So what do you do with yourselves now that the APCS exam is done? Here at BG, we have two more weeks until the Senior Final Exams, and we’re required to have final exam (as the AP grades won’t be in until July). So the great annual question is what do we do with ourselves?
For the second year in a row, I’m turning my students loose to create a PocketPC application of their own choosing. Obviously, it should be a bit more than just "Hello World," but they do have a fair amount of free rein on the subject matter. Last year I was delighted to see a game or two, a stock market simulation, an MP3 player, etc. Most of these didn’t get finished in the two week period, but the students were graded on what they accomplished, and it was a load of fun watching as they got VERY involved.
For those who’ve never tried this, I direct you to the Visual Studio .NET environment (either 2003 or 2005). When creating a new project in either VB or C#, you have the option under Project Type to pick a Smart Device application. You can write an app for a PocketPC or a Windows CE device; I typically go for PPC, because I own one. The form that pops up is slightly smaller than normal, but this is to be expected, as the screens on these devices are smaller. Most of the objects are available, and most of their properties are the same as you’re used to. Some things have to change, however, as the Compact .NET Framework is a subset of the whole in order to fit into the target devices.
Anyway, last week I started my students on this; so far, it looks like Checkers, ShuffleBoard, miniGolf, and a Smart Tip calculator are on the list. The Smart Tip calculator was the most intriguing, because the student related that his father (who also owns a PPC) said in effect, “If you get this working I want it!” Exactly the inspiration I was hoping for.
COMMENTS FROM theSpoke:
Tom Indelicato blogged today about the end of year projects he has his AP CS students doing. For the…