Apps for Appalachia: Submission of the Re-Animated

Submission of the Re-Animated

«««< HEAD This is a checkpoint submission; if you could please submit the current state of your “re-animation” of your reflection pieces, that would be excellent. I will be providing feedback on them, and we’ll continue with our design and refinement from there.


Over the course of the break, I’d like to encourage you to engage in two separate brainstorming and sketching sessions. The separation of the brainstorming into multiple sessions is important, as it gives ideas time to percolate in the background as you do other things.

Brainstorming One: People and Places

I find it is hard to think about places without thinking about people; you may feel differently, and if so, run with it. I’m trying to provide a framework, not to limit you.

As a first brainstorming session, put on some of your favorite music, grab a cup of tea (or whatever you want to sip on while you’re daydreaming), and let your mind wander on the subjects of our listening and reading. You might even go back and skim parts of Silas’s graduation speech, or you might want to listen to parts of the radio show again… I don’t know. Ultimately, the subject of your brainstorming is not necessarily about the pieces themselves, but on that “meta” level: who are some of the people and and what are some of the places that were important to you at some point in your life, and why?

  1. Write a paragraph or two (or more) about each of those places and/or people. Set the scene: where was it? What do you remember about the place, the colors, the smells? How did you feel at that moment that you’re remembering? What was said, what did you hear? In a sense, try and “write a picture” about that memory.

  2. I find writing like the above to be tiring; it takes a lot to go back in time, to capture a place, and to put it down in words. Go to Flickr and do some image searches. See if you can find one (or more) images for each of the places/scenes you remembered that helps illustrate or capture what you were thinking about.

If there is music or a particular sound that you would associate with these memories, find an MP3 that of those sounds, if you can. You can probably record sounds, too, with your phone, but the quality might be dubious.

Paste your images into your document with your writing.

Brainstorming Two: Bringing a Scene to Life

A few days later, if possible, come back and revisit your writing and the image(s) you chose.

This time, do some sketching. How would you animate the scene you’ve imagined to capture the essence of that moment? It might be very literal, or it might be that you decide to do something a bit more abstract. I would also encourage you to think about how a user might interact with that animation—that is, how they might “play” or otherwise “explore” that memory.

As you’re imagining your animated scene, think in terms of the kinds of things you can do with App Inventor:

  • You can create sprites, and attach images to them.

  • You can detect when they collide with each-other or the edges of the device.

  • You can flick them, click them, etc.

  • You can have sprites do things using a Timer, so that they move automatically (that is, you can animate them).

  • You can animate or move a group of sprites together by having a function update all of the sprites together.

  • You can change whether sprites are visible (or not).

  • You can switch screens.

  • You can change backgrounds.

  • You can put multiple sprites in a list, and update them in similar ways by looping over them (like we did this past week in class… although, there are probably still questions about that. Watch for a future post about that to help you out…)

The list goes on and on. You might revisit the “Lady Bug” chase chapter for a few ideas, or perhaps browse some more of the site for ideas and inspiration.

The point is to do a paper-sketch, super-lo-fi prototype that you can bring to class on Monday and discuss with others. It is also important to begin exploring ideas about what may or may not be possible; as you know, some of your ideas for the last app were pretty big, so this time, we’ll discuss some of the feasibility of ideas sooner rather than later.


For Monday, I’d like you to submit your initial Word document (with your written reflections) and images to Moodle. I understand these might be personal in nature, and I want to remind you that while I have encouraged you to “take risks,” you also need to do that within the realm of what you are comfortable with.

If you can easily take camera-phone pics of your sketches and include those as well, please do. Otherwise, bring them to class.

Moodle. »»»> c3353dae0cac6043f240e480fb37ae763b5d700b