Creating with Code


In Introduction to Computer Studies we have spent the past week working with python, a simple programming language that is the basis for many programs and games that some may be familiar with. We have been creating basic programs that allow users to input commands and interact with the program. This includes a question and guessing game where users are trying to guess what the computer is “thinking of.” It can be a challenging unit for some learners, but most find it the most rewarding because they have a list of products to look back at and see how far they’ve come.

Covid Films and Movie Posters


These are certainly interesting times with a lot to process. In our communications technology course we’ve taken it upon ourselves to unpack some of that by making movies about our time during the pandemic. The movies ranged from documentaries to post apocalyptic science fiction themes. They were done with care, taking physical distancing and safety precautions into account. We all had a lot of fun, and learned so much about the movie-making process, such as filming, editing, and voice overs.

Playing with Code

During the final weeks of Exploring Computer Technology we have been learning about, and learning to, code. Specifically we have been using a programming language called Python to write programs, starting with very basic and moving to more complex programs.

There is a beauty to the code, as it is with any language. Students have learned how to write, and troubleshoot, their own code. They have developed a unique style for their code, and as it can be seen there are many different solutions to the same problem, demonstrating that programming in Python, as well as other languages, can be a creative process.

They were tasked with such projects as pretending they were a game developer who is tasked with creating a magical ring that grants a wish, as well as more mundane programs such as a calculator that asks for shapes and calculation types and runs the calculations for a 3D object returning values such as surface area and volume of simple solids.

Some students have had the desire to go beyond the classroom and use functions to write a simple “rock, paper, scissors” game, with a twist! Creating an actual game program, all using free, open source, resources that they can continue to use after class is over.

Solving mysteries in the land of fantasy

 

Here lies a land of mystery, intrigue, and adventure. Academy Students have been solving mysteries in this world, bringing wrong-doers to the proper authorities and showcasing their problem solving skills. From a simple case of the wronged party looking for peace, to the most recent foray into mystery, solving the case of a haunted lighthouse.

Each week we’ve been exploring these mysteries and a common theme seems to be occurring, ghosts! Is the party haunted? Unlucky? Or are these spirits drawn to the party because they know that they can count on them to give them the peace they desire? Only time will tell.

While we use traditional Dungeons and Dragons as a club tool, not everyone has access to the tools that make that particular game unique (including rule books and dice). So we had to improvise. We decided that this group will use video calls to communicate with each other and the group. We also decided to use a system that utilizes only traditional six-sided dice and an approach where characters the players play use a simple word based system to showcase what their personas are both good at, and not-so-great at.

Having fun With Digital Art and Music in Commtech

 

During these unusual times it’s necessary to take a step back and do something fun. In the communications technology course we took some time creating fun album covers for made-up bands. This involved using open source software, giving students the ability to continue to do photo editing outside of a traditional classroom setting. It also introduced the concept of alternatives to big name software and problem solving using technologies similar, but not identical to, programs such as Photoshop.

After the album covers were created, students got a chance to experiment with making sound files to attempt to mimic music that would be found on a music album with the cover they had created.