hold 10 trays. Working with numbers in this way gives students a context for regrouping. Every 10 candies can fill a tray. Every 10 trays can fill a carton. Cartons and trays can be “regrouped” as needed based on a company’s order.

This week’s assignment was to create an App Development Proposal. I got a little lost in the process because I didn’t have a good understanding of the steps required for this project. I wish we could have had one face-to-face meeting as a class where we could get an overview of the project, ask questions, share ideas, get clarification, etc.

In the process of developing my proposal, I created some of the user interface and see that I have many moving parts that could easily get lost. I will have to be very organized as I create the code blocks or I could easily miss a part that would cause the program to fail. I hope I will able to complete what I have set out to do.

My First App

a drawing of a 4 piece jigsaw puzzle

Using App Inventor to create my first app was an interesting experience. I felt like I was putting together a jigsaw puzzle with step-by-step directions for where to place and how to place each piece so that pieces perfectly snapped into place. Surprisingly, it was a stress-free, frustration-free experience. I was expecting for things not to immediately work right. I’m thrilled my expectations were NOT met!

This first app, and many others, will require me to work with training wheels. My concern right now is that I won’t learn all the features of App Inventor well enough to create an app on my own. I guess only time will tell.

Here’s a QR Code that will allow you to download my app to an Android device. It’s a simple app that shows a picture of my cat. A tap of the button or a shake of the device will produce a meow. That’s all . . . for now.

QR code for HelloPurr app

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