Tag Archives: community

360iDev with the Campfire Apps team!

 

Our 360iDev Pals – Ray & Vicki Wenderlich and Brandon Trebitowski

On Sepetember 8th, the Campfire Apps team jumped on a plane and headed to Denver! We were there from the 8th through the 13th for the 360iDev conference. This conference is a place where iOS developers from all over the United States (& World) can come together for one week to learn new things, meet new people, and have a great time. We did a lot throughout the week, we even took a trip to the top of  the mountain, Pikes Peak, which is over 14,000 feet high.

 

Steph, Shawn, & Courtney – The Campfire Apps Team – at the top of Pike’s Peak

On Tuesday night, we participated in the 360iDev Game Jam. This was an awesome event hosted by some of the attendees of the conference. During the day on Tuesday we received a theme for the Game Jam – “Growth” – and after dinner settled in for an evening of programming, design, and all around fun. The Game Jam started around 7:00 pm and participants had until 9:00 am Wednesday to create at least a prototype of a game to share with the group Wednesday afternoon.

 

Our Game Jam table: Brandon, Shawn, & Courtney

Our game was (tentatively) called “Present Drop” and the goal of the game is to ‘grow’ a tower of gifts as tall as possible without knocking it over or losing too many gifts along the way. As you might have guessed, our game is also holiday-themed, which was a lot of fun. Here is a peek at what the title screen looks like for our game:

This was our first time participating in the Game Jam, and we will definitely be participating again next year! We had so much fun working quickly to get our game ready. It’s amazing what you can accomplish in such a short period of time when you just sit down and focus on it.

360iDev is an awesome opportunity for iOS developers to get together, talk shop and experience this amazing community. We have really been impressed the last two years that we have attended and have made a lot of new friends through this conference. We left the conference with so much inspiration, and so many new ideas! The Campfire Apps team has been brainstorming, so be on the look out for new goodies soon!

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Live from the 360iDev Game Jam!

The Campfire Apps team has been working diligently for the past 5 hours on an app for the Game Jam at the 360iDev conference in Denver. Our game for the game jam is “Present Drop” and it’s Christmas themed! Shawn has been working on the coding, while Stephanie has been designing the artwork for the game. Our goal is to finish the game tonight; or at least get it to be functional. Keep an eye out for more updates about the game, because it’s one that we hope to be releasing this winter.

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Insquared UnConference

This past Saturday Shawn, Stephanie, and I attended the “Insquared: Inclusive Innovation Unconference” at MICA in Baltimore. It was the first “unconference” that any of us had ever attended, and we had a great time! Each of us took away so much from the conference, and we’ve all been talking about it since we left!

We had the opportunity to listen and discuss multiple topics, including youth entrepreneurship and technology in the Baltimore area school systems. Shawn and Stephanie also presented their own session, “An Introduction to Mobile App Development.” They both did a great job presenting, and there were many people interested in the topic.

One of the best parts of the day was hearing from two great keynote speakers. In the morning we heard a talk from Tara Hunt about her own life experiences and how she has never given up to make it to where she is today. In the afternoon we heard from New York Times Bestseller, Baratunde Thurston, about his bestselling book, “How To Be Black“, and a general overview of his life and accomplishments. Both speakers were phenomenal and totally inspiring!

Overall, we were all able to learn a lot from this conference and we can’t wait to experience other conferences like this one!

ETA (from Stephanie): Shawn and I were very honored to be asked to present at this conference. It was an awesome event put on by the Greater Baltimore Tech Council (gbtc) and MICA. Perhaps the most rewarding element was seeing how many students attended the event. We had students from KIPP, Digital Harbor High, and our own Courtney and all of them were well-spoken, involved in the conversations, and inspiring. I know that it would have been difficult for me as a high school student to attend an event such as this and participate in the ways that the students did this past weekend.

We very much look forward to similar events in the future, as Courtney said, we had a great time and took away so many nuggets on knowledge, thought, and inspiration.

For anyone who is interested, Shawn posted the slides from our talk “An Intro to Mobile App Development” on his website, ShawnsBits.com. Please check them out, there are a TON of links to good resources and information contained in the presentation.

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APPlied Club Gets a New Home

As many of you may know from reading our blog, Campfire Apps has been sponsoring a local high school app development club, APPlied Club at Patapsco High School, since October. This project has been so rewarding for us and we have enjoyed every minute of this experience with the teens, the school, and the community.

We are happy to announce that APPlied Club will now have it’s own space on the web, separate from Campfire Apps. This project looks to be growing into something bigger than we anticipated when we started at Patapsco almost six months ago. In the future, we are hoping to spread APPlied Club to more schools, offer some sort of training program for leaders, and offer a summer camp for teens. These are just goals at this point and we aren’t exactly sure what form these ideas will take, but we do know that this has become a project we are interested in investing more into.

For those of you who are interested in APPlied Club news and information, you can find all of that and more at this new site:

www.APPliedClub.org

If you are interested only in Patapsco High’s APPlied Club, you can get all the information about that club on their site:

www.PHS.APPliedClub.org

You may see an update about APPlied Club here on Campfire Apps from time to time, but the majority of information will be shared on those two sites. We don’t want to bombard our customers and friends with information about a club they may not even be interested in, so we decided to separate the two. We hope that some of you have enjoyed the information we have shared about this club and the program and will continue to visit those two new sites to check in on new happenings and information.

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Are Your Kids Safe?

While searching through the inter-webs I came across this post and I thought it was very interesting. According to a survey conducted by the Federal Trade Commission apps geared towards children do not fully disclose certain types of data. The consumer protection agency has scrutinized privacy policies and they have  suggested that app developers go back into their apps to make sure that they have disclosers of the data in their app. Young people, teens, and children are the vast majority of people using smart devices such as iPhone and Android. And many of the apps in the App Store are geared for these age groups. However, they’re not always as safe as they seem to be. As a parent, make sure that you’re monitoring what apps your child is downloading and make sure that they’re age appropriate and don’t include or suggest anything that you wouldn’t want your child to see. To read more about this, you can follow the link here to view the whole article.

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Campfire App Newsletter

Are you signed up for the Campfire Apps Newsletter?! If not, you should be! Be the first to find out about new releases and other information! We send out a monthly newsletter to keep you up to date with what we’re doing. The monthly newsletter shares highlights from the blog and updates from what we’re working on. You can sign up to receive the newsletter here. We hope you’ll consider signing up to receive this bonus content from Campfire Apps!

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APPlied Club Featured on BCPS Channel

Patapsco High School’s APPlied Club was featured in one of the most recent Baltimore County Public Schools Education Channel episodes. They shared a little about the progress that the club has made, and gave an inside look on what a typical meeting looks like. The video focuses on the planning process for the PHS Connect app and gives more background information about the club. You can check out the video below. Our segment is shown at 6:45, so make sure you fast forward to it!

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PHS Connect

As of February 14th, The APPlied Club at Patapsco High School has submitted their first app to Apple! The PHS Connect app is an app that the students in the club created for Patapsco. Within the app you can find out information about the school such as the calendar of events, links to the school’s social pages, and a direct link to the school’s Edline page. The club worked together in order to decide what features would be included in the app. They thought of the things that most students, parents, and faculty would look for, and went from there. It took them lots of work and effort, but the app is finally complete!

Within the app there are specific pages included such as a calendar of events, social links, a link to the school’s Edline, a news feed, an about page, and Patriot Pride which focuses on the recent achievements of the school.

Calendar

Social Links

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Patriot Pride

To see the rest of the app you’ll have to wait until it’s released to the app store! We look forward to sharing it with all of you, let’s hope the app is approved on the first try!

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Incorporating Technology in Education

Many parents believe that allowing technology in education won’t benefit their student and will only distract them. However, many teachers and educators disagree with that. Nowadays, you can’t even walk into a classroom without seeing some type of technology being used. The majority of teachers prefer to teach using tools such as laptops and PowerPoint programs because it mixes up the lesson and it’s something that will get students to comprehend the information better. Being a student myself, I can say that technology in the classroom is great. We all look forward to any chance we have of using the computers, and we enjoy not having to just copy down notes everyday. And different from many schools, my school even airs a daily video broadcast of our announcements every morning. I found a video on The Digital Generation Project that focuses on an elementary school in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. This elementary school is what they refer to as “wired.” They are very tech savvy and encourage technology use through all of their grades, kindergarten through 5th grade. This school is one of the many schools nationwide that are integrating even more technology into their education.

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Reasons Why Kids Should Play Video Games

Many parents would argue that video games are harmful to kids, however they aren’t always bad! There’s many benefits to letting your children play video games. I found a post “7 reasons why your kids should play video games” on The Online Mom and I thought it was pretty interesting. I wanted to take the 7 points that she gives and put my own opinion in it.

  1. Video games teach problem solving .  Video games make kids think. They are given a problem and they have to find their way through it. They are playing a character in the game and in order to have a solution in the end, they must solve the problem that’s in front of them.
  2. Video games are social.  Although it seems like kids today are more antisocial, they are communicating through their video games. Many games have an option to play online against others. There is a large social interaction because of video games.
  3. Video games provide positive reinforcement.  In many video games when you pass a level or reach a new goal, you are rewarded for achieving it. This is teaching kids that they should set goals for themselves and it shows them how great it feels to complete something after working towards it for a while.
  4. Video games teach strategic thinking.  It allows the player to choose the path that they will take to reach their final destination. They get to make their own decisions and get instant feedback on the choices that they’ve made.
  5. Video games build teamwork.  Many videos games are now available so that you can play with others. They offer kids the chance to play and work together and solve the problem as a team.
  6. Video games improve hand-eye coordination. Tests prove that “video games have helped to improve balance and coordination in numerous patients from stroke victims to those suffering with Parkinson’s Disease.” No matter who you are or what you do, hand-eye coordination is always great to have.
  7. Video games bring families together. Video games are made for all ages, not just kids! Instead of having a family game night with board games, try video games for a change. You’ll soon realize that there isn’t much of a difference!
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