AppInventorOverview

Report
App Inventor
Barb Ericson
Georgia Tech
[email protected]
What is App Inventor?
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Free software for creating
apps for Android devices
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Projects are saved to the
cloud
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You create the user interface
by dragging components
(widgets) onto a screen
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The Designer
You program the app by
dragging program statements
and connecting them
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Requires an internet
connection to use
The Blocks Editor
You can test using wireless, an
emulator, or a USB connected
device
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First option is best
Designer – User Interface
Blocks Editor - Programming
Tips for Workshops
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Manage expectations
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Pre-load Xylophone on the phones
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They are not creating Angry Birds in 1 hour
Have students play with it and ask them how they think it
works
Introduce the computing terms
Explain how to use the phones (especially for adults)
For younger students use projects with the user interface
already done
Allow time to add features or create apps
Use examples that help people - SpeakIt
Use examples that can be customized - Fortune
Show how it relates to jobs – Dot Diva
Troubleshooting
 Both
the device and computer must be
on the same wireless network

Some networks have firewalls that don’t
allow this to work – check first
 To
use the emulator or USB connected
device you must install software

See
http://appinventor.mit.edu/explore/ai2/set
up.html
Setup the Phone / Tablet
 Menu
– Settings Applications
 Menu
– Settings Development
Install on Device
 Your
app will work as long as the device is
connected, but not when disconnected
 To have your app work after you disconnect the
device
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In the Designer click on App (Provide QR code for
.apk) to install the app on your device
Or save the .apk to your computer and put it on a
server to share it with others
Sharing a Project with Others
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Go to My Projects
Check the app to share
Click on ”Project" and
then ”Export selected
(.aia) to my computer"
This will download a file to
your computer that ends
in .aia
Others can click on
“Project” and “Import
project (.aia) from my
computer” to upload it
Computing Concepts
 Event
driven programming
 Variables
 Conditionals
 Random Numbers
 Procedures and parameters

Creating your own blocks
 Lists
 Iteration
(Loops)
 Recursion
 User Interfaces
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Model, View, Controller
What else can you do?
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Create games
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Use the camera and then
draw on the picture
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Canvas
Create a quiz
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Image sprites – collision
detection, timers
Using lists
Automatically respond to
text messages
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Use text-to-speech to
read a message
Store data on the
phone
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Use the GPS to remember
where your car is
Open Google maps to a
particular URI
Create a list of people to
automatically text
Create a remote control
for your LEGO robot
Use a barcode scanner
and get info from
websites with web data
APIs
Store data on the phone
or in a web database
Tips and Techniques

You can copy and paste a set of blocks
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You can just type a number or Boolean value
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Control C and V on windows
The correct block will be created
When you right click on a block you can:
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Add a comment
Duplicate a block
Deactivate a block
Collapse a block
Execute a block immediately
How to get devices?
 Buy
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tablets – cheaper than phones
Samsung Galaxy - $180
Nexus 7 - $152
 Ask
students/parents to donate used
phones
 Get a small grant to cover the cost of the
devices – Google Rise, Local businesses,
College
 Only need 1 device per 4-6 people
How to evaluate
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Pre and post attitude surveys
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Measure confidence, enjoyment, interest, intent
to persist, gender stereotypes
5 point Likert scale questions
Open-ended questions: best, thing to change?
http://home.cc.gatech.edu/ice-gt/310
Pre and post content knowledge assessments
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Multiple choice questions
http://home.cc.gatech.edu/ice-gt/311
Additional Resources
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ICE projects for App Inventor
http://ice-web.cc.gatech.edu/dl/?q=node/873
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MIT’s Tutorials are at
http://appinventor.mit.edu/explore/tutorials.html
Gallery of apps created with App Inventor
http://gallery.appinventor.mit.edu/#
35 hour course for teachers
http://explore.appinventor.mit.edu/teaching-app-creation
Design guidelines from Google for Android Apps
http://developer.android.com/design/index.html
Free on-line book and course materials and tutorials are at
http://www.appinventor.org/book
Mobile CS Principles materials - including multiple choice questions
https://sites.google.com/site/mobilecsp/
6 modules are at http://www.appinventor.org/course-in-a-box
How to publish to the play store ($25 fee to
register)http://appinventor.mit.edu/explore/ai2/google-play.html

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