Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Create Close Reading Activities for Your Students in LiveCode

Something I read this morning got me thinking about “close reading” activities for students. There are many different examples of them. I thought I’d take a few minutes to code up and example using LiveCode. I tried to add comments in the code as much as possible. The code is in the button, “Create Activity” and there is one function in the card script. (You will need to download the free LiveCode Community Version to open this project.)

This little example is just a quick prototype. It is not finished but could be easily taken and built upon.

I can envision this being used a teacher tool that creates close reading activities for students. Teachers could create entire collections of these activities and then store the students results. The main idea was something that was simple and quick for teachers to use.

The large top left field is where the teacher pastes the student reading selection. I should warn you that none of the text fields are protected (locked) so you can accidentally delete content or resize objects etc. If you mess something up, you can always download another copy.

The button titled, “Create Activity” is where the magic happens. After you have pasted your text selection, clicking the Create Activity button start the activity. A series of three buttons is created each containing a random word from the text selection. One of the words in the text selection has been replaced with a blank line, “*______*.” The student is responsible for selecting the correct word from the three choices (buttons).

There are many ways this activity could be tweaked to provide a different flavor of activity. Hopefully it will give you some ideas. The LiveCode project is available here: “Another Close Reading Activity Build in LiveCode.”

Just another simple example of some of the things you can do with LiveCode :)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Google Apps GAFE Account Creator App - Built With LiveCode

Just a quick example of where learning how to code can help you get the things you need to do everyday done a little quicker. I often get requests from teachers for additional Google Apps Accounts. These can come in at all times of the day when teachers are diving into activities in Google Apps with their students and they may get a new student. It’s not always convenient to login into the Google Apps administration panel and create a single student account. Plus, if you’re using the command line app GAM (Google Apps Management), you have to type in the GAM command and then the second command for moving the student into the correct Organizational Unit. This process can get old quickly.

So to facilitate the creation of new, one-off student accounts, I created the OOGAG application. The One-Off GAFE Account Generation (OOGAG) tool. This tool was created with my favorite program development tool, LiveCode. I use a feature in LiveCode that allows me to integrate GAM. The OOGAG application essentially creates the GAM script using a GUI (graphic user interface) I created and then calls on GAM to create the GAFE (Google Apps For Education) account.

If you choose to try out the tool, be sure to install GAM and follow the directions for allowing it Google Apps permissions, etc.

You can download OOGAG here. This version of the application is uncompiled so you will need the Community Edition of LiveCode to run the application. Feel free to open the hood and poke around in the code. This uncompiled version will open in Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux.