MIT’s App Inventor (or, What I’ve been up to)

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This weekend I learned how to programs apps for Android in order to do a computer science badge with the Girl Scouts. I had volunteered last fall to do an activity with them as a way to encourage girls towards computer careers.

Reflections:

  1. If finally makes sense to me why we teach Scratch. When I saw the blocks editor, I recognized the format immediately – and so did the 4th graders. They caught on pretty quickly, even if my explanations weren’t quite as practiced as would have been helpful.
  2. The girls had AMAZING ideas for apps. One where you bounce on a trampoline and try to break a glass ceiling. (As I was standing there teaching programming to girls, there was some meta awareness about them designing a game to break a glass ceiling.) One where you are animals and have to fight poachers. Another one where you get to go to a virtual school and experience what a day is like – wouldn’t that be an amazing tool for kids new a school from a very different background if they could walk through a day, kind of like an orientation? Sounds like this game from GLS.
  3. I love that I have a job where I get to learn new things with kids.
  4. In developing a pK-12 computer science curriculum, I think we need to decide which language we’re going to teach. I’m thinking right now it would make sense to begin with scratch and teach that up until midway through 6th grade, javascript from mid-6th grade through 8th grade, then java in upper school. Whichever we decide, I have more learning to do!
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One thought on “MIT’s App Inventor (or, What I’ve been up to)

  1. Pingback: Reaction Paper 4: Video Games and Learning | Julie Kallio Robison

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