For the last few years, I have enjoyed participating in HOUR OF CODE – a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. In 2017, 154,012 Hour Of Code events were registered worldwide.

To show how much fun (and useful) coding is, I wanted the kids to build something real,  vs. simply making their favorite character walk left or right.  I decided to use the MIT App Inventor tool for my Hour of Code sessions. App Inventor is a browser-based tool that allows you to build your own apps.  We built a simple Android app to help parents reduce distractions while driving. Even though the app is super simple, the results are cool enough for kids to proudly show the app to their parents.

Here is a 10-minute video of the steps we followed to build and test the app:

I reserved the last few minutes of the hour for students to share their ideas to enhance the app. I was amazed by all the ideas!

Today the MIT App Inventor can only be used to create Android apps. You can help App Inventor launch the iOS version here.

Also this book has great ideas for building apps, including the app we built during the Hour Of Code session.