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Thursday, October 5 • 3:15pm - 3:45pm
App Authors: Kids Designing, Creating, and Sharing Apps in Informal Learning Settings

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The App Authors project connects youth with skills and tools to design, create, and share apps, introducing learners from all levels to coding and the design process. This multi-stage project is currently working with partner schools and public libraries in a variety of regions of the U.S. to iteratively build a curriculum that will be made publicly available at the end of our project, and contribute to scholarship examining how youth engage in informal learning about coding. We are supporting youth creators in developing problem solving and critical thinking skills while focusing on community sharing and introducing fundamental coding skills. The design of this curriculum is centered around reflective practice, and brings together the experiences and perspectives of youth, informal educators, formal educators and librarians, and designers. In addition to providing young people with early programming experience and a supportive environment for sharing their achievements, we are working to further establish the place of libraries (both school and public) as a site of opportunity to engage youth in STEM/STEAM exploration and digital development. We are wrestling with the importance of context for these activities, and addressing differences in audience, resource levels, duration of experience, and type of library with our curriculum design. Building on our experiences running the App Authors program multiple times in elementary school and public library settings, we are now expanding to train practitioners and observe how they implement this curriculum, with the goal of continued iteration based on their experiences. In addition to the practical elements of our work, we focus our research attention on understanding youth priorities for app development and their experiences within coding-oriented informal learning contexts, as well as best practices for developing these kinds of programs and how to tailor them to different settings and audiences. This session will detail the App Authors framework, current curriculum and findings, and will discuss open opportunities for future work in this arena.


Thursday October 5, 2017 3:15pm - 3:45pm
Pacific Ballroom A

Attendees (24)