Updates from App Authors sites

Updates from our Partner Sites

We have received helpful feedback from our partner site in Frederick County, Maryland regarding their iteration of the curriculum. The Frederick County team ran the program over the summer, and gave us useful insights into how the curriculum could be adapted for use in a public library.

Our partner site in Homer, Alaska just finished up their first iteration of the program, which began in November. Our team was unable to make it to Alaska to do an in-person training session beforehand, but Lizzy ran a training session with Homer Public Library Youth Services Librarian Claudia Haines and a teen volunteer over Zoom, a video conferencing program. The Homer team had some great ideas for their iteration of App Authors, including plans to invite native Alaskan guest speakers to talk to the participants about coding, and we are excited to hear how their program went! The Homer team is also planning to run another iteration of the program this spring.

Our partner site in Springfield, Oregon began running a teen-mentored coding class in November. Since this teen-mentor aspect strongly correlates to our future research ideas, we are greatly looking forward to gaining insights and ideas about near-peer mentoring from our Springfield team. The Springfield Public Library will also be hosting a three-day coding camp over this winter break, and we are interested to hear more about the logistics and outcomes of this condensed program.

Our partners at Kenwood Elementary School here in Champaign will be hosting another iteration of the App Authors program this spring. Lizzy Isbell will be the session leader, and sessions will take place during Kenwood’s after-school Tech Time program. I (Lizzy) am really looking forward to teaching the program again, and I look forward to the challenge of adapting my experience with teaching the curriculum at a public library to this iteration at a school library.

Our App Authors team is also currently in conversations with several potential partner sites. We are looking at bringing the App Authors program to another Illinois site and a site in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. We are also potentially looking for a site in the southwest.

We’re looking forward to seeing the App Authors program run again with old friends and spread wider in the new year.

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