Tag Archives: apps

Another Semester Ends .. A quick note

Suddenly, the end of every semester rushes in surprising me with how little time is left to finish the material I wanted to cover. As with any semester, I could have used more time. Despite reaching the end of my syllabi, I could easily have used another week or more to fully cover that material for each class.

But done is done. All in all, I’d call it a good semester.

But what’s next?

My next semester brings a return of Microbiology, where I will again try to sit material from the front end of the course in order to have more time to cover immunology at the end.

I will also be teaching Ecology. This will be a first time for me doing this class, so I expect it to be interesting. My ideal is a discussion-based class where we do a bunch of reading, maybe watch a film or two and then talk through the big ideas. Because I expect us to spend a good amount of time talking about evolution, we will be reading Jerry Coyne’s Why Evolution is True, and follow his blog for some spontaneous talk about evolution and related topics (like cats).


HHMI’s Earth Viewer complements readings from Shubbin’s Your Inner Fish

In the meantime, I’ve been invited to speak on the use of technology in the classroom- featuring my use of the iPad to present an interactive handbook, apps that go along with course material, games (and/ or gamification) as learning tools and other online resources like HHMI, or iTunes Course Manager.

I look forward to the opportunity to find out what others are doing in this area and maybe even find collaborators to help put together even better materials.

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Posted by on December 13, 2013 in Uncategorized


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I don’t want to repeat myself, but I just read a couple of interesting articles about a new app that brings Shakespeare’s play ‘The Tempest’ come to life.

Check out the posting on my technology in the classroom blog, app

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Posted by on August 17, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Defining some terms (JS)

After playing with codecademy’s JS course for about two weeks, I’m nearly finished. That said, I am not ready to go on with the next subject, I need some serious review and practice.

I’ve talked about this before with respect to MasterMind, but I thought I would pursue this a little more explicitly. I also thought that since I am working on making the MasterMind project as a way to practice what I’ve learned, apply it to another coding language (to get some flexibility) and develop the whole thing as an app, I might as well also use this app as a step-by-step in making an app and getting it into the app store.

That’s what this blog is supposed to be about anyway, perhaps by following a specific example in real time, it might be a lot easier for me to focus my thoughts and outline the process more clearly. I’ll outline that process as a series of goals in my next post.

This one is meant to be a place where I can post what I understand about JS as an object-oriented programming language. Specifically, I wanted to define some terms in plain language. 

This is important because I would like anyone who reads this to help edit these definitions for me to make sure they are both accurate and clear.

These definitions are also important so that I can use these terms in my discussion about constructing the MasterMind program.


My definitions:

Arrays are collections of items (that may be objects)


                  var contacts = [bob, mary];

                  where bob and mary are objects with a variety of characteristics.

Classes are templates to create objects with similar qualities. (classes are what constructors make)


Objects are (self contained units) things that have:

                  Properties (these can be values, variables or other objects)

          Methods are functions that operate on Objects

          Members are the specific examples of Objects

          Properties are the characteristics of each object


Prototypes  ???



Constructors are specialized Methods that are used to create groups (or Classes) of Objects



                  function Person(first,last,age) {

                                     this.firstname = first;

                                      this.lastname = last;

   this.age = age;

   var bankBalance = 7500;

where three parameters are sent in as variables and one is set within the constructor


                  Constructors are called to create new objects as below:


                  var john = new Person(‘John’,’Smith’,30);

where john is the new object of the type Person and he has the characteristics listed –these match up to parameters in the constructor.





OK… next: map out Mastermind.

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Posted by on June 27, 2012 in Uncategorized


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