EducationThe Putnam Examiner

Carmel Middle School Technology Students Become App Creators

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Seventh graders at George Fischer Middle School.

Seventh-graders at George Fischer Middle School can add mobile app creators to their résumés after a successful quarter in Jeff Naso’s app creation class.  

Students learned that there is not always “an app for that” in the mobile app landscape. 

The quarterly class took students through the entire app creation process starting with gaining an understanding of programming language and elements. Students then learned how to program actions, design layouts, utilize global variables, create and embed audio files and more through a variety of tasks.  

“Every assignment teaches a different aspect of coding. Every one of these is like a training piece,” said Naso. “Digital Doodle teaches them about events and how to draw on the screen; Count Me In teaches them about global variables.” 

The capstone assignment: designing their own fully functioning app prototype. Before designing an app, students had to identify an unmet need in the mobile app landscape. 

Student Kayden Delamere designed an app that would teach young children about shapes, colors and music. Her app allows users to tap different shapes on the screen and hear the shape name and color. Additionally, her app included a basic introduction to musical notes and the piano through a keyboard on the app screen – a personal touch since she is a pianist. 

Delamere said the most challenging part of the process for her was recording the custom sounds used in her app. Delamere was able to make her original design sketch a reality and even had ideas on how to take her app to the next level by turning the app into a game. 

“Mr. Naso and I discussed adding text to the top of the screen that would pop up and say, ‘pick the red triangle.’ If you pick the right one, then confetti would pop up and say ‘correct’ and you would score a point,” she said. 

Student Janice Garcia also brought her personal experiences into creating her app, which focused on teaching Spanish and English language. 

“I speak Spanish, so I decided to create an app that teaches Spanish through a learning game and writing activity,” said Garcia. “My audience is Spanish speakers who are new to America, or who want to learn more English. This app can make learning fun.” 

Her plans included two different learning opportunities: a game where users match English or Spanish words to the corresponding word in the other language, and a writing challenge where the user translates a word and writes it with their finger on the screen. Garcia’s plans would allow the app to work for English to Spanish and Spanish to English, which would also make it useful for English speakers to use the app to learn Spanish. 

Other student app designs included a basketball game where users scored points if they could slide the ball into a hoop, an Atari-inspired pong game, a color-matching game and more. 

By the end of the quarter, students could now say that there is “an app for that” after all, because they created it! 

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