Thunkable Designing a Complete Curriculum

Hey everyone, I am a middle school computer science teacher who has been using App Inventor for many years. I have a complete curriculum in App Inventor and am now working feverishly on transitioning to Thunkable.

Not all of the projects I use in App Inventor will port over to Thunkable so I am currently working on developing project ideas that will work in Thunkable.

What I’d like to see is if I can get a group of other educators together to share and develop a complete curriculum? I know that the Thunkable team is currently working on developing some of these resources but I don’t anticipate that their material will be ready prior to the start of the upcoming school year.

As a starter a few of the projects I plan on using and have already created in Thunkable are:

  1. Counting Teslas - Fun app that kids like where they write code for someone in a toll booth that has to count all of the Teslas that go past. There are a lot of extensions I add on to this project and kids really enjoy it.
  2. I started working on a Flappy Bird project and have much of the code in place.
  3. I have a mostly complete version of Wordle written and will look to incorporate this.
  4. I will start with standard App Inventor projects like “Hello Kitty” and Paintpot

My standard method for developing curriculum is to scaffold the work and to provide Screencastify videos to help the students work through their code. We use Canvas as our LMS but I am looking at possibly creating the content outside of our LMS so that it could be accessed by others that don’t use Canvas.

If anyone out there is interested I’d love to hear from you.

I can be reached directly at mdaugherty@lhps.org and am really excited to partner up with other teachers using Thunkable!

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It’s great to have another teacher here! I teach an elective for 7th & 8th graders where we meet twice a week for 45 minutes for a total of about 14 hours. Students can prototype a basic version of their app in that time.

I don’t have a full curriculum beyond that but it sounds like you have a good plan for using Thunkable.

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Sounds like a good intro to the platform - how many apps do you typically cover in the 14 hours @tatiang? In terms of progression, if students finish up early on an app do you give them extensions as Mike mentions above or do they get new projects?


Did you get much feedback here @mdaughertytee0h ?

Are these things like Lego Mindstorms components or is there something else in there you don’t see at this time?

This would be great - we’re just back from the CSTA conference so met tons of teachers who are interested in using Thunkable with their students. Would be happy to make some intros and get something of a forum together if you like?

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YES, YES, YES, I would love introductions to anyone implementing a Thunkable curriculum in their classroom. At this point I am in full speed ahead mode and am working on choosing which projects my students will use and creating all of the supporting video and materials to help them along the way.

An example of a project I can’t get to work in Thunkable that I used in App Inventor is mini golf. I will openly state that I have only tried for a little while but the Canvas/sprites seem to be quite different and the functionality I had in App Inventor seems difficult to emulate in Thunkable. There are multiple other features from my App Inventor apps that won’t work the same (or at all) and I will keep plugging away to find what works best in Thunkable.

Thanks for any direction and or introductions you can provide.

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I’ll take a look at that tomorrow and let you know how far I get with it. :smile:


Awesome - when does your semester start?

Semester starts on the 11th and just for a little information I start out with some really basic projects to begin and ramp up the complexity from there. I’ll start with “Hello World” but I modify it and turn it into Hello Class. From there we do a version of Hello Kitty (like the App Inventor project) and then into Paint Pot (also a standard App Inventor project). When done with these the students have been introduced to the environment and feel comfortable navigating the interface. I’m currently working on creating the instructional videos that will walk them through the steps necessary to create these projects.

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Amazing stuff @mdaughertytee0h!


I took a quick look and it seems a little easier to set this up in Thunkable than in App Inventor. There are lots of neat sprite properties that make the process that bit quicker. It needs a little more math (or an extra sprite) to get be better able to distinguish between the flag and the cup but I’m happy enough with this for a first pass:
https://thunkable.site/w/Go-RW6tf7

Thanks for giving that a try! When I loaded the URL it showed the ball rolling into the hole, which is cool, but after that I wasn’t able to do anything. Is there anyway I can get a look at your code to see how you did that? I couldn’t see a way with the link that was provided (sorry if I’m missing something).

The number one issue I had was finding a way to make the ball slow down naturally after it was “flung”. This was easy in App Inventor using a clock and then reducing the speed in the clock event handler gradually until it got to 0. When I tried a similar tact in Thunkable I wasn’t getting anything good from it. Certainly possible that it is user error on that front and I’ll openly admit that I need to work on getting a better understanding of exactly how the Canvas/Stage/Sprites interact.

If you can share your project with me I’d like to take a look at what you have so far! And, thanks for trying to help me out here! Truly appreciated. Mini golf was a fun app for my students and I’d love to find a way to keep it incorporated!

aha - we have all the blocks for that so it definitely should be possible.

of course - let us know what you come up with:
https://x.thunkable.com/projectPage/62ed2cb20153a10224f436ef

Got it thanks! It might be a little bit before I have a chance to dive back into working with this particular file as I’ve got a ton to get done before kids show up on Thursday. Out of curiosity do you have access to Canvas? If so I could possibly export what I have so far (which to be honest is just the very beginning) and see if you would be up for providing feedback. No worries if that doesn’t work so just let me know.

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The Thunkable Canvas component? Canva the design software? In either case…

… would definitely be up for providing a feedback! Thanks @mdaughertytee0h

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Sorry for not being more specific. Canvas, the Learning Management System (Canvas LMS | Learning Management System | Instructure) used by a lot of schools for managing our classes. Right now that’s where I am creating my content and if you have a Canvas account I can export my class and you can import it to take a look at all of the material. If you don’t have access to Canvas I’ll see what I can come up with as the best way to share what I’ve got so far.

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Last night I was banging away on mini golf when and was showing some of the apps I am planning on using in class to my two sons. It was at this point that I realized I had a problem. A simple app with a button click and a sound file being played would not work on my iOS device but it worked perfectly on the web preview.

I searched up this problem and found an old thread with a lot of entries. The thread was marked as solved and the solution was an update to the Thunkable app. Well… that obviously would not be my problem as I am on a much later version of the app and was still experiencing the same difficulty.

My dilemma is this… As I move forward with possibly transitioning from App Inventor to Thunkable one of the most important pieces is that the development environment provides consistent results for students. As an adult I can understand that Thunkable is still evolving and that there will be bugs that require some creative workarounds. To students it is a totally different story. Inconsistent results that feel outside of their control leads down a dark pathway to the pit of student despair!

Your name was in the thread with the audio problem so I guess I am first reaching out to see if somehow I am missing something and that there is an easy solution. My second request would be to get your opinion on how consistent you feel the Thunkable environment currently is. When a component works on the web preview should it be my expectation that it will work on an Android and iOS device or are there still a lot of kinks being worked out there?

Realistically I need to make a decision within the next 5 days in regard to whether or not I’m moving forward with Thunkable or if I’m going to roll with my App Inventor curriculum. At this exact moment in time I’m thinking about sticking with App Inventor while continuing to develop my Thunkable projects/content while waiting and testing all of my apps to make sure they work consistently across the web preview and on our personal devices.

Any thoughts you have would be much appreciated.

Thanks!

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Sorry, I was on vacation but I’m back now.

Students design and build one app during my class. They typically are not quite able to finish a working prototype in that time. I think we don’t scaffold coding quite enough in earlier years. Our coding curriculum is pretty strong K-5 but it falls off a but after that (at least in previous years; we’re improving it now!) so by the time they are in 7th or 8th grade, they tend to need a lot of step-by-step instructions for coding. I don’t see it as a limitation of Thunkable so much as just something we have to address in the 6th-8th grade curriculum.

If a student does “finish”, there’s always more to add in terms of functionality, aesthetics, sound, etc.

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