Author Lyra Blizzard Logan Celebrates Computer Science Education Week!

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“With the launch of her new book Learn to Program with App Inventor: A Visual Introduction to Building Apps”

 

Blueprint guide to building your own apps and learning key computer programming concepts along the way!

Computer Science Education Week is just around the corner, and Lyra Blizzard Logan is excited to share her new book Learn to Program with App Inventor: A Visual Introduction to Building Apps. Committed to ensuring that all youth learn the basic computer programming skills that make smartphones apps, websites, video games, and robots work, Lyra in 2008 founded a program for students in grades 1-12 now known as CodeMasters. CodeMasters is a multifaceted after school and/or summer program that teaches students in underserved Florida communities how to code, reinforces their math skills, and introduces them to STEM role models and careers. 

Now, with Learn to Program with App Inventor, Lyra has embarked upon a journey to show everyone age 12 and up how to build mobile apps for Android devices with MIT App Inventor, a visual drag-and-drop programming language like Scratch. Readers will join 10 million people who have tried App Inventor and make the journey from app user to app inventor. 

Knowing that most people today have swiped and tapped their way through countless apps, she decided to challenge everybody to learn to create their own and to understand the concepts that make them work. Her book shows readers how to do just that, and guides them through building their first fully functional app in less than an hour.

App Inventor is a free software for making Android apps. All you need is a PC with an Internet connection to build your app and a mobile phone for testing. You’ll use a simple drag-and-drop interface, which minimizes errors and avoids too much typing.

MIT-certified App Inventor Master Trainer and now author, Lyra Blizzard Logan breaks down each project into logical steps, lists the components you’ll need, and then shows you how to create screen designs, control program flow with conditionals and loops, and store data in variables and lists. After readers run the apps on their phones, they will be able to test what they’ve learned with challenges at the end of each chapter. Also, for instructors and coding club facilitators, the book comes with Lesson Plans that integrate unplugged and book activities to help reinforce the concepts presented.

Author Lyra Blizzard Logan shares eight types of skills students can begin to learn as they create apps.

  • Collaboration: in our programs, students often engage in “pair programming,” working with other students on projects, similar to the way programmers work on teams when completing software projects. 
  • Once our students begin creating their own projects, they exercise design thinking skills, including brainstorming, prototyping, and testing their solutions.
  • Creativity: starting at the brainstorming phase, students begin to use their imaginations to propose and explore new and innovative ways to solve problems and reach goals. 
  • Problem Solving: they develop solutions using computational thinking skills—breaking problems into manageable parts, and for each part thinking logically and systematically to create an algorithmic (step-by-step) solution that can be carried out by a computer.
  • As they code apps, games, and other projects, they demonstrate an understanding of the foundational computer programming structures and concepts that direct a computer’s behavior.
  • Persistence: As they build, students often make frustrating mistakes that they must stop and find ways to correct before they can continue progressing toward their goals. 
  • They strengthen the communication skills necessary to explain their sometimes complicated solutions and projects to their collaborators and larger audiences. 
  • Entrepreneurship: in some of our programs, we require students to create apps that address issues in their communities; they’ve come up with projects that certainly could lead to social entrepreneurship. Others create apps with a solely profit-generating bent, which could lead to entrepreneurship as well. That’s why we teach our older youth entrepreneurial skills along with coding to expose them to that possible career path.

With Learn to Program with App Inventor, readers will build cool apps like:

* Hi, World!: Use your voice to send a text message

* Practice Makes Perfect: Rehearse a speech or dance routine with this video recording app

* Fruit Loot: Catch randomly failing fruit in this exciting game

* Beat the Bus: Track a friend’s journey using location services and maps

* Virtual Shades: Take a selfie, then try on some virtual sunglasses

And more

Book is available at:https://www.amazon.com/Learn-Program-Inventor-Lyra-Logan/dp/159327968X 


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