I have a working app! This has been quite the process for me. A lot of trial and error until things worked as I had hoped. I am happy with how everything turned out. I received a few comments/suggestions about not using Mario Bros. for my theme due to copyright issues. I plan on using this just for personal use. If I ever want to do anything further, I will make sure I change the pictures. I did, however, get these from images that are labeled for reuse with modification through a Creative Commons search.
I had several challenges throughout this project. I had first decided to use a text to speech program to create all audio for this app. I decided that I didn’t care for the automated voice, so I decided to record my own voice instead. For quite awhile, I could not get the sentence and repeat buttons to change to the next word. They both were stuck on the first word even though after pressing the next button, the word would change. I finally figured that out. I wanted to add some sort of timer in order to have time run out so there was some goal/challenge to the game. I decided to add a bar (just like in the Ladybug Chase game) and use it as a timer. Once I was completely happy with the spelling version of the app, I then created the multiple choice version which challenged me since I hadn’t done that yet.
When you test the app, I know it seems slow moving, but in order for the First Grade students to actually have a chance to go through a few words, I needed to make it slow. They won’t be as fast as an adult typing their answers in or choosing their answers from the list of choices. So, please when you test it out, wait for the timer to go out. I used a notifier to let the user know that time is up. Then there is a choice to start again (play continues where the last user left off) or end the game (which takes the user back to the home screen). Overall, I am really happy with the end result.
In the classroom setting, I can use this often since it only requires one device and my school has limited technology. The game can be played by the first user listening to the word and then choosing their answer. Once they get it correct, they pass the device to the person next to them. This continues until time runs out. There is no need for the teacher to keep score because the game can be played by eliminating players when the device is left in their hand. This might work better in a small group setting so the kids don’t have to wait so long for a turn. Eventually, after the kids get comfortable and confident with the game, it would work in a whole group setting since I imagine they would become faster.
The one thing I still would like to add is when the timer is getting close to running out, I want it to vibrate. I played around with it, but it was vibrating only with each tick instead of a steady vibration. I just thought that would give the user a sensory notification in case they aren’t paying attention to the bar. I will continue to work on this.