Today, I attended the beginner level Create-An-App Workshop, put on by SSU’s Women in Tech program, and it was pretty cool! We were walked through the steps of creating an app for a whack-a-mole game on an Android phone, using the MIT App Inventor. The program was pretty simple to use, and it looks like it has loads of functionality. It took me about half an hour to create my MoleMash game:
One downside: this program only creates apps for Android phones – no iPhone support at this time. So, I can’t preview anything on my own phone, but there is an Android emulator (that’s what I used to make the video up above). I figure it’s still worthwhile to learn the basics – it’s a block-based program (see below), which I’ve not used before, so I’m going to play around with this a bit more and see what I can do with it.
What else am I thinking about doing with the program? Right off the top of my head, I can imagine something that would allow students to complete short surveys (maybe to use after completing a group project, as a way of evaluating fellow group members). I might also be able to create apps for in-class active learning quizzes. It’s possible to generate a QR code that will be available for just 2 hours, so this might be useful when there’s something I want students to respond to in class (mini-quizzes, or something like that). I haven’t really thought about all the various ways this might be useful, but it feels pretty good to have gotten a little bit of experience under my belt.
Next up, I’m going to look into ways of doing this on an iPhone. But for now, a big THANK YOU to the folks who put on this workshop. I really enjoyed playing around with this software.