June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
Computers in Education
24.1336.1 - 24.1336.10
Mobile Apps for Emergency ManagementThe trend of declining student interest in computer-related fields, combined with increaseddemand from the industry, challenges instructors to come up with new methodologies to attractstudents. Furthermore, with the diffusion of information technologies into almost all disciplinesof study, introductory computer courses need to have new approaches that can motivate students(both computer-related majors and non-majors) to feel comfortable with the computing conceptsand tools.At Jackson State University (JSU), one course module has been developed and integrated into anexisting “Emergency Management Technology” course. This course module is part of aproject, Computational Thinking as an Approach to Refining the Critical Thinking andAnalytical Reasoning Skills of Undergraduates, sponsored by the National Science Foundation(NSF). The goal of the project is to develop new courses and course modules to broadenparticipation in computing and computer science.This course module is designed to use MIT App Inventor to introduce app development concepts.MIT App Inventor is a drag and drop programming tool that enables users to create applicationsfor Android devices. MIT App Inventor makes mobile app development highly visual and highlyintuitive. It provides an easy way to build fully functional apps. This course module involvedthree (3) faculty members. Faculty from several different departments (Computer Science,English, and Technology) developed teaching materials for the module.Emergencies often occur with little or no warning. Emergency management is the discipline ofdealing with and avoiding both manmade and natural disasters. The mobile devices have becomevaluable tools for emergency response. Students are required to design a mobile applicationwhich can use be used before, during, and/or after an emergency. Students also have been askedto provide feedback by completing a survey.Through this course, students have opportunities to explore the exciting world of computerscience from the perspective of mobile computing. MIT App Inventor can engage students indeveloping not only fun and useful apps, but also in logical thinking, problem solving skills, andcreativity. The students found MIT App Inventor to be very accessible and quickly learned howto develop their own apps. MIT App Inventor can allow students without any background ininformation technology to see computing concepts in a context that is of great interest to them.
Shih, H., & Jackson, J. M., & Hawkins Wilson, C. L., & Yuan, P. (2014, June), Using MIT App Inventor in an Emergency Management Course to Promote Computational Thinking Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--23269
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