Educators from around the world convened in Dalian, China on Sept. 28 for World Education Day. Dr. Ken Luterbach chaired the session on Vocational Education and Continuing Education. In addition, Dr. Luterbach was invited to deliver a presentation on instructional app development. As discussed below, Dr. Luterbach spoke of the joy of learning while describing app development as an outlet for creative expression and problem solving.
“Learning is a joy, especially when it seems like play. Engaging in app development invites experimentation or play with media. Whether developing an app for a client or one’s self, the app development process involves creative manipulations of media (sound, images, and video) and symbols, often to address a particular problem. In this sense, the notion of a problem need not carry any negative connotations. For example, the problem may be to entertain ourselves, which we might accomplish by developing a game. If not seeking to entertain, we might try to improve some type of human performance through app development or we might assist learners by developing instructional apps. Whatever the goal, app development invites creativity.”
“App developers create, display, and animate (rotate, translate, scale) objects, as well as direct apps to play tunes or generate sound effects. To produce an app, we engage in design and development. During the design phase, we make plans. We might create a flowchart, a storyboard, or perhaps write the specifications. The design documents created depend largely on contextual factors, such as the type of app being created, developer preference, and the extent to which the design plans will be shared with others, such as a client. Once the initial design plan is settled, development begins. Media assets (sounds, images, and video) are created and/or acquired. Then we use an app development tool to present the media and add functionality to meet the intended purpose. The app development process promotes learning through engagement in procedural thinking, which some call computational thinking. Whatever terms one may use to describe app development, the process involves creativity, problem solving, construction, experimentation, and iteration. We may refer to that process as tinkering or playing.”
-Dr. Ken Luterbach, ECU Associate Professor in the College of Education Department of Math, Science, and Instructional Technology Education