SH week 4

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Session 7:

Today I started off by introducing the new features on AIA. I asked the class if anyone has been on to AIA since the new release (RC 7) and only a few of them have. So I decided to go into more detail about them and showed a few videos of apps on the market that implemented those features (image picker, speech to text converter, etc.). I took 5 minutes to show them a demo of an musical app I made, "Clarinet". I quickly walked them through the steps I took in the Application Designer and Blocks Editor. This app really made an impression and got some of the students excited.

We then moved on to brainstorm ideas again, a continuation from week 1. Many ideas got tossed around but by the end of the session many of them wanted to work on games. For the exception of one team, the rest of them knew which direction they were headed. After this, we moved on to creating mock-ups. Some of them found it easier to begin with concept maps while others went straight to drawing visuals. This activity took up the rest of the session and I asked them to continue working at home.

Some observations:

  1. Some of them are very keen to start their own app but they just don't know where to start.
  2. They have the mentality that it is too hard and they need help even if they don't.
  3. Some of them are too dependent on their partner and haven't explored AIA on their own. We should consider 
     instituting mandatory role changes to overcome this (i.e. the navigator becomes the driver and vice versa). 


  1. They get excited but then lose interest very quickly if we don't give them something to do. 
  2. Our sessions are scheduled late in the afternoon as this is an after school-activity. This has proven to be a 
     greater challenge in the later weeks as many of them are already exhausted at the beginning of the session.

Session 8:

This session continues on from our previous session with creating mock-ups. The students seem to have settled on the apps they would like to pursue. These ideas are very different from what was brainstormed before (see SH_week_1) and is not their first preference.

  Projects the teams are working on:
     1. musical intruments (three pairs of students are interested in this) 
     2. restaurant preorder
     3. kill your ex game
     4. tap tap your face game
     5. celebrity whack-a-mole game
     6. tap tap tap game
     7. bubblehead game

Before we continued on with the mock-ups, I showed them some slides with examples of bad user interface design to stress the importance of mobile user experience. I also reminded them to explore the market to see what's already out there.

Some observations:

  1. While things seem to be progressing forward in class, my concern is that not much is happening outside of class time.
  2. Many teams are only concentrating on projects which they deem easy and exercising a small amount of functionality. 
     They haven't explored all the components yet. My guess is that they're picking functions based on things they already 
     know from doing the tutorials or have seen from demos we showed.
  3. They see the components but do not really understand how they connect to the blocks.
  4. Some students lose interest when they do not interact with the rest of the class. The year 10 students seemed less engaged.
     Perhaps because majority of the class are year 9 students? 


  1. Some of the students are still very distracted by the phones instead of doing work. 
     We have to tell a few of them to put down the phone.
  2. We have to workshop their ideas and look at what's doable. They've many great ideas but some of them haven't gone 
     through the process of mapping out how to actually do it.
  3. If they have a fear that it is too hard, they won't even try it. We need to encourage them more here to try new things.
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