Tags archives: coding

  • The wait is finally over! ArtikPix and ArtikPix - Full 3.0 are now available on the App Store! Version 3.0 is a major update with several improvements: • Re-imagined and re-written from scratch for a better user experience • A wizard (aka setup assistant) provides a step-by-step process to easily configure the following for each new student: name, decks, sound positions, syllable lengths, grammatical levels (word, sentence), and matching level • A student profile provides an easy way to view student notes and scores, and to update student configurations • All new group scoring - unlimited number of students per group - to tally independent and prompted responses in the flashcard and matching activities • All new user interface • Student data organized by sessions that are open or c[...]

  • 4 years. It has been 4 years since the last ArtikPix update! Why did it take that long? Well, several events occurred in the last 4 years, leading me down a long road of learning experiences that helped me finally complete the update now. 2 years ago, I had developers try to update the app. It was going to be a minor update to fix some appearance issues and glitches, but other significant features broke in the app. Additionally, the app really needed a major update that required more experience on my behalf. I started thinking how it could be better if I had the expertise to code my own apps. Additional events - occurring within my life in the last 4 years - led to this major ArtikPix update. One big event in my life was having children. My wife and I now have two energetic sons, Lev[...]

  • Computer Science Education Week - an initiative to encourage K-12 students to learn about computer science - is December 7-13, 2015. As a speech-language pathologist who learned how to code iOS apps, I fully support the initiative. I think there are very fun and rewarding opportunities in the world of computer programming. And even if students have no desire to become computer programmers, they can still learn lifelong skills including creativity, logic, and problem solving through coding. For the past two years, my students (middle school and high school ages) and I participated in the hour of code as part of CSED Week. We did the Angry Birds puzzles (ages 4+) that involve dragging-and-dropping "blocks of code" via a visual programming language in order for the red bird to capture the [...]

  • Last year around this time, I posted about Computer Science Education Week. In the post, I mentioned the goal was for 10 million individuals to participate in the hour of code. That goal was easily surpassed, and I see now on the Computer Science Education Week website that nearly 50 million individuals have participated! This year, the founder of the project hopes to reach 100 million, which you can be a part of even if you don't have any experience with computer programming. Just about anyone can easily use one of the free interactive resources that allow you to drag and drop blocks to make a character move. You can do this with a series of Angry Birds puzzles (ages 4+), or with a series of Frozen puzzles (ages 8+). Via the puzzles, you learn logic skills required in computer programm[...]

  • Learning to code has become increasingly popular for students in schools. It's not a surprise as organizations like code.org are providing stats and resources so students can take advantage of a big career opportunity. However, educators are not always equipped to teach students computer programming. And, even though there are currently more resources than ever to learn coding, the resources can be difficult to understand and/or do not relate to creating apps for mobile devices. That is why we at Expressive Solutions are interested in teaching Swift - in an easy to understand manner - for creating iOS apps. The following document currently has 5 lesson plans that include information and scripts for teaching Swift to students using a collaborative method:   Swift for Students: Lesson Plans[...]

  • When I use an iPad with my social communication groups, I have noticed a tendency for students to grab the device without asking. Additionally, when they're using the device, I have to remind them to look up and speak to other individuals in the group. So, after I saw this blog post from Bob Sprankle regarding driver and navigator roles in a coding activity, I thought the idea could be extended to targeting social communication skills with fewer prompts in a coding app for children. In Bob Sprankle's blog post, a video showed how one of his students was the navigator, and he was the driver. The navigator told the driver what to do, similar to the manner in which a navigator in a car would tell a driver where to go. The driver followed the directions provided by the navigator. If the dri[...]

  • Here it is: summertime. A time when many adults are wondering how they’re going to keep children engaged and entertained during all of those free hours. Whether you are a speech-language pathologist (SLP) providing services as part of Extended School Year (ESY), or a parent with your own child to amuse, a new trend could be just what you need: coding for kids. Many schools are jumping on the computer programming bandwagon and offering children the chance to learn basic coding skills. But, with schools still reeling from the Great Recession, many kids might not have access to such classes yet. No worries. You can easily include coding in speech therapy to target expressive language or introduce it to your own child with some great mobile and web apps. No need to worry if you don’t know a[...]

  • If you are looking for a fun way to target social communication skills, as well as beginning computer programming, Robot Turtles is a great new board game you can play with your students (with or without autism). Robot Turtles requires players to use simple commands to move their turtles to capture a jewel on the game board. When students give commands, they are replicating the process computer programmers use to give instructions for a computer to execute. Games, in general, provide opportunities for social communication; Robot Turtles in particular involves specific interactions between the game players that enable more opportunities for social communication. For students who show an interest in games and computers, playing Robot Turtles can be a highly engaging way to practice social co[...]

  • // Use two forward slashes for a single-line comment /* Use a forward slash followed by an asterisk to start a multi-line comment. To end the multi-line comment, use an asterisk followed by a forward slash. */ /* Did you know it's also possible to nest comments in Swift? /* You can nest comments by starting a multi-line comment, then starting another. */ Finally, close the last (two) comments */ These examples demonstrate how to write different types of comments in Swift. As you might be aware, Swift is a new OS X and iOS programming language announced this week at WWDC. After hearing the announcement, I immediately wanted to check it out because I enjoy coding iOS apps, even though I’m only a beginner (experienced programmers write a large majority of the code in our company’s[...]

  • “Honey, please set the timer to ten minutes.” Whether you know it or not, when uttering these words, you’re speaking in developer terminology. A developer is a person who creates software such as apps. A developer writes code, which is a series of commands - otherwise known as instructions - for a computer to execute. Why would you even care about knowing this terminology? Software is all around us, in our personal and professional lives. As technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, new developments impact us whether we embrace them or not. As adults, we can choose to keep pace with these changes or do our best to ignore them. But, for the children we serve in our practice, there is an increasingly accepted feeling that learning about technology is a necessity, not a choice, if t[...]

  • This week, December 9-15, is Computer Science Education Week with several websites determined to increase awareness regarding coding (aka computer programming). One of the websites, code.org, has an initiative called The Hour of Code, which provides anyone with free access to learn coding for an hour. The initiative is seeking 10 million individuals who are willing to participate, hoping that many of these individuals will pursue an estimated 1.4 million computer science jobs expected by the year 2020. Our owner, Eric Sailers, has already participated in The Hour of Code: https://twitter.com/esailers/status/410073570660732928. Plus, he is planning to educate his students this week about coding. Here is his lesson plan that may inspire you to do something similar with your students: [...]