Other Software


App Inventor lets you develop applications for Android phones using a web browser and either a connected phone or emulator. The App Inventor servers store your work and help you keep track of your projects.

Your app appears on the phone step-by-step as you add pieces to it, so you can test your work as you build. When you’re done, you can package your app and produce a stand-alone application to install.

If you don’t have an Android phone, you can build your apps using the Android emulator, software that runs on your computer and behaves just like the phone.

The App Inventor development environment is supported for Mac OS X, GNU/Linux, and Windows operating systems, and several popular Android phone models. Applications created with App Inventor can be installed on any Android phone.

Links:
App Inventor Homepage
App Inventor Education Resources
App Inventor Official Curriculum
CS curriculum for App Inventor by Michelle Hutton
SoW using App Inventor by The Royal Society of Edinburgh

A simple, but clever game that get student to issues basic commands to control a robot to begin with, but then gets more complex and starts to incorporate the logic behind functions. A great way to supplement your teaching of functions in whichever language you are delivering to your students.

Links:
Light-Bot Game

Catroid is a visual programming language for Android devices that is inspired by the Scratch programming language. It is the aim of the Catroid project to facilitate the learning of programming skills among children and users of all ages. No desktop or notebook computer is needed.

Links:
Catroid Homepage


Code Hero is a game that teaches you how to make games and save the world with a code ray that shoots Javascript. Become a code hero and shape the future!

Code Hero is a co-op first-person science shooter where you use the code ray to manipulate code. Your code ray can copy code like new items and fire it like ammunition to do new things.

You can edit new code to do anything you can imagine. You’ll learn how to blast the enemy, manipulate the world, and build structures creatively to create the games of your dreams and recruit an army of coders to save the world from rogue AI.

Links:
Code Hero Homepage
Purchase Code Hero


Robomind is a simple program with its own scripting language allowing you to control a robot on screen. Released in 2005, Robomind is very similar to logo when used at a basic level, but is a good tool to introduce more complex areas like artificial intelligence too.

Community made resources are hard to come by and the Robomind website itself is not much better. There is an education section that contains a few tasks, but that is about it.

The more advanced syntax can be a little complicated for KS2 use. However, the ability to be able to design your own maps in notepad is a nice addition.

Robomind is able to run on Mac OS and Windows. Both are now running version 3.0 so they should perform the same, however I haven’t tested version 3.0 on the Mac yet and previously there was a notable performance decline compared to the Windows version. Hopefully these problems do not exist now with the new version.

Overall it is a good program, and still receives regular updates, but more content to help in the classroom would be useful.

Links:
Robomind Homepage


Cinder is a peer-reviewed, free, open source C++ library for creative coding.

Cinder provides a powerful, intuitive toolbox for programming graphics, audio, video, networking, image processing and computational geometry. Cinder is cross-platform, and in general the exact same code works under Mac OS X, Windows and a growing list of other platforms — most recently the iPhone and iPad.

Links:
Cinder Homepage


At blog CodeUtopia they suggest teaching programming with Lua and Minecraft. Seeing as Minecraft is so popular at the moment, maybe this will be the spark some of your students need to get into programming.

Could you use Minecraft to teach programming?
MinecraftEdu – A website devoted to bringing Minecraft into the classroom
Lua Homepage

Play My Code is an online platform for building, playing and distributing browser games. Powered by HTML5, you can build within the browser and embed your games anywhere.

It uses its own unique language called Quby which is very similar to Ruby syntax.

Links:
Play My Code Homepage
Coding at School Review

Processing is a programming language, development environment, and online community that since 2001 has promoted software literacy within the visual arts. Initially created to serve as a software sketchbook and to teach fundamentals of computer programming within a visual context, Processing quickly developed into a tool for creating finished professional work as well.

Processing is a free, open source alternative to proprietary software tools with expensive licenses, making it accessible to schools and individual students. Its open source status encourages the community participation and collaboration that is vital to Processing’s growth. Contributors share programs, contribute code, answer questions in the discussion forum, and build libraries to extend the possibilities of the software. The Processing community has written over seventy libraries to facilitate computer vision, data visualization, music, networking, and electronics.

Links:
Processing Homepage
Fun Programming: Tutorials for Processing

The Sparrow framework allows you to create interactive applications for the iPhone platform. The main target is the creation of 2D games, but Sparrow can be used for any graphical applications.

The Sparrow Framework Homepage
The Sparrow Wiki
The Sparrow Manual

The Starling framework allows you to create hardware accelerated applications in Flash. The main target is the creation of 2D games, but Starling can be used for any graphical application.

Starling’s API is very similar to the native Flash API. It provides almost the same set of classes and functions, which makes it easy for experienced Flash developers to make the transition from the conventional display list to stage3D accelerated content.

Links:
The Starling Framework Homepage
The Starling Wiki
The Starling Manual

Xcode is Apple’s powerful integrated development environment for creating great apps for Mac, iPhone, and iPad. Xcode includes the Instruments analysis tool, iOS Simulator, and the latest Mac OS X and iOS SDKs.

Links:
Xcode 4 Homepage

Blockly is a web-based, graphical programming editor. Users can drag blocks together to build an application. No typing required.

Blockly is a component that may be useful for a variety of projects, including educational tools. We want developers to be able to play with Blockly, give feedback, and think of novel uses for it. All the code is free and open source.

Links:
Blockly Homepage

openFrameworks is an open source C++ toolkit for creative coding.

Links:
openFrameworks Homepage

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