More than half of students from low‑income households
$0 still needed
Coding with AppInventor
My students need 30 copies of the "Building Android Apps in Easy Steps" books to work with a partner in a Pair Programming team to design Android Apps.
Have you ever used an Android App and thought, "I can make a better, more useful App if I just knew how"? Students can use the free MIT AppInventor software along with the book to design, create, and share their own Android Apps.
I teach middle school students, grades 6 - 8, in a public K-8 center.
We have all races and levels of SES in our school, though there are over 50% of our students on free and reduced-price lunch. We also have a moderate amount of students in ESE and ESOL. I am always looking for engaging ways to instill a love for Computer Science in my students. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that by the year 2020, there will be 4.2 million jobs in computing and information technology in the U.S. We will not have enough graduates to fill the number of computer and math jobs that will be created. We need to encourage more Computer Science courses and graduates. Having students learn to create their own Android Apps and test them on the phone emulator will be highly motivating and help them gain confidence in their ability to succeed in Computer Science. The students will also increase their critical thinking and problem solving skills while creating working, useful apps.
Students will work with partners to share the "Building Android Apps in Easy Steps: Using App Inventor" book to learn how to create Android Apps using the free MIT AppInventor software. The partners will have two specific, rotating roles as a part of a research based strategy called "Pair Programming." The pair is made up of a driver, who actively types at the computer or records a design; and a navigator, who watches the work of the driver and attentively identifies problems, asks clarifying questions, and makes suggestions. Both are also continuous brainstorming partners and the roles are rotated regularly. The students can test and refine their apps using a phone emulator that is a part of the software. Once they have a finished app, they will upload it to Edmodo in order to share it with friends and family who will be able to install the working app on their own Android device.
AppInventor has great potential to transform Computer Science education.
Within a few minutes, students are able build apps for phones and tablets. This is incredibly motivating and empowering, and leads to a student-driven learning process in which the students spend hours in the lab working on projects. The students build interesting apps with real-world utility. They improve their problem solving skills and knowledge of computer science immeasurably.
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