Apr 06

Situating the “WebApp Maker”

My project within a project within a project was accepted. I’ve got some final edits to make and constructive criticisms to apply, and I’ll receive my M.Ed. in June. But the best news is, I’ve got a friend with a class who are up to the challenge, we’re working out details to actually build mobile-friendly web apps. But wait! There’s more! I’ve just been tweeting with PLN interested in this and/or similar ideas. I’m quickly going to summarize some of the constructive criticisms I’m talking about, and in so doing reveal what I think comes next, at least for me.

The nature of this thing is you can pick and choose what parts might be useful to your own endeavors, or join in and help set the course of this one, branch off on your own at any time, or lurk and watch what happens to the rest of us.

It does not require Internet, only computers. The experience will be better if computers can share a network; Internet makes it all much easier, especially such rewards as viewing your work on smart phones and sharing with family/friends.

Framing the activity

The project needs a goal—context and boundaries. A simple instant gratification version of this activity can be done if each participant has an image of themselves and 2 or 3 documents of some kind, for example assignments… poetry, written work. It might take the shape of About Me, or My Work in Grade x. In my imaginings, participants have something with their picture and things they’ve created inside it, and they have just grasped a sense of how to control those things using buttons and links. I believe if I do that correctly, they want to go further and do more, and they tell me so. I prepare for that.

Each student needs a USB stick, even a 1GB will do. If you have limited computers you need to set up timesharing; the USB travels with the participant. The only premise I have so far for a group version is whatever the students do individually, the teacher compiles as a class page. Teacher should do the individual activity up front, but you’ll be learning with the class, too. You should hunt down things you need and people who can help—the class’s PLN. A “thicker” (rife with teachable moments, methods, strategies) scope might be My Community, and an extension Project-Based learning situation could have reporters, videographers, copy editors… the class decides the organization’s structure and “business model,” create jobs and hires each other to fill them.

I used mind-mapping software to chart this out, my first maps are very clear to me, but to few others. I’ve been given a newer version of the easier one and I’ve already made cleaner better maps. I’ll be replacing and rearranging things here for a week or two. designVUE is good at collecting resources and showing how dots connect—try it you might like it

I’ll respond to comments on this blog, on this or any other post, but I’ll also welcome and incorporate ideas of others. I may add to this post, and I’ll write Updated at the top if/when I do.



  1. Entrepreneurship is a 21st century competency in both C21 (Canada) and P21 (US).