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Anyone Teaching App Development?

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by smudgie, Sep 1, 2019.

  1. smudgie

    smudgie New commenter


    If you're getting your students to produce simple apps, I'd love to hear which framework you're using or where I can go to find some good tutorials for getting started and producing simple applications. Thanks
  2. madcat

    madcat Occasional commenter

    Have a look at AppyBuilder (based on MIT AppInventor)
    Good documentation and lots of tutorials on youtube, 'net etc
  3. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    As I understand it, lots of the in-line "app" builders just make web-pages rather than actual apps. I'd rather spend the time teaching HTML, CSS and JavaScript and teach the students how to create a responsive page themselves. Creating a proper app in, say, Java, is quite fiddly.
  4. amitm30

    amitm30 New commenter

    You may learn the process using this detailed step-by-step guide on how to create an app, which also helped me when i was searching for the same a few months back.
  5. dsaa86

    dsaa86 New commenter

    I would suggest it is completely based on your skill set, and what you hope to achieve.

    App Inventor is a good first platform, and doesn't need particularly powerful PCs. In my experience it can be a real pain to get the apps on to a mobile device, it's very dependent on your network setup and what the firewall is filtering out. If your network techs are willing to work around firewall and software aspects, then App Inventor is a good step if your pupils are used to block-like interfaces.

    If you want to develop in a more text-based environment, then Cordova is a great starting framework. You build the app using HTML5, with plugins providing the bridge between Javascript and the phone-based functions like cameras, geolocation, etc. It's a platform that builds well from simple web development, and allows an actual app to be created, rather than a mobile web page. However, you'll need command line access - most network techs will push you in the direction of using a virtual machine for this, but you'll need them on board to open up the appropriate ports to allow you to download any packages that you choose to use. It also comes with a degree of presupposed knowledge of the command line and javascript. You'll need moderately capable machines for this.

    If you're working in Python, then the newer development language for Android is Kotlin. This is broadly similar to Python and Swift (iOS), so it's not a huge leap conceptually. It does, however, require clear knowledge of text-based programming, otherwise all of the new concepts are just going to get seriously confusing on top of learning how to program properly. You'll also need Android Studio, which can be quite demanding on older PCs.

    There are plenty of tutorials available for each of the platforms through the relevant documentation and the wider community. My experience with both Cordova and Android is that you'll need to spend the time breaking the tutorials down in to more pupil friendly stages, conversely there are some App Inventor tutorials out there that could pretty much be tackled by all pupils individually.

    In reality this probably looks something like a decent period spent using App Inventor, finished off by a few lessons building very simple Android apps to show them what the art of the possible really is.
  6. theworm123

    theworm123 Lead commenter

    Ionic is a good advancement of Cordova that we’ve been teaching to undergrads, it’s adds some nicer features to Cordova and if it helps has drag and drop features for HTML and CSS.

    We use the drag and drop features on Ionic creator as a prototyping tool because it has a cloud system like Axure RP so it can be viewed on mobile, without compiling it as an app.
  7. johncollinswork

    johncollinswork New commenter

    Free with a gmail account.
    Looks like Scratch.
    You'll have a real app on either android or ios in one lesson.
    One of the best pieces of software I've ever used in school.

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