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Category Archives: Teaching

Almost a year ago, I attended a free workshop event at Motueka – Rail Girls Motueka. It was wonderful! Lots of people interested in IT and lots of people supporting girls in IT. We had fun, cupcakes, and plenty of hands-on practice when it comes to computers, coding, and IT in general. I was toying with the idea of ‘learning to code’ so when the opportunity for a weekend workshop came up, I thought I’d check it out, to see what all the fuss was about. Read More »

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Yes! I’ve got it! I can’t believe it! I can’t believe that only few months ago I was thinking of ways to subscribe to LiveCode. Only to realise that I wasn’t able to, financially speaking. And just an hour ago, I downloaded the Open Source version and started playing around!

Now, I have no excuses, I must create my first app! I’ve certainly told enough number of people!

I must admit, the learning curve is somewhat steep, to say the least. So, in order to get inspired, I went back to RunRev’s blog and came across the Why Girls Don’t Code article. I can’t really answer the question, which is actually negative. But I can answer why I code. Well, it’s all thanks to my High School teachers! Yep, I can’t mention their names but I owe it to them. My maths teacher in Junior High told me that I was clever enough to go to the ‘top’ maths class, provided I did all the work. When I finally did, my new maths teacher told me that I could enter the national maths competition. On both occasions, it was my teachers who told me I could do it, not me. I was still trying to find myself…

One day, my senior school teacher, took us into a small classroom, full of Apple II’s, all 5 of them! We had to take turns to ‘play’ with them. Yes, I remember my BASIC, and I remember getting excited over a few lines of code. But I think it was what I could do with the code that tickled my fancy.

Few decades later, I can finally begin to really ‘play’ with this magic! I can make a spell! Harry Potter has nothing on this one 😉

How can I thank my school teachers who believed in me? How can I return the ‘magic’? Should I just pass it onto others?

 

Ready for Action

iPads all lined-up for the recording of student interviews – all 60 of them!

Rule #1 – make sure you have a good connection to wifi

Rule #2 – you have a good back-up, if you can’t have #1

All in all, the 5-min interviews went well, the students are happy. Now, the links to the videos will be sent out to each of the 60 students. The original plan was to have each student upload his/her video to the individual YouTube account…It wasn’t meant to be 😦

Why can’t we have a  good great internet connection in NZ? Why?

…keeps the doctor away

When somebody claims something like “Everybody in the world can code”, well, I need to check it out! Using LiveCode is a bit like designing a website using Dreamweaver. I still haven’t learned how to write HTML but I could put a very basic, mostly static website together in a day or two. I don’t wish to brag, but I think anybody could code and should really have a go at it at least once. Why? Just for fun! Or in some cases, for necessity. Similar to knowing how to change a flat tyre. You never know when you’ll need it.

Why am I putting myself through this torturous process, you may ask – learning to develop an app, not changing tyres that is. Partly to quench my thirst for curiosity, partly to pay for all the apps I’ve purchased! But mostly because I can’t find the app I’m looking for. (No, I won’t tell you exactly what it is yet. You just have to wait and see it on the app store. I’ve probably already given away that it’ll be iOS-based, though it could easily be deployed onto Android (check out the RunRev site for more details) .

Wouldn’t it be great if you could create your own apps? When you come up with an idea, concept or a solution to a problem, you just put it together and voila! Wouldn’t it be great if  High School students could develop their own games? Wouldn’t it be great if, as a teacher, you could prepare your own app with your lesson plan? Wouldn’t it be great if…?

Don’t take just my word for it. Developing apps is not as daunting as it may sound. There’s even a video that says so – What most schools don’t teach. (Why most schools don’t teach it is the subject of another blog entry. Similar to not teaching languages in elementary schools, despite having a national language policy. And once you turn 5, you start acquiring languages, rather than learning them.  But that’s another blog entry…)

In summary, keep watching the training videos and reading the Beginner’s Guide, wait for the Open Source version of LiveCode and keep on dreaming 🙂