App Lab is a programming environment where you can make simple apps, online and for free which I am currently using with my Year 7 Digital Technology class. To begin, sign up as a teacher for a free account and then set up your class. You can set up your class using their name (first name plus initial of their last name) and ‘secret codes'(passwords), meaning you don’t need to provide any of your student’s personal information such as their email address.
Then we moved onto something a little harder, text programming. The app I chose for students to create was “Wack an e-moji” game. This was a big jump from the first. What I found was, that many students were copying the code, not necessarily understanding and reading the code. So I recommend, that before you get students to create this game you set the following two courses for them first: (1) Computer Science Principles CPS Building Apps and (2) The Design Process. Even though I did things in the wrong order (ie. not completing the two courses above before Wack an e-moji) students still had success (don’t make the same mistake as me 😉 ).
I also created some assessment rubrics. Please note, they are a work in progress, however you can download them below:
My next step for for students to create their own digital solution (app) for a particular purpose. I’ll post this once I’ve trialed this in class.