Wow! Its our last in-depth post! It seems like not long ago that we got started. I have been really busy over the last two weeks with theatre, work, and TALONS. I have still had time to work on in-depth.
I finished the Khan Academy tutorial as an intro to coding in the HTML language, and I really enjoyed it! The thing about the HTML language is that it simply has more uses, the original reason I wanted to learn coding is because I thought it would have real life value in the job market, and I have done some research and HTML simply has more uses then Java.
Obviously I am not going to master the HTML language before in-depth but I think it’s want I want to invest my time into. I want to show some of my animations as well as what I am capable of with my HTML skills. As I have just finished my in-depth criteria I want to touch on a couple areas of the criteria.
- I regularly spent time with my mentor
(at least a few times each month) to get valuable feedback.
When it comes to getting feedback from my Mentor I have only met with Mr. Findley a couple times over the course of the project but with that being said I have been using many other of the resources available to me. I have been working with an expert in web design a little bit as well as a number of online support sites. Reddit and Quora.com are both great websites where you can ask questions to people who are going through the same things that you are learning and you can learn from them. Though I may not have met with Mr. Findley a few times per month I am constantly in contact with experts in the field online and in person.
- It was process-based, first-hand learning,
(not primarily research-based with internet or books)
While a majority of my project was based online it was still based on first hand learning. I have been taking course online and talking to people on the internet.
I am really exited to present my project on in-pdeth night. See you then!
As we have returned from spring break this week my spring break was very coding filled. I also just met with Mr. Findley to fill him in as well. So as this is the purpose of the blog post I am going to fill you all in!
So over the break I sat down to keep plowing through my textbook in Alice on my 6 hour drive into the interior to go skiing. In this chapter we went through variables, it’s very similar as to variables in any other subject like math. So you use the variable in a “if X is true then…” or “if X is false then”. That will start to come in handy as I make animations where you can interact with the environment. For example you can have different buttons to click, in this case it would be “if ‘button 1’ is true then…” and “if ‘button 2’ is true then…” It just allows for a more interactive platform to expand my reservoir of possible animations.
In other news while on spring break I met a family friend who designs websites for a living, his name is Alexander. I showed Alex the program of Alice and he was intrigued with my project. We talked about what I wanted to take out of the project which is something I have been thinking about for a month or so now. I told him about how I didn’t Alice having a lot of practical use, I think it’s a good intro to coding but you can’t really code anything with it other than animations. So we started talking about Web design which is done in another coding language called HTML. He also directed me to a website called codeacademy (essentially khan academy for coding). So I have been exploring that side of the coding world.
Alice mostly works with Java, Java is a very universal language but I ultimately don’t see myself using it for anything in the near future. I think HTML and knowing how to manipulate online text and design webpages is more useful real life skill.
I came into in-depth this year with very little understanding of coding, having only worked with it in ICT, Alice has showed me what’s under the hood, so to speak. Now I am ready to start on the more applicable, heavier stuff. That’s the main thing I talked to Mr. Findley about, he was in support of me perusing HTML and using the resources available to me. I think I will be looking more into web design for a couple weeks and seeing where that takes me. I will talk to Alexander if I have any questions as well as Mr. Findley. As he is my mentor (Alex said he would help me out but he is not a mentor as he is not willing to go through the criminal record check process).
So I don’t really know the direction I’m headed I am doing a 5 hour course on codeacademy and I will see what I think of that and check back next week!
The last two weeks have gone really well! I am making great progress on the outline that I set out for myself. It is now week 8 and I just finished 2.7 and that is exactly where I wanted to be. Alice is a super fun program that I have really enjoyed working, learning, and playing with.
Because I haven’t really described Alice as a program, it is an animation program. It is meant to teach the coding language called Java. Coding is taught in the way that you control the characters and frames with code instead of by click and drag like other animation programs. I have found that Alice doesn’t have a lot of practical usage, as I am proficient with Animation as I took ICT 9 in grade 9. Alice is meant more to introduce me to coding as a concept and that it is doing. I don’t think finishing Alice will teach me much about coding, but what it does it makes it easier to get into the harder stuff. I am enjoying using the program so far though so that is good. I want to meet with Mr. Findley after Spring Break, as coding is a very self-guided project but I still think it’s a good idea to meet with him and fill him in on what I’ve done so far.
I also realise that I haven’t really been updating my blog with all of the tangible things that I have completed, so I have decided to go through that a little. So in chapter one of the book it goes over the basics, using code to input characters, how to select body parts and move them with two types of code called procedures and functions. It goes on to teach how to control where you characters look and what they say and think. Finally it shows you how to order you actions, allowing you to have a conversation between them (with private thought bubbles if needed) looking and the camera and each other. It also talks about how film works (as it’s an animation program). I mostly skim over the film related stuff in the book and focus on the coding related parts.
Chapter two focuses on something called Methods, there are a number of different methods used in Alice they are mostly used for organising your scenes and switching back and forth from shots. (Keep in mind it’s all done with code) So you take your scenes and actions and use Methods to sort them into different shots and scenes and use them when you need them. This helps for when you don’t want to re code something and can just replay something using a method. There are also methods that control camera angles. In chapter 2 there is a short film I made using the Methods, with Orge’s and Wizards and spells. With Methods and conversations with basic actions between the characters.
So with all that I have also been playing with the program, making myself familiar with the ins and outs and playing with it and making animations for fun. In the next two weeks, I plan on continuing my coding with Alice over spring break and ill check back in a couple weeks!
Allrighty, so first things first, my indepth for this year will be Coding.
I want to learn how to code. I will be working with Mr. Findley. We will work together one lunch time a week learning how to use some of the different coding languages. As of right now I zero coding knowledge, I do not understand even the fundamentals of coding. It is something my dad studied in college so if I have any problems I could talk to him and there are also lots of tutorials on the internet. I don’t know what my goal is because I don’t understand enough about it to know what is reasonable.
The biggest reason I want to learn how to code is because I think it is one of the most useful skills I could have as an entrepreneur. It has been predicted that coding is the next big career. Anyone with the ability to code will be significantly more qualified for most jobs, especially in the line of work I am looking to get into. While it might not help with whatever business I start up it will certainly open up a lot of doors to possibilities in the future.
I have so many things to learn, I have so many questions that I don’t even know that I have unanswered. I haven’t come up with any specific questions yet other than “How do I code?”. There are questions I have never considered I needed to ask before I started this Study Contract like, “What is a reasonable end product for me to have”
I mainly I want to have a broad scale understanding of the major coding languages. I think it would be interesting to code some small scale games or programs. Or copy some existing games and see if I can do that through coding. My main objective, regardless of how good of a coder I am after I am done in-depth is that I want to have the knowledge to continue learning. I want to be able to teach myself how to code either by using the internet or just fiddling with a coding language.
I want to work once a week at lunch with one of the Info Tech teachers at Gleneagle. I want them to give me ways to learn on my own and to go to them with questions and for advice. There are lots of tutorials online, but there is a lot more to becoming a good coder then looking on the internet and I want my mentor to guide me along that process but not ‘hold my hand’. I think a lot of it will be watching other people’s tutorials online and trial and error on my own time.
I have two goals over the next five months
- Become ready am I to continue to learn how to code indefinitely, mostly on my own?
- Drastically improve my understanding of coding as a whole?
I am really looking forward to the next five months and I think I will learn a skill that will help me out for the rest of my life!