Is This Lesson Really 1 Day?


Just curious - does this project really take 1 day to complete? On the curriculum map, it takes up the same amount of space as the earlier lessons, but this whole activity seems really involved - brainstorming the app, drafting the user screens, making the user screens with index cards, creating the navigation diagram, user testing, reflecting on user testing, and making a poster.

I think I’m giving students a week for this. I might also give them a check-list of tasks to complete along the way so they know what things to do next - even I got a little lost reading the project planning guide.


I’m thinking it will take several class periods, easily…and I think the checklist is a great idea to keep things organized both for yourself and for your students.


I piloted this lesson last year and gave my students 3 days to complete this lesson. On the third day, each group presented a poster showing how the app worked, etc. After each presentation, the class gave feedback on what they liked about the app and what they thought could be improved. I had each group make changes to their app based on the feedback. I really like your idea of having a check-list of tasks to complete. I also found that emphasizing the user-centered design was important. “You are making this app for your client.”


Haha I didn’t even notice the suggested time frame. I just know that my internal veteran teacher time clock immediately registered it as ‘multi-day’.

I would like to share a website my superstar CS colleague shared with me that she used at Cal when they did the exact same type of prototyping exercise. It’s called and is really easy-ish to use. You are allowed two free projects.

If you would like to see the Txt Ur Grndkdz paper prototype as an electronic prototype, here is the link:

It doesn’t have the same bang as seeing it in your phone (which you can, if as the creator you want to send an SMS link to yourself), but it’s pretty cool. I just used a snipping tool to clip the UI screens from the Lesson 4 Activity guide (which is why the first one looks so awful) and then uploaded them to the site. Took under 10 minutes.

There is an app version for ios and Android. I tried the ios version and it was a bit glitchy, which is why I switched to the web version. You might want to try it in your device to see if you can get it to work better for you.

I embedded the app on my school website and am going to have the kids play with it. Then later I’m going to have the kids make an e-prototype for this project from their paper screens, letting them decide to use a phone or computer. We’ll see how it goes!