A 12-year-old app developer | Thomas Suarez | TED | Summary and Q&A

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A 12-year-old app developer | Thomas Suarez | TED

TL;DR

In this content, the speaker shares their journey of creating iPhone apps and how they are now helping other students learn app design.

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Key Insights

  • 📱 Creating apps: The speaker shares their experience of creating apps for iPhone, including a fortune teller and a Justin Bieber whack-a-mole game, and highlights the interest and curiosity many kids have in making their own apps.
  • 🌟 Learning programming: The speaker mentions the importance of learning programming languages like Python, C, and Java to gain a foundation before venturing into iPhone app development.
  • 📚 Lack of resources: It is challenging for kids to find resources or guidance on app development, as there are limited places to learn compared to activities like soccer or music.
  • 💡 Support and encouragement: The speaker acknowledges the support and encouragement they have received from family, friends, teachers, and even people at the Apple Store, which has been crucial to their app development journey.
  • 🏫 App clubs: The speaker starts an app club at their school, with a teacher sponsoring it, to share their experiences and knowledge with other students interested in designing apps.
  • 📱 iPad Pilot Program: Some school districts have implemented the iPad Pilot Program, raising questions about how to best use iPads and which educational apps to utilize. Feedback from teachers is sought to determine app preferences.
  • 🏫 Students as tech resources: The speaker points out that students often possess more tech knowledge than their teachers, emphasizing the need for educators to recognize and tap into this resource.
  • 🚀 Future plans: The speaker expresses their desire to create more apps and games, collaborate with third-party companies, delve into Android programming, and continue fostering knowledge sharing among students.

Questions & Answers

Q: How did the speaker come up with the idea for their first app "Earth Fortune"?

The speaker came up with the idea for their first app "Earth Fortune" by creating a unique fortune teller that would display different colors of Earth depending on the user's fortune.

Q: What was the speaker's favorite and most successful app?

The speaker's favorite and most successful app is "Bustin Jieber," a Justin Bieber whack-a-mole game that they created in response to the dislike some people had for Justin Bieber.

Q: Why is it difficult for kids these days to learn how to make an app?

It is difficult for kids to learn how to make an app because not many kids know where to go or find resources to learn programming. Unlike activities like soccer or the violin, there is no obvious route for learning app development.

Q: What steps did the speaker take to learn app development?

The speaker first learned programming fundamentals in multiple languages such as Python, C, and Java. Then, they got introduced to the iPhone software development kit (SDK) when Apple released the iPhone, opening up new possibilities for app development.

Q: How did the speaker get their apps on the App Store?

The speaker persuaded their parents to pay the $99 fee required to put their apps on the App Store. After their parents agreed, they were able to publish their apps for others to download and use.

Q: What inspired the speaker to start an app club at their school?

The speaker drew inspiration from Steve Jobs and started an app club at their school to share their experiences with others. They also received support from a teacher who kindly sponsored the app club and made it accessible to any student interested in learning app design.

Q: How is the speaker using their app development skills to benefit their school and district?

The speaker is involved in the iPad Pilot Program at their school, which aims to determine how iPads should be used and which apps should be installed on them. They gather feedback from teachers and, once the apps are created and sold, any revenue generated goes back into local education foundations to support the district.

Q: Why should educators recognize students' knowledge of technology and utilize it as a resource?

Educators should recognize students' knowledge of technology as a valuable resource because students often have a better understanding of technology than teachers. By tapping into students' expertise, educators can enrich their teaching practices and make better use of technology in the classroom.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The speaker has a fascination for computers and technology and has created several apps for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, including a fortune teller app and a Justin Bieber whack-a-mole game.

  • The speaker shares their experience of learning to make apps and encourages other kids to learn programming.

  • The speaker is part of an iPad Pilot Program in their school and is working on creating more apps, exploring Android programming, and continuing their app club to share knowledge with other students.

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