Problem: I am new to the school and having trouble making friends
Our example problem involves a student who has recently started at a new school, and is having difficulty making friends. We’ll call her Shari. She decides to design a simple digital game to bridge that initial and awkward first meeting and make some new friends.
Data for this game idea might include:
- Ages – What age range will Shari target? If she is in year 6, she will most likely target 11 and 12 year olds.
- Gender – Is she only interested in making friends with the girls? Or does she want to make friends with both genders?
- Interests/Hobbies – Most friendships develop from shared interests and hobbies. What interests does Shari have? What interests might others have? Video games, sports, films, television shows, etc.
Functional requirements for Shari’s game might include:
- Fun – If the game is not fun, Shari will struggle to make new friends.
- Personal information storage – The game will be required to store the first names, genders and interests/hobbies of other students.
- Photographs – Students playing the game may like to upload avatars to represent themselves.
- Easy to use – If the goal is to make friends, children aged 11 and 12 are unlikely to participate if the game is not simple to pick up and play.
- Platform – Is this going to be a game played on a computer? Could it be played on a smartphone or through the internet?
What is Shari’s game going to look like? Will she draw some inspiration from Facebook or other social media services?
She will need to produce many different crazy and colourful sketches demonstrating a suitable range of unique ideas that show what the game will look like to the players. She will ultimately choose which one she thinks is best.
What is meant by simple algorithms: A solution to the problem which follows a sequence of steps, demonstrates the different branching options available, and any multiple iterations that must be followed.
What is meant by diagrammatically: The solution to the problem expressed in a visual diagram that is easy for others to follow, like a mind map or flowchart.
Now that Shari has conceived her game and come up with its appearance and feel, she needs to think about the finer nuances of how it will function.
Let’s look at the players interests and hobbies for an example. The game will need to recognise a player’s individual interests and match them to other players from the same school. Shari needs to map this out visually in the form of a diagram, like a flowchart.
This flowchart will need to show what you could call the thought pattern of the game. If Shari likes videogames for example, how will the game check that information against other students, and what will it do if two (or more) people also share this interest?
Develop digital solutions as simple visual programs.
The student builds their solution to the problem as a simple visual digital program.
Explain how student-developed solutions and existing information systems meet current and future community and sustainability needs
Sustainability requirements can include environmental and economic needs. Does the student’s solution to the problem generate a lot of waste like paper? Is the student’s solution to the problem free for others to consume?
The student should write a reflection that indicates how their solution to the problem has met community and sustainability needs.
Since Shari is producing a digital game, she will definitely want to produce some sort of prototype on paper to ensure the product can function as intended. If she does not adequately prototype, she may encounter unforeseen problems that will hinder her progress. The best way to prototype a game is to get a version of it into the hands of others as soon as possible. The knowledge she obtains from this step may influence her final choice of appropriate technologies.
If she encounters a major problem, how is she going to address it? If she does not believe the problem is significant enough to warrant a radical redesign, how does she justify that?