Tips about your final project

First, all the details are here: Project.

Read all of that carefully before you start work on your project plan.

Your project should be sufficient to impress an employer in a job interview.

Look here for inspiration: Storytelling Now. Follow several links there. You will see a lot of very different things.

You might want to learn a new technology for your project, like Tabletop.js, or any one of the hundreds of other free JavaScript libraries that are out there.

But DON’T start with a technology. Start with a solution to a problem. People in x group want to do y. People of x type need to learn y. Then think about how to do it — how to make that solution — make it with code for the Web.

  • Games
  • Animation
  • Engagement
  • Interaction
  • Data

Those are some of the frames for types of projects you might create.

Not a bunch of Web pages. An app. Even if it’s not on a phone, it can be an app. For example, THIS is an app: Treatment Tracker. NPR makes lots of cool apps, like this SXSW music player. This is kinda sorta like a game: Parable of the Polygons.

Here’s more inspiration from 2014.


Tasks for Week 9 — JavaScript, March 9 – 13

When you come back from Spring Break, we will have a normal week in this class. That means a normal class meeting on Monday, an individual meeting, a quiz, and an assignment (in Canvas) due on Sunday night.

Please do not forget that your 15-point CSS assignment (in Canvas) is due on Sunday, March 8.

This week we start JavaScript. HTML is for structure, CSS is for design, and JavaScript is for action! Yay! See the Course Schedule under Week 9 for the list of exercises you need to show me in your weekly meeting. Try to remember the principles you learned in Python — those will help you make sense of JavaScript!

The quiz this week will be all about JavaScript. So will the assignment in Canvas.

Week 7 assignments: Next steps with HTML and CSS

Don’t delete your Codecademy account — you’ll be using it again for JavaScript next!

This week you’ll be the same “type” you were last week. Find your type below and do all the work listed there, to be finished in the week of Feb. 23 – 27.

Review the Checklist for your HTML5 and CSS knowledge.

Also, read the assigned articles linked on the Course Schedule page.

Continue reading

Week 6 assignments: Getting solid with HTML and CSS

You will receive an email from me that tells you whether you are Student Type 1, 2 or 3. These “types” are explained below. Your type determines your benchmark for Week 6.

As always, work for one hour every day to build your skills. Even though we are not learning Python this week, the same principles for learning (really learning) code apply to HTML and CSS also. Type it. Play with it. Practice.

By Monday, Feb. 23, I’d like you all to be comfortable with everything on this list: Checklist for your HTML5 and CSS knowledge.

Everyone: Review the proper use of HTML5 tags (article, aside, nav, section, footer). Here’s a good, brief post about that. I saw a lot of unnecessary use of header, for example, in the “Abe” exercise.

Step 1: Codecademy Setup

Create an account at Codecademy (it’s free).  Continue reading

Week 1 and Week 2 tasks and tips

We met Monday, Jan. 12, and went over the highlights of the syllabus. Don’t forget to read the WHOLE syllabus, which is here in a handy PDF format. You are responsible for knowing everything in that document.

The New York Times interactive I showed in class: Can You Live on the Minimum Wage?

Deadlines for quizzes and weekly assignments were explained. Quiz and assignment deadlines are clearly visible in Canvas, where the quizzes and assignments live. The project was discussed briefly — read all about it here.

We went over some beginner Python syntax and basic math. You will learn all of that in Zed’s exercises 0–12 (remember to use the Course Schedule to check which exercises to do this week).

When we use the Python interpreter at the >>> prompt, that’s “interactive mode.” If we run a Python program at the $ prompt, we are in Linux, Unix, bash, Terminal or PowerShell. Let’s just call that “Terminal” for simplicity’s sake.

When I navigated around my directories (folders) in Terminal, I used two commands, ls (list) and cd (change directory). Those and a few other useful things are explained here.

Complete LPTHW exercise 0 before your group meeting on Jan. 14 or 15 in Weimer room 3201, which is also called the AHA! conference room. This meeting is required! Bring your laptop with Python and your preferred text editor program set up and running.

Class does not meet on Monday, Jan. 19 because of the holiday. You will have an individual meeting with me to show your work from exercise 0–12. When is your individual meeting? We will set that up during the group meeting on Jan. 14 or 15.

Dates for your project work

To be clear, these are the weeks in which your individual meetings are about your three weeks of project work:

  1. Week 14 | April 7 (meetings April 8, 9, 10)
  2. Week 15 | April 14 (meetings April 15, 16, 17)
  3. Week 16 | April 21 (meetings April 22, 23, 24)

So that week’s work needs to be complete when you come to meet with me.

The last day of classes is April 23. So I messed up here — I’m not allowed to make you meet with me on April 24, which is an official Reading Day. Therefore, the four students who meet me on Thursdays will need to schedule with me for earlier in that week. Of course, if you want to meet on Thursday, that’s up to you.

On April 28, I’m getting on a plane. I’ll be out of the country for about 10 weeks. So if you’re interested in the extra credit (due Monday, April 28, before 6 p.m.), discuss it with me.