RESOURCE

Comparing the Mobile Novice Programming Environments: App Inventor for Android vs. GameSalad

Abstract—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. 2012

Author RISEnet Member Contributor
Krishnendu Roy, William C. Rousse, and David B. DeMeritt Ta-Shana Taylor
Date Tags
November 08, 2013 instructional strategies, technology/computer science, technology/computer science instructional strategies
Resource Materials  

Refine Resource Listings

Sort Listings By:

Resources RSS

Showcase
Science Central's Ms. Tech Camp

With support from a Girls RISEnet Minigrant, Science Central, a hands-on science center in northeast Indiana, partnered with the Boys and Girls Club of Fort Wayne and the Fort Wayne Urban League, as well as the general public, to host our first ...Read More

Privacy Policy | The Girls RISE (Raising Interest in Science and Engineering) National Museum Network is funded by Grant No. HRD-0937245 from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Human Resource Development, Research on Gender in Science and Engineering Extension Services (GSE/EXT) Program. Project collaborators include the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) and SECME, Inc. The project seeks to increase the capacity of science centers and museums to interest girls from underrepresented populations in the engineering sciences