Wednesday, March 8, 2017

APP-lying the Problem-solving Process

I'm wrapping up Unit 1 of CSDiscoveries with lessons 8 and 9 that really complement one another well. With lesson 8, we spent time considering the input and output of apps and whether input comes from the user, internet, or smartphone. Students spent time considering what information is input to the smartphone, what problem the app is trying to solve, what information is process by the smartphone, and what information is output to the smartphone. 
With lesson 9, I initially thought that my students may be a little disappointed that they were not actually going to code their app, but they ended up having a great time. I really tried to focus them on applying the problem-solving process that we've been focusing on all unit to their app concept creation and then also ensuring that they included input, output, storage, processing on their posters. During the making of the posters, I tried to bring up algorithms again and apply this to their app concepts. For example with Coupon Clicker, students came up with the idea that information as input would be provided regarding the user's favorite places to shop and weekly coupons would then be emailed to the user. 
The most fun I had was hearing the students' presentations. After each group presented, I had the class give them two stars and a wish. Listening to the wishes was my favorite part. The constructive feedback that students provided was amazing. For instance, with the Coupon Clicker, the students who created it only included it for use with household items and a 'wish' was for the app to include deals for movies, entertainment, amusement parks, and more. 
I've attached some of the posters in this post.
Watch Dog - to replace the 'lost pet' posters hanging on neighborhood mailboxes and to be used together with a pet-tracking device possibly
Coupon Clicker - coupons customized and emailed to ones' inbox according to a personalized schedule (e.g. once a week) and selection of stores to save people from clipping and losing coupons
Apple a Day - health tracker to combat the problem of obesity - tracks amount eaten, makes recommendations, etc.

And more...