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!

 

Pure Vida Aps

http://puravidaapps.com/ is a great site with lots of block snippets and explanations. Check it out!

Technovation teaching teachers App Inventor

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
Cost: $400

Learn more: www.technovationchallenge.org

Help MIT Study and Extend App Inventor

Hi folks. If you are an app inventor user, please fill out the survey on it here: survey
This will help the MIT team move forward in improving app inventor. Here’s the announcement:
In order to ensure the future success of App Inventor and explore innovative uses of mobile technology in education, Google has funded the establishment of a Center for Mobile Learning at the MIT Media Lab.  The new center will be actively engaged in studying and extending App Inventor for Android.

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


P.S. This survey is being distributed through multiple means. Please be sure to only fill it out once.

App Inventor en Espanol

Anaya Multimedia has created a Spanish translation of our App Inventor book. Here’s the Amazon link: http://amzn.to/n3i6Pa.

I also found this Spanish App Inventor resource site: https://sites.google.com/site/appinventormegusta/. Check it out!

 

 

Resnick and App Inventor: Community sharing will explode

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.

Best App Inventor News Ever: MIT Launches New Center for Mobile Learning!

MIT announced the launch of the new Center for Mobile Learning. The Center’s first activity will focus on App Inventor for Android! The center will be led by App Inventor mastermind Hal Abelson, Mitch Resnick of Lego Mindstorms and Scratch fame, and Eric Kopfler, the director of teacher education at MIT and an expert in games and simulation. Here’s an excerpt from the announcement:

Dr. Maggie Johnson, Google’s Director of Education and University Relations, sees the Media Lab initiative as the ideal next step for App Inventor. “Google incubated App Inventor to the point where it gained critical mass. MIT’s involvement will both amplify the impact of App Inventor and enrich the research around it,” said Johnson. “It is a perfect example of how industry and academia can work together effectively.”

This news boomerangs the negativity surrounding Google’s discontinuation announcement last week. To the many teachers whose curriculums have been energized by app inventor, and to the thousands of newly empowered app builders: Rejoice! The fun has just begun!

Update: Hal Abelson discusses the move at Google Blog. Google is helping fund the center.

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