Lots of people are interested in my When.End App idea. As I mentioned in previous posts, the app's purpose is to tell the user what the current period is and when the current period ends (during the school day). Initially, I thought that I could use a functionality of the MDUSD's HomeLink system to track what class each student in:
However, after contacting Joshua Wittman, I have found that this "HomeLink" method of tracking classes is not accessible to me. The other method which I had planned was to make a database that is released with the app and updated in updates for the app. In order to make this database, I must access the school's released year calendar. This calendar is not completely accurate, however, so in order to keep it consistent I will have to organize a way for someone to update the database and release the updates for the app.
The database will require a student or staff member to upkeep it, so I am not sure of its status as a permanent solution to not having access to the HomeLink method. I will contact talk to the school administration to see if there are any other systems at the school that have access to day-to-day class schedules (such as the school bells)
In addition to the above mobile app development for android, I have been working on enabling file-uploading using Google Forms. Google Forms is significantly lacking a file-uploading ability. Mr. Tobin wants to allow students and teachers to upload files quickly and easily, and allowing this through Google Forms would satisfy him completely. If you have read my other blog posts, you will notice that I do a lot of work with Google Forms, and I agree with him.
After researching this, I have found that it is impossible to enable a direct "File Upload" button on the Google Form itself. The workaround that I did find was was to make a Google Script that creates an interactive HTML page that contains a file upload input tag.
Mr. Tobin had me apply this to several projects, including a Teacher Curriculum Maps uploader:
For my weekly project two weeks ago, I was tasked with adding a file upload function to a Google Form (an easy-to-make form that records information filled in by a user, hosted by Google). This was to be implemented into the "Submit Assignment" that all of us students use. Previously, we would have to upload the file to Google Drive (an online file storage service hosted by Google) and then submit the share link along with out assignment in the form like this:
It turn out that I cannot implement a file upload option directly into a Google Form. I am surprised that Google Forms lacks this feature (it is very relevant and widely used in forms all over the internet). I would not be surprised, however, if Google is working on implementing this option in the near future; there is plenty of demand! In the meantime, the best I could do is make a web app using Google Scripts. (Google's own programming language that can be used to interact with all of Google's services) The web app is a page that you click to from the main google form. It looks like this:
This specific web app I made in order to allow teachers to upload digital textbooks. David is working with teachers to provide the textbooks that I didn't already collect. Both web apps work by uploading the file provided by the user to the web-app-owner's Google Drive account in an appropriately named folder. The name of the file and its description are set to the information provided by the user in the web app, such as "Textbook Name", "Textbook Description", etc.
In previous posts, I have mentioned how David and I are working on a project to put as many textbooks as possible online and make them easily accessible. I found textbooks for the following classes, after talking to teachers and the school's librarian:
We will work on getting more, and the database will be available on the Northgate Website. The page has not been created as of yet.
The title appears by simply hovering over the teacher's name! Go to the Northgate Staff Directory and hover over a teacher's name to try it yourself! The script accomplishes this by cycling through all the elements that have class="teacher". I have a 2D array filled with all of the teachers' schedules' information (called teacherSchedules).
s The second project (that I completed just two days ago) was an online version of the Northgate Referral Form. Previously, referrals worked by having a teacher fill out an annoying piece of paper, sending it up to the office, and getting the paper lost. Ultimately, the communication involved in the referring process was terrible. To fix this, I wrote a script (in Google's own special programming language) that turns the referral form into a Google Form, and sends concise emails to everyone involved to minimize actual paper being tossed around. My method allows not only for the teacher to get a copy of all the referral information. The Google Form looks like this:
This code formats the email to be sent to the teacher who submitted the referral and the chosen administrator:
This code includes a "confirm action" button for the administrator:
When the administrator clicks "confirm action", they are brought to this page:
Many other high schools are interested in implementing this referral system. Soon I will help them customize it for their schools.
After establishing a concept of my product, I filled out a SMART planning sheet (as shown in my first Bi-Monthly Reflection). This sheet guides me on coming up with specific plans and ideas for the process of completing the app. Even after this, though, I still have a lot of research to do.
The first this to look at was the Android Developer website. I downloaded Android Studio, an Integrated Developer Environment (IDE) for Android App Development based on InteliJ IDEA. I am familiar with InteliJ, so I learned how to use this environment easily.
The first few skills that I learned were creating and starting Activities and creating a GUI on a device screen:
Making and starting a new Activity:
The next step is implementing systems. For When.End, I need to reference whatever resource that HomeLink uses to track which period that students are in at any given time. If I am unable to reference this source, I will have to create my own database of daily school schedules.
This Helpdesk program at Northgate is based on the Barrington Helpdesk program in Massachusetts. At the Barrington school, they have had a lot of success, and here we want to mimic and improve their methods. One of the most important parts of Helpdesk is the ILE (Individual Learning Endeavor). All of us (the students in this class) will pursue something that we are interested in, plan it out effectively, and hopefully accomplish it spectacularly.
To plan out our ILE, we make S.M.A.R.T. goals:
Mr. Tobin even gave us a few examples to inspire us:
1. Help a teacher get their GAFE credential.
2. Plan and carry out a school clean-up day
3. Build a timing booth for the school's track team
4. Create a movie about free things to do in the area to post to YouTube
5. Raise money for Northgate High school
6. Make and send care packages to the troops overseas
7. Build an APP
8. Learn how to Code in different languages (see the codecrawl tab).
9. Build a Northgate Teacher's website.
10. Technologies that can be used in a subject specific classroom
11. Learn how to cook meals with and for your parents (choose one night a week).
12. Create a movie by writing a script, filming, and editing.
13. Build a tutorial website for Special Ed.
13. Create and print 3D objects for educational use in Science, Math etc
The planning process includes:
Each week, we complete weekly reflections to track our progress. At larger intervals, we will plan out the implementation and pitching as shown above. I am looking forward to working on my own project, and I think that it will give me a chance to contribute to the progress of each student at Northgate High School.
So, today I created this Weebly powered website. It was relatively easy to make; I've used Weebly before and I have some experience with web design. I don't know if I'll add much more to the this site – as of now it has a 'Home', 'Blog', 'About', and 'Contact'. I'm not sure if I even want to keep the contact part either. Perhaps if we get specific contacts setup for our position in the class, then I can put that there. I have included the @NorthgateHS twitter widget. I have experience with that too, so it wasn't a struggle. I may try to add some fun side things to this, but not to much. Don't worry, it will stay pretty minimalist.