Have students use Android devices with App Inventor to ease the process of viewing their app on a device; this provides them with meaningful motivation.

  • It’s encouraging for students to see their own app on a device they use everyday.
    • Seeing the app on a phone or tablet rather than on a computer screen makes students feel like they’re learning useful skills.
  • You can use old Android phones with App Inventor since no cellular plan is necessary for the apps students create to work.
    • However, it is sometimes necessary to use newer phones if projects have many images or music files.
      • If you buy a new android phone for you class, Rosato recommends the Blu Phone, which can be purchased for less than $100.
  • For alternatives to using android phones, students can also use an emulator, a simulation of an Android phone on the computer.
    • The App Inventor website provides an emulator that can be downloaded on a computer.
    • However, the emulator tends to have more problems than a real Android device.
      • If the emulator isn’t working, the problem can often be solved by restarting it.
    • The sooner students can get their device or emulator working, the more they can focus on their app.
  • Tablets can be helpful for students to see the user interface at different sizes on larger screens.
  • Learn more about App Inventor from the App Inventor website.