What am I working on?

Well, thanks for asking yourself that question, Jordan! Allow me to respond… I just updated my post on the “projects” I am currently working on. I am reasonably happy with my educational progress, and I think in the next few weeks I will have a prototype version of my web application. Here is a link to your original post for reference:

http://jordanrhea.com/?p=173

Web development tutorial projects I am working on…

I have a number of things that I want to do in the realm of web development, unfortunately all of my ideas require some knowledge. So here is my current study schedule. Previous projects are going to be left as-is for now.

  1. Python and Flask
    • Start working on the microblog app from the Flask Megatutorial. This will give a greater understanding of how the various aspects of Flask work with each other. Especially creating a system with logins and managing sessions. UPDATE: Currently only on step 3 of this project. Starts pretty easily. I actually understand everything I am reading! We will see how long that keeps up…
    • Complete this tutorial about setting up a static site. Each tutorial configures Flask just a little bit differently, and I think it is important to do this several times in order to get a better understanding of how the framework operates. UPDATE: Started this tutorial at discoverflask.com. I think the explanations are really clear and applicable to my own projects.
    • Use this video about using Google Spreadsheets as a database with python. Hopefully this can be the basis for a simple gradebook application.
  2. HTML/CSS – Finished!
    • Finish the basic web development track on Codeacademy. I am currently about halfway through this course and finding it to be mostly review for me with very little new information, but helpful nevertheless. UPDATE: Finished this course! I am still having trouble getting CSS to display perfectly, but I have a much better idea of how Bootstrap works on the projects that I have done so far.
  3. Javascript
    • Once you have finished the HTML/CSS review, go onto the assignments suggested by /r/learnjavascript.
    • Here is a link to Javascript: The Definitive Guide
    • UPDATE: Almost finished with the Codecademy course on Javascript and jQuery. I realized that I have some great ideas for projects with Javascript, but I want to keep going with Python for a little longer. At least until some of the project ideas I have are underway.

I will probably jump around on this list, but I wanted to get it written down so I have a place to come back and check things off as I finish them.

The Next Step…

I am going to take a step back from Unity for a few weeks. The last game that I completed took me a long time to figure out because of a few fundamental gaps in my understanding of programming languages. So, I am going to spend a few weeks playing around with the Python language. There seem to be a ton of interesting things that I can do with this language. The list I have generated so far (in no particular order):

  1. Use python to search the internet for articles related to education and technology. Use them to make posts that link to the original article.
  2. Search Google images for a list of vocabulary words and save the first 5-10 images in a directory with the keyword as the filename/foldername. I would use these images as backgrounds for Kahoot questions. This would automate one of the more annoying parts of creating Kahoot quizzes for my students.
  3. Possibly, use python to automate the entire process of creating a Kahoot quiz. I’m not sure how feasible this is, but it is a goal to work towards. If I can just streamline the process a little bit, that would be ideal.
  4. Use python to search the web for posts about teaching various objectives. Find those articles/posts/ideas and scrub them for keywords and prepare them as posts. I would then link them from this website, and use the keywords generated as tags on my post. Ultimately creating a working database of resources that can be used in planning lessons.
  5. Make daily posts from my lesson plans in CommonTeaching in a more readable format.

I have a long way to go with this, but it is nice to have a goal to start with and work from there. As I am getting into Python it seems like a very versatile language, capable of performing lots of tasks that would eliminate a lot of the mundane aspects of being a teacher.

Progress

Here is the first real thing that I have created with Unity. There is no sound, no end, and nothing extremely interesting in the game. However, it is an example of me being able to take the things that I learned in the Space Shooter Tutorial and apply them to my own ideas. I really just watched the videos and then tried to recreate something with my own ideas and using the code to fit my own needs. I had to solve several problems along the way. The rotation of prefab quads caused me an annoyance. Also, getting the score to count only when the player collider made contact was difficult. I managed to solve these problems and for now I am done with this. I am going to move onto another tutorial and see what I can create next. This has motivated me to do an actual C# coding tutorial. I think that would really help me to understand the basic concepts behind object oriented programming.

Trashcat Alley Game

*Just a few notes of things that I would have done if knew how…

  • Animate the cats to run across the screen
  • Multiple cat models
  • Tether the player model to a certain point so when releasing the movement keys, he would return to a fixed point.
  • Increasingly difficult waves of cats