I'm writing with bittersweet emotion to announce that Shaileen (Shay) Pokress, our MIT App Inventor Director of Education, will be leaving MIT at the beginning of May to take up a position as Director of Computer Science Instruction for Project Lead The Way. Project Lead the Way is one of the country's top providers of STEM educational programs, with curriculum used in more than 5000 schools. Shay will initially focus on computing curriculum for middle school.
Shay has been the face of MIT App Inventor to the K-12 educational community from almost the day the project moved from Google to MIT. Those of you working with App Inventor in schools and teacher communities know what a terrific force Shay's been in emphasizing the potential for kids to be creators of mobile technology. Most recently, she led the re-purposing in December of MIT's App Inventor curriculum for the launch of App Inventor 2 and the subsequent outreach over the past four months, a period during which one and a half million new apps were started using App Inventor, and the number of regular weekly users of our MIT site grew from 60,000 to 85,000.
Shay's achievements at MIT App Inventor will a hard act to follow: we'll miss her insight, her energy, and her enthusiasm. At the same time, we're happy that she's moving into a position where she can have such larger impact on emerging K-12 school computer science education, and we're looking forward to her carrying the values of App Inventor and the Center for Mobile Learning to a new, larger sphere of influence.