Independent project

The project which I have started is a game called “The RACE”. The game is being created through Gamesalad. Creating a game is very time consuming but once the understanding is there then subsequent projects would be a lot quicker and would be more relevant to the students or year that you are teaching. I think, like all large projects, if you keep it step by step, then you are a lot less likely to become overwhelmed and give up. I will continue to work on this project to make a good resource for my future teaching career. Another way that Gamesalad could be used within a school is to get year 7 and 8 students to make basic games for younger student (look at content descriptions below) therefore helping the older students in programming and the younger students receiving quality games that will assist in their learning.

The Years 7 and 8 Content Descriptions and Elaborations/Digital Technologies knowledge and understanding

 

8.9 Develop and modify programs with user interfaces involving branching, repetition or

iteration and subprograms in a general-purpose programming language

 LIT; NUM; ICT; CCT

  • • developing and modifying digital solutions by implementing instructions contained in algorithms through programs (see band level description for advice about programming)
  • • developing a digital game that manipulates models of real-world objects
  • • using a semantic language engine to develop a narrative, or modifying an existing one, with multiple outcomes based on user decision-making
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Exploration of digital technologies alternatives

The technology that I decided to explore was Infinite Monkeys, an app maker for Ipads and mobile phones. I chose to try to build an app because I use apps everyday and thought it may be something that students would enjoy as well. I was very disappointed when I started using the app maker as I could not choose Australia as a region to work in. I did however like the step by step videos to help me through the construction process. When you are not required to pay for the app, there are always pop-up advertisements in its place, therefore it is not for free and if you want a good app you generally need to pay for it. The full version that you pay for cut out all the advertising and also you were able to do a lot more with your app. I would not use this app maker in the classroom due to the way you need to give out your personal details, and the way that if you did get the free version students would be getting ads. The mobile devices that are used in the classroom are normally shared around the whole class, so individual apps I do not think would be appropriate (I think I would make a Web quest for the student’s instead).

Extension project with scratch

I utilized the racing car game to extend my understanding of programming in scratch. I chose this because the concept could work within the classroom. I found the instructions on how to build the racing car game easy to read and follow. This task allowed me to use the skills that I had learnt from the introduction of scratch and build on them.  It was an engaging and fun activity and would be simple to introduce to any classroom. The way in which you are able to make it a group activity, would help with understanding by students learning from their peers. This game I believe fits into the Australian curriculum in year five in

Mathematics / Year 5 / Measurement and Geometry / Location and transformation

 

Content description:

Use a grid reference system to describe locations. Describe routes using landmarks and directional language.

 

Elaborations

  1. comparing aerial views of Country, desert  paintings and maps with grid references
  2. creating a grid reference system for the classroom and using it to locate objects and describe routes from one  object to another

Code

ACMMG113

 

Mathematics / Year 5 / Measurement and Geometry / Geometric reasoning

 

Content description:

Estimate, measure and compare angles using degrees. Construct angles using a protractor

Elaborations

  1. measuring and constructing angles using  both 180° and 360° protractors
  2. recognising that angles have arms and a  vertex, and that size is the amount of turn required for one arm to      coincide with the other

Code

ACMMG112

Summary of scratch

Introduction to scratch

Throughout my teaching degree, I have had to learn a lot about Technology. When I was at school, computers were only used to teach speed typing. Programming on scratch has allowed me to work through the activities using the reference guides and enabled me to realise how effective, in terms of engagement, it could be in the different areas within the upper primary curriculum. An example of this effective engagement includes the ability to show the students a shape and using the scratch program, enabling them to solve the different degrees necessary to make the shapes, thereby transforming students learning based on the constructivist theory by giving purpose and meaning to the 21st century learner (Finger, Russell, Jamieson-Proctor, & Russell, 2007). The ‘making a shape’ activity would align with the Australian Curriculum in:

Mathematics / Year 5 / Measurement and Geometry / Geometric reasoning

Estimate, measure and compare angles using degrees. Construct angles using a protractor

Elaborations

  1. measuring and constructing angles using  both 180° and 360° protractors
  2. recognising that angles have arms and a vertex, and that size is the amount of turn required for one arm to coincide with the other

When I was working through the ‘making a house’ shape, I found myself, once I was confident with the activity, engaged and eager to advance in the program by making the houses link together.

                       

 This activity could also cater for the different learning abilities due to the way in which a task can be set for a simple shape working through to more difficult shapes and shapes that are linked together. 

The other activity that was completed in the Introduction was the creation of two avatars and programming them to dance, move and speak. An example of this can be seen below:

 

 

 

The other activity that I took part in was programming different line direction blocks and using them to make different shapes.