MIT Master Trainers Program in Educational Mobile Computing

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Lead Instructor(s): 

Hal Abelson

Dates: 

Jul 31, 2017 - Aug 2, 2017

Course Length: 

3 Days

Course Fee: 

$3,500

CEUs: 

1.9

Status: 

  • Open

The application deadline for this course is April 7, 2017

Note: The prerequisite MOOC starts February 7 (see below)

COURSE SUMMARY

MIT will offer a Master Trainers Program to certify K-16 educators and other professionals in mobile computing education using the MIT App Inventor platform. This professional development program will continue to grow a global community of experts on mobile app development who are available to guide others through the exploration of mobile app creation. These experts will lead workshops in communities, schools, and afterschool programs to empower teachers and students as they become mobile app designers, thus providing a pathway into computer science, software development, and other disciplines relevant in today's digital world.

Benefits:
MIT App Inventor Certified Master Trainers join an elite cadre of experts able to promote computer science education, conduct MIT App Inventor trainings to groups of educators and/or students and serve as a resource for educators and teachers who seek to infuse mobile computing education into their organizations, programs, and classrooms. Participants will receive an official MIT Certificate of Completion after successfully finishing the 3-day in-person workshop. Their names will be added as Certified Master Trainers to the MIT App Inventor website. Certification is good for two years and can be renewed.

Prerequisites:

  • Six-week App Inventor MOOC Mobile Computing with App Inventor – CS Principles (ID-Verified Certificate of Achievement: $49) offered by edX starting February 7, 2017. Registration for this MOOC is now open. If you completed the previous session of Mobile Computing with App Inventor - CS Principles in 2015 and received an ID-Verified Certificate of Completion, you are eligible to apply and will not need to re-take the MOOC.
  • Master Trainer applicants who already have experience teaching App Inventor can submit proof of coursework taught in lieu of taking Mobile Computing with App Inventor – CS Principles.
  • Ten weeks of additional online coursework beginning May 8, 2017 (included in the $3,500 course fee).

Background:
MIT has been a leader in computing education since the 1960s. That leadership began with the seminal work of Seymour Papert, work that is today more influential than ever. The same research is assuming a major role in the emerging world of mobile computing, through MIT App Inventor, a free, blocks-based visual programming language that enables everyone, even those with no prior coding experience, to create mobile apps for Android devices. Currently, over five million MIT App Inventor users from 195 countries have created over 20 million mobile apps in the easy-to-use web application. Beyond teaching people to code and providing an on-ramp to computer science, MIT App Inventor users also learn a wealth of other skills including: computational thinking, problem solving, engineering design, logic, and entrepreneurship.

Participant Takeaways: 

Master Trainers will develop expertise in the following areas:

  • The App Inventor mission and mobile computing education
  • App Inventor technical set-up, platform navigation, software development & trouble-shooting
  • Computer science principles, Design Thinking processes, computational thinking
  • Pedagogy for mobile app development, CS unplugged activities, App Inventor in curriculum
  • Accessing mobile computing resources: tutorials, forums, contests, camps, etc.
  • Entrepreneurship opportunities (in app development and for trainers)

Who Should Attend: 

An ideal participant is someone with:

  • An aptitude or excitement for coding or computer science
  • Knowledge of pedagogy or teaching experience
  • A passion for educational technology, computer science and problem solving
  • An interest in mobile computing education

Potential participants:

  • Teachers who have used App Inventor or similar tools in their classroom and want to expand upon that level of engagement
  • Teachers who want to use technology in curriculum (for CS or non-CS classes)
  • Graduate students or recent graduates who have a computer science background and are interested in teaching or educational technology
  • Former classroom teachers who are pursuing other educational endeavors
  • Club leaders who would like to infuse technology education into their after-school programs
  • Professors who want to teach mobile app making in a college setting
  • Post-docs who seek to supplement their knowledge or research

Program Outline: 

Part 1:
February - March 2017 (7 weeks)

  • Starting February 7, 2017, prospective Master Trainers must complete the edX online course Mobile Computing with App Inventor – CS Principles and purchase the ID Verified Certificate of Achievement. Topics of the MOOC include: event-driven programming, working with images, location based app development, SMS app messaging, building a strategy game app, etc. Master Trainer applicants who already have experience teaching App Inventor can submit proof of coursework taught rather than taking the MOOC. If you completed the previous session of Mobile Computing with App Inventor - CS Principles in 2015 and received an ID-Verified Certificate of Completion, you are eligible to apply and will not need to re-take the MOOC.

Part 2:
May - July 2017 (10 weeks)

  • Completed online application is due April 7, 2017.
  • The non-refundable application fee is $75 (this amount is credited towards the program fee upon enrollment).
  • Acceptance decisions will be made and communicated by email by May 5, 2017.
  • Accepted Master Trainers begin ten weeks of online training. The online curriculum will start May 8, 2017 and includes:
    • A reading list
    • MIT App Inventor mission and goals
    • Computational thinking
    • Pedagogy – teaching both adults and children
    • Unleashing creativity with App Inventor
    • Computer science principles and terminology
    • Design Thinking
    • App Inventor setup
    • Developing more complex mobile applications
    • Advanced App Inventor components
    • Creating apps with social impact
    • Entrepreneurship principles
    • Professional learning communities
    • Final Project
  • The online curriculum is required preparation for the on-campus workshop and is not a separate class.

Part 3:
July 31 - August 2, 2017

The extensive online curricula will enable all participants to be equally prepared for the workshop on campus. This will enable participants to take deeper dives into mobile app development and teaching strategies during the group projects. Accepted Master Trainers attend a three-day in-person workshop at MIT July 31 - August 2, 2017. The workshop will include lectures, discussion sessions, and collaborative group work. Some topics covered include: technical set-up, CS concepts, IT troubleshooting, debugging strategies, the Design Thinking process, pedagogy, problem solving, computational thinking, creating trainings, etc.

Course Schedule: 

This course meets 9:00 am - 5:00 pm Monday and Tuesday, and 9:00 am - 4:00 pm on Wednesday.

Monday, July 31

  • Breakfast
  • Welcome and Introduction
  • Expectations
  • Break
  • Design Thinking
  • Lunch (on your own)
  • App Inventor Behind the Scenes
  • App Inventor Hands-On
  • Break
  • App Inventor Hands-On
  • Networking Reception/Cocktail Party

Tuesday, August 1 

  • Breakfast
  • Apps as Self-expression
  • Maker Cards
  • Break
  • Challenges of Facilitating for Adults/Teachers?
  • Lunch (on your own)
  • Encouraging Digital Voice and Teacher Buy-In
  • Sharing Apps
  • Break
  • Setup and Troubleshooting
  • App Inventor Hands-On

Wednesday, August 2 

  • Breakfast
  • New Features of App Inventor
  • Play Time with New Features
  • Break
  • Master Trainer Expectations
  • Plans for Outreach and Future Work
  • Lunch (on your own)
  • Final Project Presentations
  • Break
  • TBD
  • Summary Discussion

Participants’ Comments: 

Teacher, Berwick Academy

"The workshop was inspiring both in content and in our ability to meet and work with the creators of the software. That connection allowed us to feel part of the process rather than consumers of the product. The interactions with the participants were informative and I suspect the professional connections I made will be lasting."

Lecturer, Hoa Sen University, Vietnam

"Amazing, wonderful, great, lifetime opportunity that can change your life."

Computer Science Coordinator, San Francisco Unified School District

"We had a fantastic group of people, and the conversations were rich. The sessions were great, and I got quite a lot out of the three days at MIT."

Instructors: 

Location: 

This course takes place on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Content: 

Fundamentals: Core concepts, understandings, and tools (40%) 40
Latest Developments: Recent advances and future trends (30%) 30
Industry Applications: Linking theory and real-world (30%) 30

Delivery Methods: 

Lecture: Delivery of material in a lecture format (20%) 20
Discussion or Groupwork: Participatory learning (40%) 40
Labs: Demonstrations, experiments, simulations (40%) 40

 

Levels: 

Introductory: Appropriate for a general audience (25%) 25
Specialized: Assumes experience in practice area or field (60%) 60
Advanced: In-depth explorations at the graduate level (15%) 15