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Over the past couple days I've had my first opportunity to dive into App Inventor. It has quite frankly blown my mind. I had always (mistakenly) grouped it with Scratch, Snap!, etc. as "just another drag-and-drop environment." It is that but so much more (I can finally see that now).

Now I am wondering where it best fits into a typical high school sequence of CS courses. I could see it being anything from a semester-long intro elective for students with no background to an advanced app development class for students who have completed AP CS A (and thus are quite competent with OOP and Java).

Where does a class focused on App Inventor fit into the high school CS curriculum, and what are the merits of it having said placement?

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    $\begingroup$ In what way did it blow your mind? FYI, the O'Reilly books is available online for free. appinventor.org/book2 $\endgroup$ – Ellen Spertus Jul 19 '17 at 23:56
  • $\begingroup$ @EllenSpertus To put it simply, I was amazed by how natural it felt to build a meaningful and sophisticated app. My frame of reference is some Xcode tutorials for iOS dev, so App Inventor looks incredibly more accessible. Plus, I love low-floor/high-ceiling software for learning programming, and this really has that quality. Plus, I loved the UI; it all just looked and felt clean and user- (and both beginner- and advanced-) friendly. That's not easy to do. $\endgroup$ – Peter Jul 20 '17 at 0:43
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The AP course that @AlfredThompson referred to is the Mobile CSP course. It's a complete College Board-endorsed course for the new AP CS Principles course and is entirely based on App Inventor. It comes with a complete set of lessons for students (Creative Commons-licensed) as well as lesson plans and professional development (PD) resources for teachers. The MobileCSP project has been providing PD for high school teachers throughout the U.S. since 2013 and has now trained around 500 teachers. For more information about the project, see this site.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for joining CS Educators. It's good to see you here. $\endgroup$ – Ellen Spertus Jul 29 '17 at 19:11
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I'm planning on using in a course called Mobile Application Development. I like that it is easy to use and syntax is less of an issue. As it has a focus on Android apps that attracts students. I plan on using the time I save on syntax to spend more time on design issues which I think is often under taught.

There is a Mobile Apps version of the AP CS Principles course as well. I hear lots of good things about it but have not looked at it too closely myself.

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