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Create Mobile Apps for - and In - Your Classroom

What if students could learn to program cell phones with no previous computer science experience? What if the software to do it was free and intuitive? In two hours of hands-on exploration, create your own first application for a smart phone, and experience an innovative approach to integrating custom apps into your classroom. We’ll be using the App Inventor programming environment developed by Google and MIT which combines drag-and-drop playful logic with the compelling excitement of developing programs and games for the smart phone in your pocket. Bring an Android phone if you have one, and bring a laptop where you have admin authority to install a driver and a free application. Nancy Hoffman and Elizabeth Perry are experienced classroom teachers who have used App Inventor with students at Google CAPE (Computing and Programming Experience) and Inspired by CAPE Programs at MIT, as well as with their own students at Trinity Area High School and The Ellis School in Pittsburgh, PA.

Additional Supporting Materials

Learning Objectives

  1. I don’t have any experience programming - is this workshop for me? I teach AP computer science - is this workshop for me? Yes and yes! App Inventor is very easy to use, and it introduces computer science and programming concepts in an intuitive way. Whatever your level of experience, you will come away having created a working mobile application of your own and you will have developed new ideas for integration of mobile apps and app development into your curriculum.
  2. We have no budget for this - my students don’t have smart phones - we have a “no cell phone” policy - I don’t have an Android phone - my school uses/doesn’t use Macs - can I still create and teach with App Inventor? Yes! The App Inventor programming environment is online and free. It works with Windows/Mac/Linux operating systems and it includes an Android emulator - so you don’t even need to have a physical phone available. Finished apps and programs can be shared via email.
  3. What do playful exploration and design thinking bring to teaching and learning, and what resources are available for teaching with this new software? App Inventor is designed to be something you can explore the way you might play with Lego. You can follow lots of great online tutorials, find already created curriculum, or you can create your own. This workshop will share ways of teaching with App Inventor as well as ways of integrating apps and app development across the curriculum.



Elizabeth Perry, Technology Integration Specialist, The Ellis School

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