The goal of the NSF project, Computational Thinking Through Mobile Computing, is to introduce undergraduate students to computational thinking (CT) by engaging them to create apps for mobile phones and tablets that are both useful and personally meaningful. CT is a 21st century STEM literacy whose concepts are needed by informed citizens and workers to solve problems and understand complex systems in many domains.
In our project, students learn CT by creating mobile apps using MIT App Inventor , a visual blocks-based programming environment. We are developing online curricular modules that use mobile app programming to teach CT principles and mobile computing design concepts. These modules include web-based tutorials, video lectures, screencasts, programming exercises, and quizzes --- online materials that give students more in-class time to engage in active learning. Several introductory and intermediate courses are being developed based on these modules. We are also devising, testing, and evaluating new techniques for assessing students' CT knowledge in the context of mobile computing and project-based courses.
In partnership with MIT's new Center for Mobile Learning, we will disseminate curricular materials, course designs, and assessment rubrics, and build a national community of undergraduate educators focused on teaching CT via mobile computing.
Summer 2014 Professional Development
As part of our project, we are leading a 2.5 day workshop for college faculty who want to use App Inventor in their courses. The workshop will be held July 21-23 at UMass Lowell. Space is limited. To apply to attend, fill out this application form by Fri. April 11, 2014. Preference will be given to undergraduate faculty who have concrete plans to incorporate App Inventor into one of their courses in the 2014-15 academic year.
Acknowledgment and Disclaimer: This workshop activity and the materials presented on this site are supported in part by the National Science Foundation under Grants 1225680, 1225719, 1225745, 1225976, and 1226216. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in these materials are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.