Unit Overview

This unit will provide an introduction to the App Inventor Integrated Development Environment (IDE). An IDE is an integrated set of software tools used to develop computer software. You will learn how to use App Inventor to design, develop, and test a simple mobile app. IDEs are key part of the toolkit that programmers use to develop software.

This unit focuses on App Inventor's image and sound features and related topics from the Computer Science (CS) Principles curriculum.

Unit Features

  • Programming: The course's first programming project is the I Have a Dream app. The first I Have a Dream tutorial introduces the basics of using the App Inventor IDE to develop a mobile app. You will learn about that App Inventor uses an approach known as event-driven programming. More complex programming concepts will be introduced in a second version of the app. This will be followed by some creative projects that challenge students to enhance the app.
  • CS Principles: In addition to creating your first mobile app, one of the many computational artifacts you will create in this course, the CS Principles lessons in this unit provide a basic overview of computer hardware and software, present a first look at abstraction, one of the seven Big Ideas, and a first look at binary numbers.

Technical Terminology

  • Computational artifact - an object created by a human being that involves the use of computation in some way, for example a mobile app or a web page.

  • Event-driven programming - a programming approach whereby the program's behavior is controlled by writing code that responds to various events that occur, such as Button clicks.

  • Hardware - the large and small physical components that make up a computers such as the computer's keyboard or its processor.

  • Software - the computer programs that make up a computer system such as the mobile apps we will be creating in this course.

  • Abstraction - one of the seven big ideas of the CS Principles curriculum. An abstraction is a simplified and general representation of some complex object or process. One example --we'll encounter many in this course, including abstractions used in computer programming -- would be a Google map.

  • Binary number - a number written in the binary system, a system that uses only two digits, 0s and 1s.

Blown to Bits Chapter 1 Vocabulary

  • bit: short for binary digit, the smallest unit of unit of information on a machine

  • blacklist: in internet terminology, a generic term for a list of email addresses or IP addresses that are origination with known spammers

  • byte: a byte is 8 bits

  • character: any symbol that requires one byte of storage

  • cyberspace: a metaphor for describing the non-physical terrain created by computer systems
  • data: data is distinct information that is formatted in a special way. Data exists in a variety of forms, like text on paper or bytes stored in electronic memory

  • data center: physical or virtual infrastructures used by enterprises to house computer, server and networking systems and components for the company’s IT (information technology) needs

  • data network: a telecommunications network which allows computers to exchange data

  • disk drive: a randomly addressable and rewritable storage device

  • intellectual property: refers to any property that is created using original thought. Traditional intellectual property include patents, copyrights, and trademarks.

  • Moore's Law: The number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits has doubled every year since the integrated circuit was invented.

  • network: a group of two or more computer systems linked together

  • processor: short for microprocessor or CPU

  • social network: a social structure made of nodes that are generally individuals or organizations. A social network represents relationships and flows between people, groups, organizations, animals, computers, or other information/knowledge processing entities

  • whitelist: a generic name for a list of email address or IP addresses that are considered to be spam free