Report - Program my first mobile App - EU Code week
On Sunday, October 21st. 2018, 27 young people and some of their parents were present in the German city of Mülheim and der Ruhr at the African Impulse EU Code week workshop "Program my first mobile App". The workshop started with an introduction to the importance of computers at the present and the future. The president of African Impulse, Clement Nkamanyi, an IT Engineer, who led the workshop, painted a good picture of the evolution of computers from the very first one to our current day mobile phones and tablets. The importance of recognizing that these computers have come to be a part of our lives and would continue to play a greater role in the future was emphasized. The kids were made to understand the importance of not only being a user of the technology but also to be designers of these. This workshop should be seen as a starting point and motivation to spur their interests and spirit of creativity.
An introduction to programming was done, in which the important concepts of a program were (Controls, logic, data, events etc) were explained in a way that the kids easily understood and found interesting.
In the next part of the program, an introduction to programming mobile Apps with the AppInventor was done. The user interface was introduced, including the Screens, Palletes, Components and properties, both in Designer and Block modes. Then, participants who had no google accounts were made to create one. Those without the AI companion App to test the programs were made to download and install them from the google store. We all then dived into the most interesting part – Creating the first APP. The instructor started by building the App in Designer mode explaining the reason for every step. This was followed by the kids until completion. All were able to test the Apps using the Emulators in the computers. Not all kids were able to test the apps on their own mobile phones due to the poor internet connection. All however had the opportunity to see how this was done through their colleagues and were encouraged to do so at home, where the internet connection would be better. You could imagine the joy the kids had not only creating their own app, but also playing them. A few more apps were demonstrated. In all the kids were happy as they could not only grasp the concept but could actually develop their own.
At the end of the workshop, the participants were promised links to all materials needed for them to continue at home. Throughout the workshop, the kids had snacks and drinks and were supervised by other African impulse members.
Some impressions of the kids"It was fun and and I learnt a lot"
"I enjoyed the fact that we could do it practically"
"I find scractch interesting, funny and nice"
"It was really something new and and very very interesting"
The EU Code Week is a grassroots initiative which aims to bring coding and digital literacy to everybody in a fun and engaging way. You can find complete details of this and other programs on the EU code week website