This is the dilemma of many about taking a class like app development. I talk to many parents, teachers, and students and guess what? They all use apps. But there are many complaints about apps. They are a time suck, they don’t work, they have ads…..
I just saw on the news a story about an ongoing conflict of kids and screen time. How much is too much? Will they lose social skills? Are we hurting their development?
I don’t know the answers to these questions but I do propose a shift towards looking at the quality of screen time rather than quantity of screen time. In the App development class, students play with the apps they create. Some of these apps are games, and some of them are concerned with helping or educating others. Students become makers of technology instead of consumers. They become critical of the technology around them.
But what I find the most interesting is that this is one of the most social classes I’ve ever taught. Students are concerned with the user experience for the apps they create. They interact with others and develop empathy for likes, frustrations, and other feelings the students have towards their creation. They also develop strong problem solving and logic skills in order to create a great app. It makes me wonder if as a society we are focusing on the wrong side of technology.