This is my Google Innovator Project journey. You can find the previous entries here:
How might we foster and develop Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking and Creativity skills in students?
I left the Google Academy excited to begin working on my project. I had a clear idea of the app I wanted to design, and I had my resources from the Academy as a guide. Essentially, I want to make a digital design journal. Additionally, I want the app to be a resource to teach the Design Thinking process to teachers and students. Here is the concept.
I wanted to start working on the layout of the app to see how involved it would be. Using previous experiences from my own classes, I knew that there was a lot that I wanted students to document when working on a project. The challenge would be how to streamline the process so that anyone could use the app, regardless of their experience with Design Thinking. Using my handy Google Innovator journal, I began sketching out ideas for the different ways students would use the app to document their thought process.
During the Academy, we were introduced to a handy tool to rapid-prototype apps. The Marvel App is a quick way to make sketches, take photos, and upload them into software that allows you to make a mock app in just a few clicks. It’s a fantastic way to quickly get your thoughts on paper, and then in a digital model with relative ease. I started making rough designs for my app and taped them into my journal. In an elementary sense, by flipping the pages back and forth, I could get a general idea of the style and look of the app. I then uploaded everything to the Marvel App and created this prototype. I felt like I was aiming high, but I wanted the app to be as complete as possible.
I had the wonderful opportunity to have a Hangout session with my mentor, Charles Shryock, IV. One of the most amazing opportunities of the Google Academy is the ability to connect to a mentor who will work with you during the course of your project. I was beyond thrilled to find out that Charles would be my mentor. Over the summer, we chatted and got to know each other beyond the static emails/messages we’d sent back and forth. Having been through the Google Academy, Charles is an amazing guide and provides support as I navigate the design process. I shared my prototype with Charles and he asked me very poignant questions about the purpose and design of the app. This challenged me to rethink some of the components of my design, and it gave me a valuable perspective from the eyes of a potential user. As a result of our conversation, I revisited all of the app screens that I created and realized that less is more.
- Remove all unnecessary screens in the app. Focus only on what is immediately necessary and important for the user, not what I think is important.
- Begin researching Google Material Design and experimenting with the visual style of the app.
- Start coding a rough prototype of the app using MIT App Inventor.