2012 Frontiers in Education Conference Proceedings (2012)
Seattle, WA, USA USA
Oct. 3, 2012 to Oct. 6, 2012
Krishnendu Roy , Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA 31698, USA
William C. Rousse , Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA 31698, USA
David B. DeMeritt , Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA 31698, USA
Novice programming environments (NPEs) like Scratch and Alice witnessed tremendous growth in adoption and popularity in recent years. These NPEs have successfully lowered the barrier of initial entry to programming. They have also allowed novice computing students to exercise their creative freedom more meaningfully by enabling them to work on projects which have more real life context. Recent trends in adoption of smartphone and other mobile devices among our youth points to a time in near future when majority of them will be mobile device users. Hence, if the NPEs want to remain relevant among youth, they need to adapt to and cater to a mobile-device centric audience. Google and MIT's App Inventor for Android is one of the early NPEs that is trying to achieve this by offering a Scratch-like environment for mobile apps development. GameSalad is another free software primarily for Mac platform that can also offers a drag-n-drop rule-based environment for creating apps. In this paper we compare these two environments' suitableness for computing introduction. Our comparison is based on several logistical, instructional, and operational factors and points to the fact that both these mobile NPEs have their strong points as well as weaknesses. We believe the effectiveness and success of these mobile NPEs will vary depending on particular situations, and hence our work will aid someone looking for a mobile NPE in making a more judicious choice.
Mobile communication, Educational institutions, Software, Androids, Humanoid robots, Programming profession, Novice programming environment, App Inventor for Android, GameSalad, Visual “blocks” programming
K. Roy, W. C. Rousse and D. B. DeMeritt, "Comparing the mobile novice programming environments: App Inventor for Android vs. GameSalad," 2012 Frontiers in Education Conference Proceedings(FIE), Seattle, WA, USA USA, 2012, pp. 1-6.