On Wednesday, we had the wonderful opportunity to meet and learn from Andy Russell, one of the co-founders of Toontastic. Not only did Andy want to meet and talk with our students about their experiences using Toontastic, but he also wanted to impart a very important message to 4th graders: It's never too early to develop your ideas and turn them into something special. Andy emphasized that you don't have to wait until you go to college to develop and refine your big ideas. He shared that 70% of the process of developing an app or any piece of software can be mapped out using paper prototyping. Andy even showed us the early paper prototypes of Toontastic and how he used them to test his ideas with users.
|The first Toontastic stage|
|So cool to see the first paper prototypes of Toontastic!|
|Now to add the screen frame to test how it all fits.|
|Taking our ideas for our chicken-wolf game!|
|Using Keynote to make our first game mock-up|
After the talk, Andy, and his partner, researcher and cognitive psychologist Alicia Chang, observed the students using the app. It will be interesting for them to study how our kids' Toontastic storytelling changed over the course of 3 test sessions.
Yesterday, we wrote thank you emails to Andy and Alicia, and from those emails, I can tell that our kids had a wonderful, inspiring experience!