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Tackling Wicked Problems with my Students During a Pandemic

Some of you may know that one of the central components in my Code+Design class at York is the design thinking process. For those unfamiliar with that, it is a system developed out of Stanford University and other design studios to solve problems. This is Wikipedia’s definition : Design thinking encompasses processes such as context analysis, problem finding and framing, ideation and solution generating, creative thinking, sketching and drawing, modeling and prototyping, testing and evaluating. Core features of design thinking include the abilities to: resolve ill-defined or 'wicked' problems adopt solution-focused strategies use abductive and productive reasoning employ non-verbal, graphic/spatial modeling media, for example, sketching and prototyping. Wicked problems Design thinking is especially useful when addressing problems which are wickedly difficult, in the sense of being ill-defined or tricky, not malicious. Horst Rittel and Melvin Webber contrasted these with "t
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I Stopped Using this Google Docs Feature

Sorry, that was a click-bait headline, wasn't it? At least I won't make you click 17 times to get to the point. It's the "Add a note" feature that pops up when sharing a Google Doc. Is it useful,? Of course. Does it have a fatal flaw? I think so. When I provide comments, context, or instructions using this feature, I get no record that I sent it. So when I need to follow up to make sure a colleague has taken on a task, I can't tell for sure what I've sent using this method. Maybe I wrote poor instructions or failed to write the instructions at all. If I provide instructions here, I'll never be sure what I sent because there is no way to track these down. I guess I could share it with another account of mine, but that seems too clumsy. Instead, I just share and use the comments feature in the doc itself. I'm sure to tag the person in the comment to be sure they get a notification using the @ or + symbol before the email address. Google Docs

Beyond Choose Your Own Adventure: Branching Logic for Deep Understanding and Empathy

Many in the EdTech community have been exposed to various ways students and teachers can use Google Forms, Sites, Dos, Slides, and other platforms to create interactive branching logic “choose your own adventure” style activities. I’d like to take the conversation deeper to explore how this kind of technology can do more than create interactive narratives and how it can teach challenging science topics, how it can simplify complex math concepts, and how it can build empathy to broaden our students’ understanding of world cultures. What is Branching Logic? To get a sense of how branching logic works, play this simple Oregon Trail ripoff game designed using Google Slides. Notice how you start with a choice to make, and the outcome changes based on what "branch" you choose? Anyone can easily build these kinds of web experiences as long as you know that you can link any object (including a text box) to another slide in the deck. Select the object and then insert > link

Make Apps ... Slide Apps and Site Apps One of my favorite methods of creating mobile apps is using Google Slides. Try the Can-I-Watch-TV? app Play The Oregon Trail Click here to play on your phone or tablet. Here's a slide deck that covers more.  Animal Tracking App Post your app here! The Syrian Journey The Immigrant's Journey How to map these out? Flowcharts!

Anyone can make an Android App

Android App Inventor 1. Go to and bookmark 2. Start a new project     "grumpyapp" (no spaces or symbols) 3. Drag a button into your screen 4. Make the button this image. 5. Download these MP3 files.   meow  and  hiss . upload it as a new sound in App Inventor. 6. If you have an Android device, get the  A12 Companion App for Android  and c onnect your Android to the computer. 7. If you don't have an Android device, get this  chrome app  and install  this apk .  8. Go to "Blocks" and create this. MITs Android App Inventor Get the App! Connect Android Device to Computer over WIFI Get the Moto E Animal Dashboard Video You need this cat. Right click [save image as]. And you need the meow at the bottom of this page. Hello Purr Instructions Magic 8 Ball Instructions The App Inventor YouTube Channel Publ