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Information Technology

The Information Technology (IT) module enables young people to learn to code, while building their civic awareness. Young Coders survey their community and identify a need that can be addressed with mobile technology. Using coding, design thinking, and business savvy, students design, create, and market their app solution. 

  • Extended Learning Time
    IT ELT Lesson 1

    IT ELT Lesson 1

    Students will explore what coding is and why it is important. Students will have a hands-on experience coding for the first time through a written coding game.

    IT ELT Lesson 2

    IT ELT Lesson 2

    This lesson begins with students participating in a communication exercise designed to model how computers respond to code. Students begin to become more comfortable with the language of coding by engaging in the Hour of Code curriculum through Code.org.

    IT ELT Lesson 3

    IT ELT Lesson 3

    The purpose of this lesson is to introduce young programmers to MIT App Inventor and key vocabulary necessary to begin writing code. Through modeling, students will learn how to develop the Hello Purr app using the App Inventor software.

    IT ELT Lesson 4

    IT ELT Lesson 4

    In this lesson, students will explore the purpose of mobile apps, and how apps can address real needs for people. The context of this work is the app Zombies, Run!, which claims to help people get off the couch and ready to run a 5K (3.3 miles).

    IT ELT Lesson 5

    IT ELT Lesson 5

    In this lesson, young programmers will explore the distinction between wants and needs. The lesson begins with looking at what is a need and completing another MIT App Inventor tutorial.

    IT ELT Lesson 6

    IT ELT Lesson 6

    This lesson begins with students learning about design thinking and completing an exercise that uses this approach to define problems and come up with innovative solutions.

    IT ELT Lesson 7

    IT ELT Lesson 7

    In this lesson, the IT Design Teams decide on their final app ideas. After reflecting on their own ideas about a need that can be addressed with an app, design teams will participate in a brainstorming initiative.

    IT ELT Lesson 8

    IT ELT Lesson 8

    The actual design process for the app begins with this lesson. The work time is dedicated fully to the design of the app through wire framing.

    IT ELT Lesson 9

    IT ELT Lesson 9

    The flow of this lesson is designed to facilitate the reflection on criteria of quality in app design. You will provide a Design Consultation where the students will receive feedback on their app descriptions, wire frames, and coding flowcharts in order to refine their final products.

    IT ELT Lesson 10

    IT ELT Lesson 10

    The entrepreneurship aspect of information technology is introduced in this lesson. Students will reflect on the marketability of their apps following their presentations and consider what changes to its features might make it more marketable.

    IT ELT Full Curriculum

    IT ELT Full Curriculum

    Select this link to download the complete IT Extended Learning Time curriculum. 

  • In School
    IT Main Module Lesson 1

    IT Main Module Lesson 1

    In this module, Young Professionals learn what coding is and why it's important. YPs will have a hands-on experience coding for the first time through a written coding game.

    IT Main Module Lesson 2

    IT Main Module Lesson 2

    This lesson begins with Young Professionals participating in a communication exercise designed to model how computers respond to code. Students begin to become more comfortable with the language of coding by engaging in the Hour of Code curriculum through Code.org, in order to begin to understand coding terms and concepts.

    IT Main Module Lesson 3

    IT Main Module Lesson 3

    The purpose of this lesson is to introduce Young Professionals to MIT App Inventor and key vocabulary necessary to begin writing code. YPs are then introduced to a real-world problem that will begin the process of relating needs people have to the design of mobile applications.

    IT Main Module Lesson 4

    IT Main Module Lesson 4

    In this lesson, Young Professionals will explore the purpose of mobile apps, and how apps can address real needs for people. YPs will examine an existing app and critically analyze its usage. By the end of the lesson, students will be able to determine what the creator wanted to achieve with the app and the features of the app that have made it appeal to a wide variety of end-users.

    IT Main Module Lesson 5

    IT Main Module Lesson 5

    In this lesson, Young Professionals will explore the distinction between wants and needs. The lesson begins with a fun activity to reflect on basic needs. This activity leads into a discussion about human needs extending beyond food, water, shelter, air, and companionship.

    IT Main Module Lesson 6

    IT Main Module Lesson 6

    This lesson begins with Young Professionals learning about design thinking and completing an exercise that uses this approach to define problems and come up with innovative solutions. In teams, YPs will then use their background knowledge on a familiar mobile app to walk through the stages of design thinking, which they will then use in the creation of their own apps.

    IT Main Module Lesson 7

    IT Main Module Lesson 7

    This lesson begins the process of relating needs people have to the design of mobile applications. Young Professionals examine what makes an app useable. They then continue practicing using App Inventor as a way of familiarizing themselves with app design and the development process.

    IT Main Module Lesson 8

    IT Main Module Lesson 8

    The primary criteria for judging an app are intuitiveness, efficiency, and ease of navigation. Young Professionals will examine apps to see if they are well designed with these criteria in mind. YPs will also generate a checklist of the features of apps with good user interface design, while they analyze apps that function well and those that don’t.

    IT Main Module Lesson 9

    IT Main Module Lesson 9

    In this lesson, IT Design Teams decide on their final app ideas. YPs will reflect on their own ideas about a need that can be addressed with an app through a brainstorming activity. YPs will select one app design idea associated with a need identified by the team. Teams also begin the process of learning to present an app description.

    IT Main Module Lesson 10

    IT Main Module Lesson 10

    Young Professionals will begin by looking at examples of targeted marketing, while considering their own market. YPs will then design their market research plans to organize the various aspects of their projects that they will need to understand in order to be successful.

    IT Main Module Lesson 11

    IT Main Module Lesson 11

    This lesson focuses on designing survey questions. Young Professionals will be tasked to think about their target market from the previous lesson, and begin to construct survey questions. By the end, YPs will have a well-constructed survey and be tasked with gathering feedback from either market members or individuals emmulating the desired market.

    IT Main Module Lesson 12

    IT Main Module Lesson 12

    This lesson is the transition from the building background knowledge portion of this unit to the actual creation of the app and beginning the entrepreneurial work to market it. Young Professionals will be analyzing their market research and survey data to determine the next steps for their apps. YPs will reflect on what changes will be made based on their newly-acquired information, and begin to set goals around what they will be coding.

    IT Main Module Lesson 13

    IT Main Module Lesson 13

    This lesson introduces the storyboarding of an app, also known as wireframing. Young Professionals will practice wireframing using an existing app. The exploration of ideas, content, and flow of the app itself is then completed through an exercise called paper prototyping.

    IT Main Module Lesson 14

    IT Main Module Lesson 14

    In this lesson, Design Teams will begin to identify ways to make their apps desirable based on a close examination of competitor data. Teams will conduct usability testing by pairing with another team to administer a walk-through of their paper prototypes. They will then learn a new technological tool to support bringing their paper prototypes to the digital world.

    IT Main Module Lesson 15

    IT Main Module Lesson 15

    The foundation of this lesson is reflection and revision from peer feedback gleaned during the usability testing and research exercises in lessons past.  During the work time portion of the lesson, you will be providing a writer’s workshop-style conference for teams, called a Design Consultation. When students are not being consulted, they will be working on a coding activity.

    IT Main Module Lesson 16

    IT Main Module Lesson 16

    In this lesson, Young Professionals will begin to think about the branding for their apps. YPs will be asked to summarize their projects by writing an app description for an app store. YPs will be introduced to color psychology and logo design in two videos, and then be asked to begin designing their own based on the information learned from the videos. The lesson concludes with peer critiques. 

    IT Main Module Lesson 17

    IT Main Module Lesson 17

    Young Professionals will now share their app designs and possibilities for the future. The YPs will begin the lesson with an exploration of careers in the field of programming. Next, they will present their work to the class and respond to questions.The lesson will end with students reflecting on possible next steps for their apps.

    IT Main Module Full Curriculum

    IT Main Module Full Curriculum

    Select this link to download the complete Information Technology In-school Curriculum.