June 3rd – MIT App Inventor

Today is looking at a free version of the iPad platform specific program from yesterday – Codea.  MIT App Inventor uses the drag and drop Block based programming language from Scratch and turns it into a IDE for Android devices.

June 3rd – MIT App Inventor

Full disclosure, this resource should be and will probably be “A Week With” series later in the year – but I wanted to introduce it now while it’s on the top of my head.  As the year winds down, the sun is up earlier in the morning and later in the evening, the birds are chirping and students can’t wait for summer.  It’s a difficult time to keep them in their seats with AP test over and summer plans on the horizon.  I’ve always used this time for projects as students are typically more interested in something they’ve chosen to do versus what I’m telling them is important.  This is the time of year for MIT App Inventor.

In my courses I’ve gone through Scratch and SNAP, learned a little bit about Processing and the students are wrapping up and thinking about Final Projects, I always have a few students looking for a challenge.  I tell them to check out MIT App Inventor and I typically don’t hear from them again – they are really into it.

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MIT App Inventor uses two view to help students understand the backend and frontend parts of design.  The backend uses blocks to create the code similar to Scratch and the frontend is straight forward dragging and dropping design elements that you’ll designate functions to in the backend.  There are dozens of tutorials online (and here) so this might be a great tool to show students that can handle it and over the summer I’ll do a “A Week With” series and everybody can try it out for next years courses.

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