Archive for 2.2 Audiovisual Technologies

EDTECH 597 Final Project

I did it. This 50 year old mom and teacher created multiple productivity and entertainment apps for my mobile device, despite my novice status among app users and Android O/S. Even more impressive is the functionality of the apps created by my classmates and colleagues. From creating something sweet to seeing how the sugar impacts our cells, I stand in respect and awe of what can be developed and designed with a series of well placed pieces – or “blocks.”
I clearly remember 1972. I am 10 years old, sitting in my fourth grade classroom listening to my much-loved teacher talking us through time – taking us on a journey of what then seemed to be fantasy. He spoke of when we were “grown-ups” that we would be able to see each other on TV while talking on our telephone. He said that we would be able to travel without going anywhere. The man was a visionary. Today, the phone talks to me! I can visit the sights of Singapore and hold a life-like Koi pond in the palm of my hand! I have the pleasure to not only see his description held true, but I have also been bestowed the honor and responsibility for pushing the technology forward!
I don’t know how much further I will grow in the app development. This course took me out of my comfort zone and challenged me to rise above technical glitches and create something of benefit. But understanding how the technology works gives me impetus to take the students in my classroom on a visionary journey of what can be…in their future.
ETADroid

QRPCR

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EDTECH 597 – QUIZ BOWL

I have finally made an app that I will use for more than a cool curiosity, but not before life got in the way. This weekend was spent up north helping my husband recover from an unexpected flood caused by a burst water gasket/hosing in the RV. We found an apartment and got him relocated, but the hours spent helping him has really put a divet into my coursework for the three EDTECH classes I am taking. Nevertheless, I was able to spend about 7.5 hours on this project, and I am pleased with the results. As an EMT instructor, I found the possibilities for an EMS quiz app enticing. Users could refresh their knowledge and prepare for certification exams. It took some time to find Creative Commons pictures that would be applicable to this app. Initially, I would like to put the “correct” answers in a number of different ways, since the app is prone to unforgiving syntax errors. To counter that problem, I added the correct answer to the “incorrect” message, so that if a student was close, or needed an uppercase or space, he or she would know the response was actually correct.

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EDTECH 506 – Natural Selection

There are many factors to providing critical prehospital care. EMTs must gain the skills necessary to quickly determine if a patient is in immediate need of advanced care. I wanted the design of the critical care page to be comprehensive, yet clean. As students enter their practical skills, they need to easily remember the information presented. There is a lot to remember in this section, so the design demands that a lot of information is concentrated in each section. I enhanced the text with contrasting colors for cohesiveness, but the sheer volume of text still needed something more to make the steps more concrete. Because a picture is worth a thousand words, I am seeking representative images to further solidify the different steps.
References
Lohr, L. (2008). Creating graphics for learning and performance: Lessons in visual literacy. (Second.) Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Critical Care

There is a lot to remember in this section, so I concentrated a lot of information in one spot. In doing so, I also designed it to be concise and concrete with the white text dominating the field. The generous white space offsets the high contrast of the blue and red.

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EDTECH 597: Do Not Disturb

What a week to begin complexity! Just as I was beginning to get the hang of App inventor and spreading my wings to put out new versions of the basic apps, along comes an assignment with location generators, memory, and text-to-voice capabilities. In the midst of it all, widespread ISP server failures, two ambulance runs, and a wounded foal only added to the confusion. The tutorial seemed straightforward, but I kept encountering problems such as having to search for components the drawers. My Blocks Editor did NOT match the screens in the book because the instructions have me rename elements, but their tutorial images are not renamed. I work late at night, so had difficulties finding a second phone. My emulator kept crashing despite multiple reboots. After more than six app hours, my tutorial app worked and was ready to be saved. This experience has given me a lot of insight into developing course materials for online activities. How many times do we educators fail to provide visual or contextual clues on how to proceed when technology fails? How often do I provide my students with misaligned images and text? How do my learners approach new challenges, and what is my role in guiding them through the course? Finally, and most challenging of all, what to do for extending the app? My family members seem to have a deep-seated need to know where I am at all times…given my schedule this past week, perhaps a “Do Not Disturb” is in order.

ET597DRoid

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EDTECH 506 Learning by Design

Visual representation plays a vital role in my life. I remember putting on my first set of glasses and realizing for the first time what a difference detail makes in our world view. That impression gave way to a lifelong study of detail that impacts every aspect of my life. The past weeks in this course are no exception as I considered what is universal design, what would be a useful unit of instruction, and how might I best represent myself through visual clues. After submitting the project plan, I nearly changed topics when reading the typography assignment. How might I create what I might consider illustrated text that conveys meaning. I was surprised to find that the exercise, though challenging, was a pleasant task.

Four Words

Vital words for bleeding control and shock management unit of instruction.


When referring to Mayer’s (2001) research, Lohr emphasizes that “visuals be designed so that they support cognitive processes of selection, organization, and integration” to maximize learning (2008 p.63). Using that formula, I hope to create a unit of instruction that will be easily remembered, and easily implemented when conditions call for it. After all, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

Reference
Lohr, L. (2008). Creating graphics for learning and performance: lessons in visual literacy (2 ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill. Retrieved 2012

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EDTECH597 Squeak & Buzz

Moles and Apps have two things in common – they can be found just about anywhere and they are always popping up in new places. This week’s design project is a spin-off of the classic children’s arcade game where the player tries to keep rodents from popping up in a given area. After putting together the initial game, I put it to the test with my resident expert – my teenage daughter. She picked up the phone, clicked on a mole, and got a runtime error. “That’s strange, let me reload it.” Again it threw the same error. “Let me know when you get the bugs out” she said as she left the room. Much searching revealed that a block had inadvertently been slid over to the far reaches of the Blocks Editor window. Calling my daughter back, she assessed, tried, and mastered it in 8 seconds. “What did you think?” “BORing” After interrogating her, she admitted the “hit” vibration was okay, but complained catching the mole was too easy, and she lost interest with the plain background and lack of sounds.

Try to stop the moles from overtaking the prairie


Sounds were easy. I quickly found a few .mp3s that I liked at Sound FX Now and quickly incorporated them. I decided to let the user choose the difficulty level with star-ranked buttons. My mental design was progressing quickly toward reality, but I knew I was out of my league. I felt like a middle school student looking at a spreadsheet for the first time. APPrehension struck. How would I add the faster sprites without affecting the original? I am a problem solver. Using my experience with web design, I decided to create duplicate screens – each having successively complex images to distract the player, and each having a faster image sprite. Two hours later, I could not figure out how to get the star buttons to navigate to their respective screens. I consulted the text/tutorial again. This was not going to work. I reluctantly removed the Screens and the time they represented. Back to the blocks editor and the answer was there…all along.
My time spent developing screens 2 and 3 reinforced developing concepts. Figuring out how to get the levels I wanted on my own was victorious. Hearing my daughter’s “That’s cool, mom”…priceless.

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ED TECH 597 – Stop&Go

App development might have seemed easy, but tonight Faith and Buffy knocked me out of my complacent attitude and geared me for a whole new paradigm of what is considered progress. The green light is on to proceed in this class and extend the tutorials to create apps with educational or instructional purposes. This past week I spent little time constructing and publishing my app. I feel hesitant of and clumsy with my new Android while I learn to navigate the basic functions of the device. The blocks editor refused to launch and I would turn my attention to another class or household chore. Finally, I could put off the task no longer. and I worked with the developer tools until I got the blocks editor running. From that point it only took about an hour to follow the tutorial and modify the app for my own purpose. I don’t use a lot of apps, so I am not creative in developing them yet. But thanks to these two pioneers, I do recognize that I am on the threshold of discovery.

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