Street Code Academy Rocks

It is the damndest hackathon coding workshop you’ve ever seen. There is music. Loud Music. Hip Hop.  Dance a little, sing a little, create an app! There are basketball hoops, low for dunking (even low enough for an old has-been). Hoop it up, app it up! There are colorful murals. There is barbecue. Eat a bit, code a bit. And the barbecue is out of control good!

kidsStreetCode

Kids coding, and Rafael Cosman teaching, at the Street Code academy Kickoff event

There are black people. And brown people. People of all colors. Silicon Valley meet East Palo Alto. This is the Street Code Academy Kickoff event.

There are kids. All ages. There are Moms and dads. Families. Having fun and learning to code and create. Design the Future, say the T-shirts. They will and they are.

The kids are smiling, learning, having fun, proud. Empowered is a big word but you see it in the kids faces. Look what I can do!

Some kids spent 11 hours on the day hacking. A girl named Harshita Gupta from Mission San Jose High met with the Mayor and prototyped an app for East Palo Alto residents to report trash/graffiti (she’s spending her thanksgiving week off working no it!) Kids worked with Arduino boards, App Inventor, Wix, Photoshop, and just about every technology you can think of.

Google and Facebook, your numbers on diversity are awful. Street Code Academy is the change you envision. Check it out!

The academy is run by young visionaries: Rafael Cosman, Olatunde Sobomehin, Shadi Barhoumi. They are techies but they are experts in what kids like. They are coaches and cheerleaders and mentors. There is no kid that could resist Olatunde’s call to arms! Rafael’s energy is infectious. Shadi is everywhere. These guys are on to something big.

Support the Street Code Academy!

musicStreetCode

The music was off the charts

BarbecueStreetCode

Best barbecue ever and 100 times better than any previous hackathon event



alatunde

Olatunde Sobomehin inspired young and old

App Inventor Presentation at Tech Museum of Innovation, San Jose

techMuseumI’m giving a presentation on teaching App Inventor to kids along with a hands-on workshop at the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose this Saturday, Oct 18, 1 pm. The event is free and you can register at http://appinventor-at-the-tech.eventbrite.com, The event is being hosted by Benesse CorporBenesse_America_logo_72DPIation of Japan.

Please spread the word!

Dave Wolber

App Inventor Teacher Workshop for Community Colleges

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.

Teachers and Professor Wolber

Teachers and Professor Wolber

App Inventor Interview with MIT’s Hal Abelson and Oakland Youth Radio’s Asha Richardson

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!

Technovation Challenge: Sign up!

High school girls: sign up for this amazing after school program:

Software developers and entrepreneurs: sign up to be mentors

Enter the MIT App Inventor App Contest

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)

Prize Categories
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 )

Contest Criteria
Creativity
How novel is the app? What app(s) is it similar to, and what is the value-add of the app?

Potential Impact
What is the potential impact of the app? Who will it help, and how will it help them?

Complexity
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?

Completeness
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, wolberd@usfca.edu

Testing SMS Texting apps with app inventor

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two emulators used to test an app inventor app

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!

 

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