Design, Development, and Empowerment: My Experiences of Coaching a Best-in-Nation Middle School Team from 2014 Verizon Innovative App Challenge

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During the presentation, I will share how I supported a national-winning team of middle school students to develop their STEM-related mobile app through on-site training and other virtual scaffolding mechanism. I will discuss the tips, challenges, and lessons learned based on my reflection as a computing educator. This presentation should provide practical information that can be applied to other contexts of computing education as it involves various aspects that are commonly relevant, such as project management, communication, and technical consideration during app development. I hope my sharing of the rewarding experiences with the community can help encourage more quality educators and App Inventor enthusiasts to consider applying to join App Inventor Training Corp. (AITC), and serve the common goals of contributing to computing education through this venue. (Learn more about: 2014 Verizon Innovative App Challenge at

Text of Design, Development, and Empowerment: My Experiences of Coaching a Best-in-Nation Middle School Team...

  • Yu-Chang Hsu, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Department of Educational Technology Boise State University 2014 App Inventor Summit @ MIT Media Lab Cambridge, MA Design, Development, and Empowerment: My Experiences of Coaching a Best-in-Nation Middle School Team from 2014 Verizon Innovative App Challenge
  • The HikeAbout App
  • My Experience: Teaching Mobile App Design with AI 6-week online PD Workshop (Summer 2011) 16-week online Graduate Course (Fall 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014) 3-week online quest-based learning Teacher Camp (Summer 2012) 5-day F2F High School Summer Camp (Summer 2012, 2013, 2014) 2-week online quest-based learning Teacher Camp (Spring 2012) 1.5-hour BSU Faculty Workshop (Fall 2012) 3-day onsite coaching and 3-month virtual mentoring of a Verizon Innovative App Challenge Best-in- Nation Team (Spring 2014)
  • Verizon Innovative App Challenge STEM app ideas that address school or community needs Phases: Best in State-Region-Nation Visual presentation (video) + essay Middle school and high school students 2014-15 REGISTRATION OPENS 08.04.14 SUBMISSION DEADLINE 11.24.14 See
  • 2014 AITC Members
  • App Inventor Training Corp. (AITC) 2014: 8 coaches/trainers + 1 online course consultant Educators who have significant skills with App Inventor and demonstrate experiences of working with students One coach for each Best-in-Nation team 2-day intensive meeting and preparation at MIT Watch out for the announcement on App Inventor Forum
  • Team HikeAbout
  • 3-Day Onsite Coaching Communication and Preparation School mentor/teacher and the technology staff are your best friends Scheduling Checklist Wifi and mobile hotspot BYODs Develop training materials based on their winning app ideas/features Demonstrate some quick and functioning prototype-- help them see it live! Offer bonus app challenge that is fun, relevant, and quick (e.g., text to speech)
  • 3-Month Virtual Mentoring Project management Arrange and plan during onsite coaching first Get a team manager Involve the school mentor/teacher (and perhaps parents!) Require weekly progress update Summary of achievements Source code Be cognizant of the teams academic calendar (e.g., spring break and other major activities) Backward scheduling E-mail Prompts Facilitate on asking clear and concise questions Need-based web conference at request
  • Challenges Technical WiFi work for laptops and mobile devices separately: Laptop and mobile devices wont connect for via the AI2 Companion Solution: Ideally Mobile hotspots purchased by the schools tech staff and/or prepared by the coach Emulator pre-installed and tested Connect via USB cable Project Management Correspondence and update Timeline and milestone adjustment
  • The Teams Achievement: The HikeAbout App
  • Q&A
  • Thank You
  • More about My Work with AI in Education Syllabus MOBILE APP DESIGN FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING Articles Empowering educators with Google's Android App Inventor: An online workshop in mobile app design (in BJET) Mobile App Design for Teaching and Learning: Educators Experiences in an Online Graduate Course (in IRRODL) Stories Idaho Upward Bound Program Teaches College Readiness with App Inventor Teaching Mobile App Design with App Inventor at Boise State University Press Idaho High School Students Get A Taste Of College Life Students Help Hikers Navigate Trails With Smartphone Guide
  • Image Credit Android on Skateboard: beautiful-android-wallpapers-for.html
  • Contact Dr. Yu-Chang Hsu