This week I taught a professional development workshop on App Inventor to community college and high school teachers from California, Nevada, and Hawaii. Great teachers, great energy, and everyone loves App Inventor. The class met at City College of San Francisco in the Mission District. The workshop is part of MPICT, an organization that supports all types of ICT education at the community college level.
Watch this incredible interview with MIT’s Hal Abelson, who created App Inventor, and Asha Richardson, who co-founded the app lab at Oakland Youth Radio. If you are interested in motivating kids to be creators and thrive in today’s society, you have to watch this!
MIT App Inventor App Contest 2012
What: The First MIT App Inventor App Contest. Prizes, Fame, Fun!
Who: Everyone is eligible, see categories below
Why: To promote App Inventor, the App Inventor Gallery, and mobile programming for all!
When: Submission Deadline is Midnight, December 12, 2012, (Pacific Time)
Where: The App Inventor Community Gallery (http://gallery.appinventor.mit.edu)
Most Outstanding App: grades K-8, 9-12, College/University, Open
Prizes (each category)
1st Place: Google Nexus 7 Tablet
2nd Place: App Inventor Book ( http://bit.ly/AppInventorBook )
How novel is the app? What app(s) is it similar to, and what is the value-add of the app?
What is the potential impact of the app? Who will it help, and how will it help them?
How complex is the app in terms of blocks, logic, and programming concepts.
User Experience and Presentation
Does the app have a well-designed, professional-looking user-interface? Is it easy to use for the intended audience, even the first time they use the app?
Is the app complete or close to it? Has it been user-tested or deployed with real users?
To Enter the Contest:
1) Join the MIT App Inventor Community Gallery
(The Gallery is in Beta, go to http://gallery.appinventor.mit.edu to request full access).
2) Develop an app using App Inventor (http://beta.appinventor.mit.edu),
3) Upload your app to the App Inventor Community Gallery.
4) Fill out the contest submission form at: http://bit.ly/AIContestEntryForm
5) You may edit your app and form entry until the contest deadline of 12/12/12. Be sure and save the “edit form” link when your initial submission is confirmed.
More info: email contest organizer, USF Professor David Wolber, firstname.lastname@example.org
I stumbled upon a solution to a long-standing issue I’ve had with App Inventor which is how to test, without a phone, apps that process SMS texts in some way. The issue is important because not all schools and developers have phones, but texting apps are fun and important so you’d like to be able to develop and test them even if you don’t have an Android.
So I was trying to build a screencast for the No Texting While Driving tutorial, and I wanted to be able to test/show the app on-screen. So I googled (go figure) and found out that the emulator id# serves as a phone number (go figure again, and why didn’t I try this before). So the solution is to open multiple emulators (click new emulator in app inventor twice). Connect one of them to app inventor and run the app on it, then use the normal texting app on the other to text the emulator running the app (with phone number something like 5554)
So now you can build/test SMS texting apps without owning an Android phone. I’m happy!
The great team at Technovation is giving a workshop this summer for teachers. Here’s the info:
Technovation for Teachers: Summer Institute to Teach App Inventor
The Technovation Challenge has been teaching high school girls how to build mobile phone apps using App Inventor since 2010. Why should the girls get all the fun? Technovation is expanding to teachers with their first ever Summer Institute in Silicon Valley.
This week-long Technovation bootcamp will teach participants all stages of the app development process from the entrepreneurial process to design thinking to using App Inventor. Teachers can get CEUs for participating.
Teachers will leave with thorough knowledge of App Inventor, an app prototype, and the tools and curriculum to teach App Inventor in their own classroom (and maybe even set up a Technovation club!).
When: July 30- August 3
Where: Silicon Valley
Learn more: www.technovationchallenge.org
In an effort to assist MIT in their effort to study and extend App Inventor, we invite you to complete this brief survey on your use of App Inventor. All data collected in this survey will be shared with the MIT Center for Mobile Learning.
Please visit http://appinventoredu.mit.edu/ for updates on what is being done with App Inventor at MIT.
The App Inventor Team
I also found this Spanish App Inventor resource site: https://sites.google.com/site/appinventormegusta/. Check it out!
Mitch Resnick will be teaming up with Hal Abelson and Erick Klopfer on the App Inventor project at the new MIT Center for Mobile Learning. This development is great for many reasons, one being that Mitch is an expert on building community and sharing within a development tool.
Mitch’s Scratch system is one of the greatest sharing sites– open source software sites– in the world. Community is built into the very core of the system and sharing is the default behavior. The motto is Imagine. Program. Share. Building something from example is the norm.
Such a scheme is especially important for kids and the non-geeks who inhabit the App Inventor world– its much easier than starting with an empty canvas or an empty text editor. Hell, its really best the way for hard-core geek programmers to work as well.
The current version of App Inventor has no sharing facility: its really a wonder that App Inventor flourished without it. Resnick’s influence will ensure that the community sharing is integrated directly in the workflow.
What’s it all mean? Are kids the only ones who buy into this sharing stuff? Can Resnick get adults to play together as well? I believe the answer is yes. People– kids and adults–love their phones. The lucky ones with tablets are obsessed with those as well. Most have never imagined that they could actually program these devices. App Inventor makes that possible, but it needs a community to foster it. Resnick may be just the guy to turn these phone lovers into the world’s greatest app building collaboratory.