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DREU Blog: Week 4

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Monday, June 7th

Today I started a new math world. It uses a coordinate system. There was another coordinate system world on the 2008 website. In that world, there are invisible objects at each coordinate spot to keep track of where the user clicked the grid. It seemed kind of innefficient to me to do that. So, in my world, I used the a different method that should hopefully work better. It took a while to figure out a way that would work, but now that I know, it is easier. I think I will make a tutorial on just how to use coordinates in Alice. Then I will have another world that uses that. It will be for students learning how to plot lines. They will have to first drag a a ball to the point where the y-intercept should be, then drag another ball to where the next point should be depending on the slope. Then, if they are correct, a line will be drawn. I might add a short lesson at the beginning that explains how to plot lines. I'm thinking that this all might just be a sample world or another tutorial to do after the first coordinates tutorial I make.

Tuesday, June 8th

Today I added a little more to the plotting a line world. Then I made another world which is basically a simplified version where the player just has to plot a point. As I was making it, I saved screen shots and started writing a tutorial. Then I did parts two and three of Liz's tutorial to test them out.

Wednesday, June 9th

Today I got some feedback via email from Professor Rodger on my cooking show tutorial. So I went through and made some changes. Its amazing how sometimes it seems to take as long to edit a tutorial as it does to write it. I uploaded the worlds and tutorials and worlds I have been working on.

Professor Rodger has been out of town but today she came back so we met with her and talked about what we're working on. After talking to her, I have a lot of ideas for things I can work on now. She also brought some junior high level Math and Spanish books. The first workshop starts next week so we have some preparing to do for that

There was a speaker at lunch today. She was a grad student doing research with computer vision and motion tracking. This is used in things like cameras that detect where a face is or take pictures only once everyone is smiling. It can also be used to create 3D representations of objects. It interesting to learn how some of those things work.

Thursday June 10th

Today I made a couple of small changes to my cooking tutorial and uploaded the new ppt, pdf, and alice world. It was mainly adding background scenery so it doesn't just look like another Alice world.

I also modified the plotting a line world. The teacher in the world now gives more explanation on how to plot a line and goes step by step through it while the player plots the line. Professor Rodger also suggested that I make another world using the point plotting technique besides just the line plotting. I am making one where a biker is being timed as he goes past four numbered markers. The goal is to predict when the player will pass the 10th marker. They first have to plot each of the time vs. location points on a plane. Then a best fit line will be drawn and the player plots a point where he thinks the player will pass the 10th marker. Right now all i have in the world is a biker riding while a timer goes and a table displayed with the different points. At first I was going to use a runner instead of a biker but then decided it would take to long to make a run method. The biking method still took a while to make it look somewhat realistic.

I made some modifications to my order of operations world. First I added a little celebratory dance and flip that the teacher does once the player solves the problem. A congratulations message is displayed flashing different colors in the background. I started trying to think of some ideas to make the game simpler also. I want to make it so that the teacher can easily modify the world to use a different equation. It would be nice too if the student could do that too.

After work, Liz and I went down to the Duke Immersive Virtual Environment (DIVE) which was basically a room with screens for each wall, the ceiling, and floor. You wear 3D glasses while in it and they have different scenes they put you in. There was a fun one wear you are in a kitchen and are given the task of finding keys and a cell phone in ten minutes. You can pick things up and move them around and open cupboards and drawers. It was definately a mess when the ten minutes were up. Thankfully, there's no cleaning up to do in a virtual world.

Friday June 11th

Today I made some modifications to 3 of my worlds. First, I worked on my order of operations world. I wanted it to be easy to change to another equation. The only way I could think of to do that was to add lots of parameters to the method. There are 7 of them right now and I think it should work. Then I set it up so after you solve the first equation, he tells you how to create another one to solve.

I also made some changes to my plotting a line world. I now have it so that there are multiple equations it gives you. Before you play the world, you can change the equations by just changing the numbers in one spot to change the equation. You can also set how much instruction you want given for each equation

I worked a lot on my plotting world for the biker. Now the biker gives and explanation and bikes past the first four markers. Then it moves to a grid where you have to plot the points which are displayed in a table. I only have it set up to check the first point. I think it should be pretty easy to change though

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