Creating Socially Relevant Mobile Apps: Infusing Computing into Middle School Curricula in Two School Districts


 In this paper, we share our experiences implementing a professional development program in two school districts with middle school teachers who integrated an introductory computer science curriculum into their teaching. The 15 to 20–hour curriculum was based on students collaboratively creating mobile apps for socially relevant purposes with MIT App Inventor. Eleven teachers infused the curriculum into technology, math, engineering, library and art courses. We investigated how teachers modified the curriculum to fit their respective standards and students’ needs. We discuss the challenges they faced and propose ways of addressing these barriers. We found that the teachers were successful in combining digital literacy skills with computer science—not only to facilitate students’ learning, but also to connect with their diverse ethnic backgrounds and their contemporary passions.



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Conference proceeding
Lijun Ni
Fred Martin
International Society of the Learning Sciences
Cultural Relevance, Equity, and Diversity
Informal Learning and Afterschool
STEM Career Opportunities and Workforce Development
Teacher Professional Development and Pedagogy
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Additional Disciplines
Computer Science - general
Computer Science - computer hardware
Computer Science - gaming and simulations
Computer Science - general skills and mathematics
Computer Science - multimedia - audio, video and animation
Computer Science - programming
Computer Science - web development