A new journey in education

Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

My stuff got used without credit

without comments

So  I was headteacher for a couple weeks there late in this term and a bunch of junk educational magazines turn up for the faculty. This one said Technology in education so I looked a little closer and saw that it had an article on app development so I thought I better look a little closer given I have some experience in this area. I go to the page and this is what I saw PBL approach perfect for app development lessons. To say I was a little miffed is an understatement. Not one mention of myself or my class that undertook this project in 2011 as can be seen in this post on this blog from 2011.

Now I have shown how I developed this teaching idea using PBL and phone apps in two different presentations at the 1 to 1 Unconference and most recently the PLANE conference. Not like it would be difficult to ask if I mind my work being used, from a quick search it appears that myself and this person have several followers across networks in common.

So i’m a little miffed.

Written by theMolisticView

September 18th, 2014 at 1:47 pm

So The Blog’s not closed anymore…

without comments

Oh hai 🙂

Well to be honest I kept forgetting to go in the back end and delete all these exciting educational posts here on the MolisticView. Turns out that wasn’t a bad thing either.

Now many things have happened in my life and my work since my last rant about someone wanting my education stuff (and someone has just outright stolen it anyway, more on that later). Most recently my school, St Clair High had a little problem with a fire and sort of lost most of its learning spaces (again, more on that later). On the weekend however we had one of our famous St Clair High School Teacher Conferences which related to every teachers upcoming doom and school plans for years a head. Well turns out for me to be the great amazing educator I am I’ll need one of these fandangle blogging thingies along with the twitter and stuff to be paid right in the future.

So welcome back to the MolisticView.

Written by theMolisticView

September 18th, 2014 at 12:44 pm

My Rant…

without comments

Today I received an email asking me to basically hand over everything I know and have done in teaching my students how to produce mobile phone applications. This blatant forced robbery of intellectual property drives me crazy. What makes matters worse in my opinion is that I have already provided these people with a clear outline as to what is required and the substantial costs involved in delivering such exciting learning outcomes for students which go far above those required by any current syllabus in NSW.

Obviously I understand that as an employee all works I create for my job belong to my employer however, in this case I say no! Why? The cost incurred by me to deliver this content for my students, which I am happy to absorb for them to have a better education. There is no way known to me that my employer would pay the money required to teach just 20 stage 5 students how to develop mobile phone apps on just one platform yet alone all three. On top this there is the fact that to do any mobile phone development you have obfuscate the school internet connection.

I won’t list the reasons why you wouldn’t use Google’s Android as I am sure even @Benpaddlejones would admit how hard that is to implement as a school teacher in our system, so i’ll just demonstrate the cost per school for iOS iPhone development.

  1. 13″ Macbook Pro $1,349.
  2. Current iPhone $799
  3. Developer account $99 USD (to unlock the phone so as to test applications on the device)
  4. Developer tools free

note: before anyone says you can just use the free tools and the phone emulator, yes you can however the emulators have restrictions and are not as authentic or as valuable to students when they actually run their own app on a phone or device.

So if you want my stuff for mobile phone development for stage 5, remburse me a little and I’ll help out, until then use Google search and see if you can afford to offer this across the states high schools.

Written by theMolisticView

June 14th, 2012 at 5:15 pm

How I used XNA Game Studio in the classroom Part 2

with 2 comments

This post is a little late; I was meaning to write it back in the last week of the holidays and this first term has been rather busy with a new head teacher, the rain, new junior classes and new computers to set up in my classroom.

Just to set the scene, I have two stage 5 classes, one is IST (which I had not taught before) and the other is Multimedia.  In my previous post I showed how I have been using XNA Game Studio in IST for Windows Phone 7 game development (see post here).

In multimedia I wanted something more substantial, something that like web design could be used as a means of income or personal benefit. I had been buying books, Evernoting (if that’s the term lol) every blog and article I could find on XNA to help me develop a course which would be easy enough for my students to follow and build on. In term 3 last year I used a section from an online source (which has since disappeared) with my year 11 Multimedia class so they had a base side scrolling game on which to develop from. This however turned out to be a total fail, the students simply did not understand the concepts of game making in a code based environment.

Just to be clear if you were wondering, XNA Game Studio is not a game engine like the Unreal engine or Unity 3D, it is a framework from Microsoft which uses C# as its managed language, Visual Studio as its coding environment and is simply a framework or set of API’s which are used to develop games for the Xbox, Windows and Windows Phone 7 platforms.

I was struggling for a way to in which teach to XNA with meaning and purpose. At close to the same time that Coding4Fun dropped the tower defence game for Windows Phone 7, Microsoft’s Faculty Resource Centre also dropped some XNA goodness. Now the Microsoft Faculty Resource Centre already had some XNA resources though these were aimed at university level. The new XNA resource was aimed directly at high schools. Game Development with XNA: Semester 1 – Appendix by Pat Yongpradit was what I was trying to come up with. Pat’s resource is developed using an existing Microsoft book written by Rob Miles Learn Programming with XNA (which you can download here or here for free). Pat’s course develops further the concepts found in the book and can be used with both XNA 3.0-3.1 and the newer 4.0.

At this stage sadly I have nothing in which I can show to you of what the students have learned. We started the course in term 4 last year and are only just at part 2 which involves concepts like multiplayer games, sound effects, timing, game design, reading text input from the player, object-orientated programming and two dimensional arrays.

Given how the IT situation is in our schools with software and the filter there have been a few hiccups along the way which have needed work rounds. With my school still being Windows XP at the start, we were using Visual Studio 2008 and XNA 3.0-3.1. There are extension sections built into the course to keep the gifted students challenged as well, I have 3-4 students (the class has only 15 students) really trying their hardest to complete these. The course also focuses on using the Xbox gamepad when developing games and somewhat at the expense of the keyboard and mouse. These however can be purchased off eBay fairly cheaply.

As yet Pat has not released the promised Semester 2 course. If the second course does not drop in time I will have the students take what they know and develop a game over two terms for the Xbox.

If you have any ideas on teaching for XNA Game Studio I would love to hear from you and if you would like to start using it with your classes and want some pointers drop us a line

Written by theMolisticView

March 11th, 2012 at 1:22 pm

How I used XNA Game Studio in the classroom Part 1

with one comment

The last term was an extremely busy time, the last 9 weeks of year 9 IST was no different. I was originally planning to have the class start on Lego NXT Robotics having purchased 3 kits in late term 3 however there was a delivery issue with the battery charger for the kits. So I had a choice to make, move on with the basics of Lego robotics or try something else. At around the same time in which I was making my this decision I visited the Microsoft Channel 9 Coding4fun website. Released earlier in the year was Script TD, a simple tower defense game for Windows Phone 7. Script TD is a simple tower defense game which uses XML as the format to easily change gameplay and based on an open source, perfect for IST.

ScriptTD Home screen

So if you have been following along this year, you would already realise that developing for Windows Phone requires Vista or Windows 7 based computers. My school has yet to come into this decade re operating systems being stuck on XP. Luckily for my students I have 4 laptops for them to use running Windows 7 along with all the typical designer software. Other then needing Windows 7 (who really still uses Vista?) there are no other required pieces of hardware, you can do all the work in the phone emulator with no need for a phone. I have 2 HTC HD7 Windows Phones so I chose to go a little further.

To complicate things a little further, I was asked to head my schools participation in the DEC’s Google Apps trial. A little unprepared for this I chose to throw Google Apps into the mix for term also. My immediate use for Google Apps with this project would be the collaborative abilities of docs and the ease of use of Google Sites so each of the 4 groups in the class could have a site designed specifically around their tower defense game.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by theMolisticView

December 22nd, 2011 at 2:11 am