Authors: Yu-Chang Hsu, Kerry Rice, Lisa Dawley
Published: British Journal of Educational Technology, Volume 43, Issue 1, pages E1E5, January 2012
Mobile devices, such as smartphones, are vastly gaining popularity (Johnson, Levine, Smith & Stone, 2010) because of their relatively strong computing capability built into small sizes, their Internet connectivity and the availability of various types and easy-to-use mobile software applications (mobile apps). It is estimated that by 2015, 80% of people accessing the Internet will do it through cell phones (Johnson, Smith, Willis, Levine & Haywood, 2011). Mobile technologies are now gaining increased attention and popularity across education sectors, which have led to innovation in mobile app design (Johnson et al, 2010).
Android OS has now caught up and led the mobile OS market within the US with 38.1% share (Haselton, 2011). Android OS has the advantage of being open-source, customizable and allows for multitasking. As of July 2011, there were 250 000 Android apps on the Android Market, with a total of 4.5 billion downloads (Wikipedia, 2011a). With the public release of App Inventor, building mobile apps without prior coding experiences is now a possibility.
In this report, the authors describe an introductory-level mobile app design workshop developed and offered over 6 weeks in Summer 2011. We also discuss the challenges and instructional implications derived from our experiences with this workshop.