Learn to Code Your First Android App with AppInventor

By Allison Mollica, USA Director - AppsEvents

There are loads of 'learn to code' resources on the web but it can be difficult to find something you can put to work right away to teach yourself or others. A while back I dove deep into the MIT AppInventor site to build an Intro to Apps course for middle school. I have presented a portion of it as one or a series of sessions at the AppsEvents Summits.

Feel free to use the presentation as it has directions for building two simple apps using the AppInventor interface on a Chromebook or Laptop. You can also install the MIT Companion App on your Android and sync it / run / test the app as you build.

The sense of accomplishment and motivation you get from this is similar to what you might get coding 'tangibles' but with no cost or space requirements. Everything is FREE you just need devices.

Slides for Learning or Facilitating

This slide deck you can follow the directions or facilitate a workshop. In less than an hour you can code 'Hello Purr' and 'Magic Ball' which both young and old seem to get really psyched about when they see it work.


Q. Are there any network requirements?
A. Yes, you need to be on the same WIFI and it cannot block network traffic. I've had trouble presenting this at some schools and had to have everyone connect to my own mobile wifi.

Q. What if I don't have Android devices to test on?
A. There is an install for an 'emulator' you can put on your 'computer' which puts a little phone screen on your desktop that will since with the program and you can test it out that way.

Q. Is there an IOS version?
A. Yes, there is a new program called Thunkable that you can work with, I don't have the directed posted for the above through Thunkable but you should check it out. It's free.

Extended Learning

This is aligned with MIT AppInventor2 Resources

If you do this and want to have some more fun, level up and make the PONG App! The directions can be found at allisonmollica.com > Presentations > My First Android App at the bottom of the page. 

Happy Coding! 

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Insert Handwritten Notes with the Chromebook Tab 10 | Tips and Tricks Episode 10

For this episode of AppsEvents Tips & Tricks, we have the awesome Sethi De Clercq showing us two different ways to insert handwritten notes with the Acer Chromebook Tab 10!

If you have any request or suggestion for our next video, please email Jane through jane@appsevents.com.

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Toolkit for Google Schools

Personalised Learning. Now there’s a term that means different things to different people! If we consider technology and in particular G Suite, the term becomes a little more meaningful and practical.

With technology, and even more so with 1:1 deployments, we now have the tools to take a more learner centric approach. Tools to enable learning to be more personal, and to let our pupils choose what they use, when they use and how they use technology to support their individual needs.

A bilingual student studying in English, a struggling reader, a high achiever, a dyslexic pupil - everyone has their own needs and approaches to help them learn.

G Suite is a great leveller - a platform that’s extensible and allows each school or even pupil to choose add-ons and software that help where help is needed. It’s important though to guide this choice at the outset and constantly re-evaluate those tools to ensure they make real impact and are embedded in the technology that's central to teaching and learning.

In doing so, we create a backpack for learning - the new pencil case of tools that help us learn. What goes into this backpack is important - tools for everyone, tools that can be embedded in professional development and that support learning school wide. These tools need to support independence, build confidence and enable creativity.

At Texthelp, we’ve built our very own toolkit for Google schools. Products like Read&Write that support and drive attainment in literacy. FluencyTutor for reading groups - encouraging pupils to read more and understand their reading by recording passages and reflecting on their progress. With WriQ we provide a method for measuring progress with writing, and with Snapverter pupils have a way to make any content digital and accessible. Add to that EquatIO - a fabulous tool for maths and STEM classrooms to allow pupils to easily add maths into digital documents and you’ve got a great starting point for Literacy and Maths as part of a GSuite deployment.

From there, G Suite enables creativity with platforms like WeVideo and Explain Everything. SPRK for programming, SeeSaw for parental engagement and kahoot for gamification and every point in between.

It’s an incredible toolbox and we owe it to our pupils to provide a rich set of tools to fill it. In doing do, we give them choice and voice and enable them to make their learning journey with us personal.

Have a look at what we do at www.texthelp.com , consider the tools and start building a backpack for learning that supports every student.

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Free Google Applied Digital Skills Curriculum Training for UK Educators!

While digital is commonplace in most things we do it is not always a skill we explicitly pick up through education or training. Connecting what we learn in schools and college to real life matters to students.

We are really excited to be able to showcase Google’s Applied Digital Skills curriculum across UK with a series of free half day sessions aimed at UK educators from primary to further education. The Applied Digital Skills curriculum is a project-based digital skills curriculum that can be undertaken by students at their own pace and facilitated by non-specialists.

The video-led course takes students through practical applications of digital tools to:
  • Create CVs
  • Plan events
  • Develop collaborative if/then adventure stories
  • Conduct effective job searches
  • Create guides for their local area
If you would like to learn about the curriculum with hands-on practical sessions that prepare you to deliver it for your students, then snap up a free ticket while you can.
The training will take place in one of three amazing Google spaces across UK with dates from September to December available. Each session is a half day so pick AM or PM and help build digital life skills in your community.

Edinburgh | Google Digital Garage, Scotland
Manchester | Google Digital Garage, Manchester
London | Google Academy, Victoria

Sign Up Today!

You can access Applied Digital Skills via g.co/applieddigitalskills to explore the curriculum for yourself.
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Fast & Effective Way to Leverage G Suite & Chromebooks in the Classroom

Many teachers are finding themselves starting a new school year in a 1:1 Chromebook school or just beginning to use G Suite and haven’t necessarily had enough training to feel confident about leveraging and making best use of the Chromebooks or G Suite as classroom staples. In a fast paced world of leading learners, teachers need a quick and effective way to make best use of the Chromebooks & G Suite without losing ‘pace’ with what they already know how to do.

A fast and effective start is to experience how Google classroom works with a single assignment using the Google document. The powerful sharing, naming and organizing convention of this tool will put you on the fast track of leading learners, providing feedback and personalizing learning through a variety of instructional tools as well as options for demonstrating understanding. If you have never used Google Classroom before, use this ‘Getting Started Guide’ to help you.

Engage Your Students with a Simple Google Docs Assignment in Classroom

Google Classroom is a tool that is amazing for organizing, naming and auto sharing documents, slides, sheets & more between you and your students. Even if you don’t plan to use Classroom ‘often’ it is still worth creating a class and having every student enrolled as this alone will allow you to interact seamlessly with other apps. 

  • Set up a Classroom for a class via classroom.google.com 
  • Create an assignment asking students to create a document and provide a writing prompt or a series of tasks to research about the upcoming course (what do you know, answer a few questions, write about your goals for the school year, etc). The key is you want them to be able to engage in writing that will be of value to the start of the course or school year for a good portion of the first class or hour. 
  • When students arrive to class, invite your students to the class or join by code. 
  • Ask students to open the assignment and begin contributing the document. 
  • While they are working, click the folder icon on the assignment in classroom, open all of their documents in one browser window. 
The students will see that you are ‘in their document’ and will immediately be more engaged in their task. This is an excellent opportunity to practice the ‘compliment, coach and encourage’ technique through the use of comments. Find something first to complement on in each document to help build trust and a positive working relationship. If they seem stymied, offer help.

Bonus option: Install the Tab Cloud Chrome Extension. Save the open documents as a tab set that you can easily reopen later so you don’t have to go through the process of opening the documents again. 

Recap checklist:

  • Set up a Classroom for a class via classroom.google.com 
  • Create an assignment with a specific writing task and ask them to create a Document to complete or create a document for them and add it to the assignment, giving them each their own copy. 
  • While they are all working open each document and provide feedback with a comment. 
  • Before closing, save the set of open tabs with Tab Cloud Chrome Extension (optional) 
  • Have student turn in for grade (optional) and feedback. 
  • Provide grade (optional) and feedback and return the documents. 
  • Now you have the ‘process for classroom assignments’ established. 

Need more help with Google Classroom? Visit Google’s Teacher Center Resources for Getting Started with Google Classroom.

Attend a LIVE AppsEvents Google Bootcamp and/or Summit to learn from practicing expert educators who are G Suite Certified Trainers and Teachers.

You can contact me on Twitter via @amollica or email me to inquire about bringing AppsEvents to you.
See all events: www.appsevents.com
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March 2018 London #GooglePD Highlights by The Teaching Space Podcast

Photo courtesy of www.theteachingspace.com
Martine Ellis, the voice behind The Teaching Space podcast (theteachingspace.com) and a Google Certified Trainer, attended the Guernsey Summit and was inspired to also become a presenter.

In this episode of The Teaching Space Podcast, she narrates her experience and shares some takeaways from the March 2018 London summit hosted by the Lycée International de Londres.

For those who have attended any AppsEvents Google PD and are ready to step up to showcase your skills and expertise, we invite you to submit a session proposal for any of our upcoming Google for Education Summits happening across the US, Asia, Europe, and beyond in partnership with International Schools and the Google for Education team.

In addition to our core team of AppsEvents speakers, we welcome others to submit session proposals for any of our upcoming summits.

Speaking is a really great way to raise your profile in Google EDU and EdTech circles.

We need speakers to be passionate and knowledgeable, but we have a range of sessions from ‘beginner’ to ‘techy’ so please submit your suggested session and we’ll get straight back to you. If it’s not right for us now we’ll give you some feedback as to what we are looking for in order to help you work on your current session and resubmit.

If you feel that you are ready to step up, submit your session proposal here!

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