6.S063 Building Mobile Applications for Education



Prereqs: 6.005

Units: 1-3-8

Enrollment Limited. Permission of instructor required

Schedule: W11-12, room 34-301, Labs R2-5, room 1-132

Instructor: Prof. Hal Abelson, hal@mit.edu

To request enrollment, see http://mit.edu/6.083



This subject qualifies as an AUS Subject.


This is a project course about mobile applications for education.  The
focus is empowering kids and beginning programmers to create their own
mobile apps using MIT App Inventor.  App Inventor is a cloud-based
development environment where people quickly create apps for Android
devices by plugging together program blocks with a graphical user
interface.  It runs as a free worldwide service that has about 30,000
unique active users a week -- about half a million users total.

We'll focus on new ideas that demonstrate the potential of mobile
computing, and we'll explore them by creating working prototypes.
Each student will implement several prototypes over the course of the
semester, in projects that range across the spectrum of mobile
computing: stand-alone disconnected apps, multi-person games and other
shared apps, clients for web services and databases, and interfaces to
instruments and sensors.

Projects may be individual or team projects; you will be involved in
both types during the semester.  You'll start by creating your own
educational apps, working in App Inventor.  Then you'll program in Java with the
Android SDK to develop your own extensions to the App Inventor
framework and demonstrate these with new applications.  Some projects
will include back-end integration with web services and databases.
You'll build those back ends using Google AppEngine and programming in

You can work on your own computer (MacOS, GNU/Linux, or Windows).  It
would be best if you had an Android phone or tablet to run your apps
on.  But if you don't, there is an emulator, and the Department has a
small number of phones that we can lend out for testing.