Google offers drag-and-drop App Inventor for Kids!

Google have launched tools to allow the creation of simple apps for Android devices, they’re not available just yet though, they are still in private beta. There are already several “it’s not going to produce much of value” posts our there, take this one from the Guardian.

Personally, having just spend the past three years learning to code for various platforms (including iOS), it is easy to be skeptical over these short cuts to writing applications

But I think they are missing the point, this is for children or young adults at least. It’s about getting kids interesting in Android, using Android and building apps that they may use, but it’s looking to the future.

I also agree that the next amazing twitter app will not emerge from this tool, but the person who develops that app, may have grown up on this, cut his or her teeth so to speak on it.

The form which allows you to register interest, is littered with references to education, Google’s aim is getting Android in to schools and used by kids as they grow up. Apple already does this it already offers free lessons for several of it’s apps for 8 to 10 year olds over the summer vacation, i.e. it’s starting the early.

To be honest, I’m keen to have a go, I haven’t done any programming since Uni and a bit of small talk on my IBM graduate training program, that’s it. But what I’m most keen to do is let my 6 year old daughter loose on it. She can use MS Paint, MS Word and do some interesting things, so I’m sure it won’t take her too long to pick this up.

The cat video might also spark a bit of interest, for the cat alone, but it’s about what she and kids her age will do with this. It gives them tools to make things not just out of paper and cello tape but allows them to make usable (if basic) software, that’s what this is about sparking an interest in the developers and entrepreneurs of the future.

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