Monday, April 14, 2014

Peter's Formative Project / Blog Post

The past two weeks have been spent on some of the finer details of my model. From rear-end engines to just creating basic shapes for the eventual details, the weeks have gone by pretty quick. The main model aspect that was the most challenging was the creation of a pneumatic piece of the model that had to attach to the back of the ship and to a floating object. The actual creation of shapes was easy, but connecting them together. However, the actual model itself looks quite bland from behind due to the stark lack of engines and other details.

The concept has very highly detailed engines and rocket pods hanging off of the wings and textures throughout the wings. As I have not gotten to these yet, it is hard to see the final product in what I have created so far. Hopefully when the engines come into being it will start to look like a real spaceship. The front end already looks really nice, and I added a beam to the very back end that really ties in the small details that I have added this week. This model is starting to come along nicely and I cannot wait until I have completed the model.

Ian's Formative Project / Blog Post

Last week at the Help Desk I finished the model for my robot. Since it was actually the
first humanoid model I’ve ever made I decided to try and learn how to Rig it. Rigging seems to
be a tedious and intense process from what I’ve heard, but it’s easy to explain. If you think of the
model as the muscles of a character, then the rig is the character’s skeleton. If properly set up, a
rig can allow you to grab a joint and move an arm quickly rather than having to slide and rotate
the shapes of the arm one at a time.

A screenshot showing the model posed for rigging and a very basic rig of an arm.
Like I said, I know very little about rigging right now. Right now I’m searching for
tutorials and examples to work off of. But from what I’ve seen to start rigging I may have to
work on some other skills as well, like grouping the shapes to stay organized. I may not even
finish the rig of this model during this course, but if I can teach myself the basics I’ll be satisfied.

Sara's Formative Project / Blog Post

Hey Everyone! I finally finished designing the new beachside bakers logo and banner! Also I am continuing to work on putting information into the website and upload pictures. Soon I am hoping to buy the domain name and release the website to the public! Also, on Sunday I competed in the Cake War at Cakes for Occasions in Danvers, MA. Please vote for me! All you have to do is “like” this picture on Facebook (link).

John Makiej's Formative Project / Blog Post

Over the past month I have been working on a basic html website highlighting what I have
learned in HTML 5 with a dragon theme. Things such as paragraphs, headers, hyperlinks, embed code,
and a little bit of css here and there. I finally finished my website and am now pondering how to present
my website. My main idea is to showcase it through a powerpoint to show to Mr.Downs. After I present
the powerpoint I plan on making a less comical site. I am still thinking of ideas for the site. After that I
will probally present the new website through another powerpoint.

Crispin's Formative Project / Blog Post

During my time at the help desk, I have been studying  a programming language called Java.  I have learned enough to create two simple programs:  The Hello World program, and a program designed to drive the user crazy by having the user enter an infinite amount of numbers but making it seem like the computer will
eventually do something with them.

Learning is slow, and I have only memorized a few terms used in the language.  My prediction is that by the end of the year, I will be able to program simple things like calculators, and other things that don’t need internet in order to work, and nothing more.  The help desk itself has been okay even though there aren’t many people there on gold days.  I look forward to more time at the help desk, and I hope I  will accomplish more than I expect to.

Katherine's Formative Project / Blog Post

Things have been going really well so far! Learning HTML has been a  long project, but I think I’m almost at the point where I can make something that looks semi-legitimate. I say almost, because at this point I have a good grasp on a fair amount of the basic html-- but there’s still a large difference between theoretically knowing and actually doing. Sure, I can execute examples of the skills in isolated environments (check out that pointlessly elaborate nested table I created!), but I have still had very little practice in putting it all together, mainly because I don’t have a driving concept for my work. I guess I never really considered making a website, because originally I had my heart set on this whole “interactive infographic” idea, but such is the nature of an exploratory project, I guess! Unfortunately, now that I see how far off from my initial idea I am, I’ve reached a bit of a conceptual standstill. Code writer’s block, if you will. I definitely need to regroup, refocus, and re-plan, though the lack of inspiration is certainly not helping.

Until I reach a point of resolution on the creative front, I’ll continue working on learning new concepts and such from w3 schools. There’s always more to learn, and I should probably start working on external css and/or javascript soon, too. Plus, now that I’ve gotten oriented with html, I can now open up the page sources for any websites I find interesting, and use them as a learning opportunity. With every different website examined, I become aware of many more aspects of html-- yet another exciting but daunting prospect.
Though there are many variable aspects to my project right now, one thing is for certain; I definitely still have a long way to go.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Instructional Technology & Andover Innovation Lab Update March 17-21 2014 Daniel Downs

At the Andover Innovation lab and student run help desk we are busy planning for our promotion efforts for next year! We had current students create flyers to hang around the school promoting our program. Students will be able to sign up for the help desk next year during the week of March 24th thru 31st.

From an instructional technology perspective teacher awareness of the use of web 2.0 tools is been a major focus this month as I have been sharing the district resources for Digital Learning. These resources help teachers to integrate a variety of web 2.0 tools into the classroom and also be able to differentiate what the difference between Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 tools is. Please review the link below to review some of Andover Public Schools Digital Learning Approved Tools. At a recent faculty meeting I was able to present the availability of these materials and  presented to faculty the tools and suggestions for integration.

A tool that I was able to directly introduce to them at the same meeting was the social bookmarking tool Symbaloo. This is a very graphical bookmarking tool that allows you to set its interface as the homepage of your computer and also create multiple pages of bookmarks. I can highly recommend the use of this tool for teachers particularly for creating specific pages of bookmarks to share with students and also the ability of this tool in other users
“webmixes” of links and resources.

This is great for finding new resources and also sharing specific subject area links. Another option would be to have students create accounts and make their own list of links to share with the teacher.

This week at Andover High School we were in the midst of MCAS testing. It became a great time to catch up on projects but also to connect with teachers more easily about how their technology is functioning and how their current projects may be developing.

On Thursday I had Natalie Pinta come and shadow me for a day at Andover High. She was interested in viewing how were integrating technology into our classrooms and the tools and culture we were creating with student and staff use. She was really impressed with the collaborative approach and willingness of teachers to let me into their classroom.

Parth Valecha's April Blog Post

Hi, I am Parth Valecha. I am working on a product called FreeBuds. By now, you probably have the basic idea of what the product is. It’s an mp3 player implemented into headphones for athletic use. I have already finished two mini-projects. One project isn't all that mini as it is a three page single-spaced essay. This essay talks about the benefits of my product, the quality and technology behind the product, and the marketing and attitude of the company. The quality and technology behind the product is not very deep but it gets the main
points of the product design. The marketing is interesting as it markets a way of life through the product rather than the product itself. My second project is based around the design and demands of the product. It is a comparison between all sorts of headphones. It shows how each headphone chosen relates to my product to get a basic idea of what the product will look like. It also has a section that describes what makes our product unique and in some cases better.

I am working on my third mini project right now. It is a 4 slide presentation. It touches on the benefits, product design, and marketing of the product. The first slide is just the intro slide. I made it rather flashy and poppy to show the attitude of our company. The second slide will in bullets describe the problem that the product solves. The third slide will have a diagram showing how the product will come together and work. The last slide will be a video of the dumb stuff I do with my friends. This slide shows the way of life that we try to market. This presentation will be used as a template for my final presentation.

Collin's Formative Project / Blog Post

In the past two weeks I have been using HTML to create a website. I have gotten a basic template to use as the platform for my website. The website has 5 pages, and all pages are going to have content on them. Along with potentially other () used to increase the quality of the site and rank it. So far I have enjoyed making the website and learning and practicing HTML as it is something I am familiar with.

For my formative project, I am going to show my website along with other attributes surrounding the website. Also, I will show the documents I have created using google docs. I look forward to completing and presenting my project to Mr. Downs and Mr. Griffin, and I hope that my project meets my own standards.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Parth's Formative Project / Blog Post

Hi I am Parth Valecha. For the past month, I have been adding to my project on the FreeBuds headphones. I did some research on how to make a high-quality and durable set of headphones. On the product development side, I seem to be set. The design will be behind the neck to provide free motion, and the tips will be designed to stay in the ear and provide noise-isolation. There will also be two balanced drivers in each ear bud. One driver will support mid-high frequencies, and the other will support the bass. The stereos will be 13.5 mm to provide powerful and loud music. The layout of the buttons will also be designed to be easy to reach and fairly simple. I have recently started the marketing part.

For April, I’m going to start the marketing part. For the marketing, instead of talking about the marketing analysis and research, I’m going to talk about how my company is going to attract and appeal to our customers. What’s interesting about the marketing is that it is mainly based on a certain attitude relatable to our customers. Our customers are generally teens who play sports. What our company promotes is hard work and freewill, two things teens experience and live with throughout their high school lives. The way the people of the company live their life will reflect these two themes, and everything we do is in order to achieve these things. It will be very different from the bland marketing of today’s headphones industry. That is what I’m going to be working on for April.

Max's Formative Project / Blog Post

Now that I know the basics of iOS app development, I have started working on a more complicated project. I am working on an app that has the user enter their personal information such as email and phone number. The app then displays that information on a profile page. These are the two views in the app.

Next I will make it so that you can make a contact list of people and their personal information. I will add another view with a table that you can add people to.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Josh Kings Formative Project / Blog Post

I was introduced to the Lab & help desk by my counselor when I had to move around my schedule and I’m enjoying it thus far. I have not taken a class like the Lab & help desk before, so most of the things that I’m being introduced with, are new to me. The Lab & help desk allows you to be imaginative with your project and be allowed to work with something that you enjoy doing or have an interest in. In my Sophomore year at the high school, I had to take a lot of classes that were *required* to take instead of being able to choose and pick what I would have an interest in. I think that the Lab & help desk is a great class for anyone who has an interest in computers, web design or even playing video games because it allows you to think of your own project and bring your own ideas and thoughts into the project that you’ll be working on during the duration of the semester.

My project that I’m currently working is game design. I’m working with the Construct 2 program to make my own 2D game. I download the Construct 2 program and began to toy around with the program and began to like it a lot. Construct 2 began to come easier to me once I got the hang of it and it became very fun to work with. I wish to make a game that has easy functions and a simple design but is really rich with it’s gameplay and design. Looking forward to the future, I’m excited to begin my actual project and moving forward with it and exploring more of what I can do with the Construct 2 program.

Ben's Formative Project / Blog Post

The AHS Help Desk has been a great opportunity for me to explore interests which otherwise wouldn’t be offered in regular classes. The range of possibilities when exploring technology is widely diverse, and with this the Help Desk, I am given the opportunity to learn from fields of technology which I am curious about. Students in the AHS Help Desk are very collaborative. We help each other when we can, and we are constantly giving each other helpful criticism, or ideas to develop their projects. Everyone in the Help Desk finds great pleasure in seeing other students have success. At the same time, we are always available to help any students who might need any help involving technical issues (even though it doesn’t occur often). AHS Help Desk has given us the options to engage in new, modern materials, while involving ourselves with the students in our school community.

Personally, I have spend the first couple of weeks purely on researching everything I could to expand my knowledge of programming; more specifically, on html codes, and web design. I am fortunate enough, that Mr. Downs has a background in this area, so he has been very helpful in my process so far. I have focused mainly on the code which formats the components on my webpage. The purpose of my webpage is most likely going to be for retro-styled gaming. If I am lucky enough to finish all components early enough, I would love to add a game which I created myself. I do not find that a likely situation, but if the chance presents itself, I will most certainly take advantage of it. There is a slight that I will create a website for another student in the Help Desk. He is created a new product, which he plans to sell publicly. Depending on the progression of each of our projects, I may work with him, and create a website to publicize his business and products. I still have a lot of time remaining, and where formatting is going to be a major piece of my dedicated time toward the project, I still have time to decide the topic of my webpage.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Nick's Formative Project / Blog Post

For my project, decided to program a text-adventure game in Java. I found an online compiler called ‘’, which saves and compiles your programs. I created a flowchart which mapped out how the game would progress, then another flowchart showing how I would actually program it. I like flowcharts.

To showcase my project, I can use a screen capture program to show me playing the game, and then show some of the actual code which I used to make it. I can also show the flowcharts I used, to show my process for writing a program. I could also talk about how planning ahead can save a lot of time, and tell stories about how I had to scrap an entire 200-line bit of code because it wouldn’t work properly.