App Design for Early Learners

I am working on a challenge project for my K-5 STEAM teachers. The students will be designing an app as part of the challenge. The plan right now is to use the Everyone Can Code App Design Journal related to the App Coding Club and the Everyone Can Code curriculum. The guide will work for our upper grades, 3rd - 5th. It isn’t yet suitable for the early learners, K-2nd.

I have been working on adjusting it for our little learners. I watched the teachers and classes for a while. The students like to design. They have great ideas when supported appropriately. Our team thinks they can design something but need the proper support. I have a draft copy of an early learner guide. I’m hoping to get some feedback on it. My teachers are meeting soon, and I will roll it out to them.

There is a lot of fine-tuning and adjustment needed. I need feedback to know where to go next. I’ve done tons with 11th and 12th graders. This is my first foray into the other end of the spectrum.

I haven't finished the first draft of the teacher guide. I'll add it to this later.

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Posted on September 29, 2023

I think this is a great idea, and I have worked with very young learners to develop ideas for apps, but I think the structure and language of the journal are much too tricky for early learners.

Try to make the Keynote more relatable and start by asking the students to name their favourite apps. 

Then, ask them to describe why that particular app is their favourite. The next step is for the children to develop some ideas for apps. I wouldn’t limit their imagination or ask them to create realistic ideas. 

At this age, they should allow their imaginations to run wild. Then, they could draw out their apps on paper or in a Keynote template. Using the record audio function, students can add audio descriptions to their drawings.

The next step could be to partner with younger students with older students. The older students could use the plans created by the younger students to develop Keynote prototypes for their apps. 


Posted on September 29, 2023

I LOVE this! This is year 7 for me with the little learners, so I have some ideas for you :)

Advice: use voice recordings so they are able to rehear the directions...

Use emojis or clipart consistently for kiddos who can't read yet / ELL's. Like a pencil next to a text box so they can associate the image with direction.

Show your students voice to text. Add keyboards for ELL's so they can use their native language if more comfortable in the beginning. You can also have students answer with voice recordings.

LOCK EVERYTHING. :)

You're doing amazing things, keep it up!

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