Tuesday, January 08, 2019

write your own apps

I've made a few apps which run on my Android phone recently using MIT App Inventor. These include apps you can draw with (Digital Doodle), a game (Pong), a quiz (about US Presidents) and music (xylophone).
In some of these I just followed the tutorials but for a couple I extended them further. One issue here is that I feel I'm recovering some ownership of my phone over the unsolicited junk mail and messages I receive from all the vendors who are just "here to help".

The app I want to write is one which would help Arrernte native speakers correct my poor pronunciation of their language. At this point it is proving a challenge (to save and retrieve the recorded corrections) but I will get back to it. Thanks Paul, for your help.

As a computing teacher I'm very interested in understanding how app inventor can contribute to educational computing, which I argue is normally poorly done in schools. It was very encouraging to discover that the Computer Science Education Research (CSER) Group at Adelaide University highlighted App Inventor in their Year 7-8 MOOC for upskilling teachers, or anyone interested for that matter.

The apps I have made are available on google drive. I can't work out how to make that drive general public access but if you send a request I can make them available to you that way.

More to the point, I found the App Inventor tutorials and free online book, App Inventor 2: Create your own Android Apps to be extremely helpful.

update (Jan 9):Computational action!
MIT App Inventor has begun to frame its work in a theory of computational action: the idea that youth should learn about, and create with, computing in ways that provide them the opportunity to have direct impact in their lives Co and their communities. The App Inventor team is developing new features that allow students to more easily engage with authentic problems in their own lives with computational solutions. These features- maps, real-time collaboration, and support for Internet of Things applications, are powerful tools that students can bring to bear with minimal computing background in order to solve specific, local problems.

Mark A. Sherman, Mike Tissenbaum, Joshua Sheldon, Hal Abelson. (2018) Tools for Computational Action:New Features in MIT App Inventor. Tech Spotlight at Connected Learning Summit (CLS) 2018.

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