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Total beginner question on how to proceed with project

by jla310 / December 20, 2013 12:10 AM PST

I am a teacher in an elementary school. I am looking to create a web-based storytelling/creating program to use with my students, something very similar to http://www.littlebirdtales.com This program has been redesigned and isn't useful for my students anymore. I can't find a replacement that fulfills all my needs, so I thought to myself..."maybe I can learn to create what I want." I have done web design using Joomla, but I'm no programmer. However, I'm a pretty quick learner with computer skills. I know the Little Bird Tales is flash-based, but it would be better if I used something else. Would Java be the alternative or some other language? Any suggestions on where I could go to learn how to do this (I realize it will be a challenge!) Or is there a good way to find a developer who could create what I want (for very little money!)

I'd love advice on what steps I need to take.

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All Answers

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Another way to describe
by Sovereign Forum moderator / December 20, 2013 6:20 AM PST

what you explained is that you're looking for a tool to create online audio presentations, of which there are many out there: Narrable, Present.me, Knovio, etc.

If you wanted to create your own, you should research HTML5 capabilities for uploading images, audio recording, etc. Granted, support for HTML5 technologies in a browser are still limited, but if it's just something you're trying out and is for a controlled group of people, you can make sure they have the right technology available.

Other technologies you may need to complete the project are CSS, PHP and MySQL.

You can start working on this using your computer (no reason to get a server now) with tools like XAMPP or MAMP.

Lastly, it will definitely be a challenge if you're doing this on your own, have no prior knowledge of development, and want to learn what it takes, but it can be done. You can always find a local programmer and treat him to lunch to bounce off ideas or maybe have him do a little freelance work for really complicated stuff.


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Thank you
by jla310 / December 20, 2013 9:27 AM PST

It is a sort of presentation program, but on a 6-year-old's level. The kids should be able to draw pictures and record a story to go with them. They won't make presentations with them - I want the program to create a class page for parents to view online. It should also be easy for a teacher to manage classes of students using the program. Can all of that be done in html5?

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My nod is yes.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 20, 2013 9:31 AM PST
In reply to: Thank you

It will likely be all the tools mentioned above plus JavaScript. In one odd piece of work I used JavaScript to control the playback.

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Oh well...
by jla310 / December 20, 2013 6:43 PM PST
In reply to: My nod is yes.

It's sounding un-doable for a novice like me. I'd have to go back to college! How would you recommend I find someone who could do this programming?

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in addition
by CWidmann / December 21, 2013 7:37 AM PST
In reply to: Oh well...

@Sovereign's last paragraph is very accurate. This type of app is fairly complicated. If you like to program and want to really learn a lot more then you have a great project for that. Of the little I know about pricing, paying a company to build this would cost $1,000s, maybe even $10,000+. I am a student, and before I looked at "littlebirdtales", I was going to suggest that I could work on something over winter break. I am looking for a small project to keep me active, but this would take too long for me do by myself. I couldn't actually write it from what I know now, but I do know enough to say that it is definitely doable. For me, a lot of research......but.........

A wonderful alternative idea I had is for you to host an open source project. Pick a site to host your project. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to say any names, but it's easy to find them with a search. I don't know if you can upload an idea and have others build it for you. Or if you have to have some code to build onto. Either way, post an idea, or new up some rudimentary code, and get started. By doing it this way you could also learn to program; making it possible to change later. In addition to having the app that you want, you have a great opportunity to introduce programming to your students. Even if it's asking their input on colors and characters to include. That would be some great confidence to give to a six year old; thinking they helped program a computer!! Later in life it might not seem so insurmountable and frightening. You may also prime the mind of a precocious young programmer; maybe attract the interest some parents, and they may have friends who are programmers.

If hosting a project seems daunting, but you live near a college or university, ask someone in the IT dept. if you can post this as an unpaid internship wherever the students can see it. "Employe" whoever wants to collaborate until it'd done.

I am always looking for a chance to learn more; if you do decide to host it then leave a comment here to let us know so I could work along with it.

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Wonderful idea!
by jla310 / December 21, 2013 9:08 AM PST
In reply to: in addition

I really like the idea of the open source project. I could certainly get the host lined up, but how the heck do I get it off the ground?

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Then get a guru. Example at link.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 21, 2013 8:27 AM PST
In reply to: Oh well...
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few steps to take
by madjamesiam / December 22, 2013 8:43 PM PST

Hope you will do this with some learning i think you are expecting static webpages, so you just try to learn HTML5 and CSS3 along with Javascript sure you will do if you have any doubts feel free to ask at anytime we will be ready to help you..
James mad
connected commerce

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