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.