My friend Gary Stager makes an important point: There are lots of computers in schools, but precious little computing going on. The real power of personal computing is its ability to let people create and run their own programs. And yet many schools offer no opportunities for children to craft “apps” of their own, and are content to restrict computer use to that of a glorified library – very incredible library, but a library just the same.
My enthusiasm for web sites like Instructables.com and other places that feature the actual MAKING of artifacts comes from the hope that children will someday be given the freedom to move beyond searching to building.
On Thursday I’ll be doing another AppInventor workshop – this one for 60 Indiana technology directors who will spend the day working with tools like Scratch, and then moving to the creation of apps that can be downloaded to smartphones and tablets.
The rapid growth of smartphones and tablets carries with it the opportunity to rekindle the joy of programming that were the hallmark of the very early days of personal computers. Those unable to attend are encouraged to attend are encouraged to check out this great book on the topic:
This cool book takes you step-by step through a powerful way kids can build their own applications.