How did you discover MIT App Inventor?

How did you discover MIT App Inventor?

I discovered App Inventor just as Google was handing AI classic off to MIT. At the time I was looking at different kinds of development tools for mobile devices, and App Inventor showed up in some online searches.

I took a look at it and found it  intriguing – at the time, AI classic did not seem quite capable of doing the things I was likely to need, but I intended to keep an eye on it.

A few months later, I was asked if we could quickly train some high school students to write Android apps? I have been a volunteer engineering mentor with FIRST Robotics programs for eight years. The new high school team where I was volunteering had intriguing ideas for mobile apps. When I was asked about the feasibility of quickly building some Android apps, I immediately proposed MIT App Inventor!

Our first student was so enthralled he literally stayed up half the night teaching himself App Inventor and soon was writing bundles of code for our Android tablet applications. Eventually another student joined the effort (from an iPhone background!) and rapidly came up to speed, writing a neat app in App Inventor.

FIRST Robotics is not only about designing and building robots, but is about building, leading, organizing, running and managing an entire student team doing multiple activities. Our students have now formed an “Apps” group within the team to produce team support tools on Android devices and code that runs on Windows to analyze data that is collected during events. Last year, one student produced a neat App Inventor game “Too many totes!” for Android, based on the 2015 FIRST Robotics competition tournament.

MIT App Inventor proved to be a fantastic solution for this effort.

How did you first discover MIT App Inventor? What sort of apps are you creating? Post a comment here or on Facebook to share with all of us App Inventor gear heads!

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