Alright, let us try and understand what Let's App! is all about. Buzzwords: Two outstanding schools, two classes of extraordinary pupils and a very special school year filled with hands-on cooperative app developing experience. Alas, the complete story is too long for any kind of telling. Therefore, I kindly recommend to your attention a following timeline featuring the most important events of our joyful journey.
Let's App! Timeline
Stage one: Team up!
Our students reached out to each other using various communication channels. To get aquainted quickly, they all created a very short personal ad with PowToon, featuring their interests and posted pictures of themselves online. By matching pictures and personal ads, a story and a face was fitted to each previously mysterious participants' name. Finally, teams of like-minded but diverse people were formed with minimum teacher interfierence. It was now time, to start the teams working.
Resources: Activity Blog
Stage Two: The Brand
As a warm-up exercise to facilitate teamwork, but also to create a highly productive environment we staged a logo design competition. Newly formed teams came up with their designs and elected one to become an official Let's App! project logo. You can see the winner on the left. Marketing is an essential part of any business, app development notwithstanding so we continued to put emphasis and self-presentation throughout the project, but more on that later. The graphics were developed primarily in Canva web utility. As a leisure activity, our students came back to it before the Winter Holidays to create stunning holiday greetings cards (see resources).
Resources: Winning design HD | Vote results | Greeting card example
Stage Three: Scary Made Playful
With the teams buzzing with excitement and communication channels established the time has come to begin with the real deal: app development. By introducing our students to MIT App Inventor 2 we took all unnecessary stress out of the process and focused on the creative, awesome part of app making. In a series of exercises our students learned how to operate the developer tools, how to break down a complex problem into a simple algorithm and finally, how to implement it by the means of a working Android app. Step by step, from user interface to coded functionality, first apps were concieved.
To make the often complex mechanisms sink in easily, students created ilustrated step-by-step tutorials for themselves. These turned out to be excellent reference material and also a great source for further Let's App! participants.
"Introduce Yourself" app example | "Whack a Ghost" app example | "Whack a Ghost" app tutorial example | "Whack a Ghost" app tutorial example
Stage Four: App-lied Mathematics
Having managed to produce simple entertaining apps we have challenged our students to create an app that would help them solve mathematical problems. Find roots for second degree equations, utilize pythagorean theorem to compute lengths of triangle edges and last but not least, create a simple calculator from the scratch.
Tutorial Example 1 | Tutorial Example 2 | Tutorial Example 3
Stage Five: Show the World
Being pretty confident in our app developing skills by now, our students were challenged with a task of advertizing their achivements, their schools, the Let's App project, and even eTwinning itself. Quickly a consensus was made: there will be a series of videos published on Youtube to show the world what we do, and how much fun we have doing it. You can find some of these videos embedded below.
Stage Six: Freedom of Awesome
For the final app, each team was given an opprotunity to make an app of their choosing where only their imagination is the limit.
Games were a popular choice, but guitar tuner and metronome apps came along. There is also a virtual visit of ČAG apps soon to be published.
Final App Examples:
Piano and Guitar App and Tutorial
Metronome App and Tutorial
Two Games and Tutorial
Virtual Walk Through ČAG - extra app
Stage Seven: A Moment of Selfreflection
The participants reflected upon what they learned a what can be changed to make Let's App! even better for a possible Let's App! 2.0. Some of that discussion took form of an online questionaire results of which you can display in graphic form here.
We asked our students to write a few sentenses about what the project meant to them. The ease of app development was most astonishing to our students. Opportunities to communicate with people from different cultures and to express own creative ideas were also often appreciated.
The best thing of the project for me was the comunication with people of another country. If one day I have to do a simple app, I can do it with any problem.
I had fun doing the final app because I put everything I had learnt from the other apps into the last one. The experience of meeting new people in a different way and having the chance to work with them.
Even though we had fun and learnt a lot, after some thought ideas came up concerning what we could do better. One issue stood out: technology, however advanced cannot replace human contact. Sometimes it's just better to sit down together and get brainstorming.
I think we should try to improve the communication between the two schools. Sometimes it has been difficult to talk to our abroad team-mates.
I would like to meet with them face to face!
The project participants from J. BAU (left) and from ČAG (right).
Congratulations to all!!
We got the eTwinning Quality Label!!