Hour of Code Calls to BHS

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Mrs. Chang’s Web Design class participating in the Hour of Code at BHS

Hour of Code, a global movement reaching tens of millions of students, has arrived at Burlington Public Schools. Students of all ages, elementary to high school, have been exposed to the art of coding through a variety of coding tutorials distributed by BHS Help Desk. Several teacher at BHS have brought their classes down to Help Desk throughout the week in attempt to introduce their students to a field that they feel is worth exploring. And rightly so!

Having introduced the worldwide coding initiative to only two classes, I have already come across several students who have had a change of heart with regards to coding after this experience. Many are surprised to find that a great deal of the programs and games that they are familiar with are founded upon such intricate coding. Others have realized their passion for the field after zooming through one tutorial after another and finding that coding is something that they find enjoyable!

One of two classes that came down during the week was Mrs. Chang’s Web Design class, which wasn’t too shocked to find that a large majority of their class work was code based. Naturally, they seemed to enjoy the Hour of Code experience and several students were adamant about the idea that this might be a viable career choice for themselves further down the road. I myself was able to try my hand at a couple of tutorials such as LightBot and Bitsbox. Personally speaking, I felt that these tutorials were appropriately interactive and portrayed coding in a positive light. That said, it’s seems accurate to say that the Hour Code at BHS and all of Burlington Public Schools in general was a tremendous success!

 

12/1 ILE Update

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This week marks the third week of the HeplDesk Digital development process! So far, Manas (my partner) and I have laid out the storyboard for the IOS application on template called AppPress, which allows us to see the storyboard in action before the coding of the application is complete. Now, you may be asking: why can’t we justApp press use this template to make the application and avoid the coding process? Well, as much as we’d love to, it’s not that simple. Storyboard templates just as AppPress do not allow developers to extrapolate their work from the online template. But rest assured, we are exploring all of our options. In the meantime, we are currently in the process of getting our names onto BHS’s app-developer’s license. With any luck, our names will be listed come BHS’s next license update. That said, we are still working on the coding (Swift) and are still relying on couple of online tutorials for guidance. But as of now, I am happy to report that things are going well and, more or less, as planned. Any ideas/suggestions are much appreciated so feel free to comment on this post or shoot us an email at mandmdevteam@gmail.com. Otherwise, stay tuned for more updates!

Multimedia at MassCUE

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If I was told at the beginning of this week that I’d be attending two state/region wide technology conferences on behalf of BHS in a matter of 6 days, I wouldn’t have believed it. Still recovering from an amazing experience at Edscape, I was blown away by all of the technology showcased at MassCUE. Here at Burlington, we feel that we are in the know on all of the educational technology out there. But as a matter of fact, there is a whole world of educational technology that BHS is yet to be exposed to. At MassCUE, I learned about several innovative technologies tailored to education, some of which were in use at BHS and some of which were still foreign to our 1.1 environment. Companies such as Canvas, IDEO, and ThinkGate have significant technologies to offer to every advanced educational environment out there, and it’s only a matter of time until BHS expands even further into the realm of the educational technology. But in the meantime, I think it’s safe to say that we have enough technology at BHS to maintain a more than efficient learning environment for the student body.

Template Troubles (Week #4 Reflection)

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Things are up and running with Xcode here at BHS, where the software has been approved for download on select Help Desk iMacs. So far this week, we have been able to familiarize ourselves with Apple’s comprehensive app-builidng software, and to our delight, have found that Xcode makes app-building significantly more manageable that it first appeared to be. The software allows us a choice of several pre-made templates that features key elements of any given application genre. After confuting a series of mini test-projects, we have narrowed down our choice of templates to TabbedApp and Master-Detail, both of which offer certain features essential to our project. The TabbedApp template allows us to install several tabs on the storyboard of an application that permits users to move easily from one feature of the app to the next. The Master-Detail, on the other hand, provides a drop down menu on the side of the storyboard, that allows the user to sort through a decent amount of content relatively easily. The question is: Do we want our application to be small and simple, or comprehensive and multifaceted? Stay tuned for next week’s update to see our progress!

-Michael Seleman