Archive for January, 2013

Corona – the continuing saga.

January 30, 2013

So I am starting to cook along with the Corona programming class.  Lots of teething issues.  I have a rather hodge-podge collection of computers in the programming lab and some of them do not have a video card that meets Corona’s openGL 1.3 requirement.  Run down to the big lab, swap old POS with newer (only 6 years old) computer and problem solved.  Since I want the kids to learn how to install the software I have to make them local administrators on the computer they are working on.  I want them to save their programs on Google Drive so kids that do not use Google Drive have to test the login and password I gave them and learn how to use Google Drive.  Some of the kids are using their own laptops, which I want, but there are some issues there.  One kid’s laptop thinks there is a second monitor plugged into it when there isn’t and keeps opening Corona on the non-existent screen.  At least that is what I think is happening; the second Corona window in the task bar but not anywhere else we can find.  So we are having fun.

I have started on a syllabus for the course and intend to update it as I test it against reality as opposed to imagination.  I am also dinking with the format which is why the columns are there at the end.  The other programming teacher in the school can spell Corona but that is about his total knowledge on the subject.  He is going to try and follow my syllabus.  Poor sucker.

No matter how this works out this year, I will not be bored.

 

 

Programming with Corona Syllabus

Resources

1      “Beginning Mobile App Development with Corona” by Brian Burton, Ed.D.  (BMADC)

2      http://masteringcoronasdk.com/course-game-dev-crash-course/

3      “Corona SDK Mobile Game Development_ Beginner’s Guide” by Michelle Fernandez.

4      http://developer.coronalabs.com/resources/apis/

Progression

1 hr – Pre-preliminary Tasks (teacher must do):

Give students local admin privileges on the computer they are going to be working on.

If BYOD be sure computer has the capability of running Corona SDK.

Build group for class in Google Apps.

Teach Google Apps if necessary.

Share documents with students.

Check videos from Crash Course will play.

Describe course to students.

 

1 hr- Preliminary Tasks (students can do):

Build Corona account (need email address).

Install Java JDK

Install Corona SDK.

Install NotePad++ or Outlaw SDK

Build file storage on Google Drive. (You want to do this for grading purposes.)

Setup dual computers/monitors.  Not a requirement but sure make life easy.

Share resource documents with students.

2 hrs – BMADC ch 1

Extra Teaching Topics:

Corona file management – all needs in one folder

Three windows – Terminal, Simulator, NotePad++

Terminal window error statements

2 hrs – BMADC ch 2.  Do projects at end of chapter.

2-4 hrs – Crash Course.  Build project as the videos play.

3 hrs – BMADC ch 3.  Do projects at end of chapter.

 

 

Hours Task Resource
1-2 Pre-preliminary   Tasks (teacher must do):

Give students   local admin privileges on the computer they are going to be working on.

If BYOD be   sure computer has the capability of running Corona SDK.

Build group   for class in Google Apps.

Teach Google   Apps if necessary.

Share   documents with students.

Check videos   from Crash Course will play.

 

 
     
     
     
     
     

 

 

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Back to Corona

January 18, 2013

Well I am back to Corona SDK this semester.  As usual I will be patching various things together to make a course.  I used Brian Burton’s material last year with some success but the level is a little bit high for a Programming II course.  I want to teach fundamentals of programming along with the fundamentals of Corona so I need to flesh out his material quite a bit and build more exercises.  I have also found some videos titled Game Development Crash Course.  These are actually very good.  These particular videos are free and do not go very far but they are great beginner material to get the kids seeing possibilities.  The site does sell a whole series of videos for the higher level.  I am usually not impressed with video tutorials, I prefer a textbook, but these are not bad in the “put-me-to-sleep to learn-something” ratio.  This year I want to spend time building exercises that target particular programming skills, i.e. For loops, If statements, global vs local variables and so on.  The trick is to keep the game direction going.  The kids will spend hours getting a stupid little ball bouncing around the screen just the way they want it so I have to get the tools they need to do this lined up.  It is amazing how much time is involved in this writing process.  Those that write books on this stuff must not have a life.

Now for the way off-topic direction for a programming and education blog.  I start building my new bike today.  I bought a Norco Sight 27.5 and the bike arrived at the shop yesterday.  I am doing some modifications to make it lighter and to suit my riding style.  I hit 60 in November so this will probably be my last hard core mountain bike so I am dumping some money into it.  Something of interest to the math geeks out there is the math involved in bikes now-a-days.  There are three wheel sizes available, 26in, 27.5in and 29in, all with their particular pros and cons.  The mathematics involved in rolling resistance, gyroscopic effect involved with larger wheel sizes, gearing and frame geometry requirements is not for the uneducated.  Of course it is going to be at least 2 months before I get to ride the thing without freezing body parts.