MOOC to you, too

I’m doing something right now that I’ve never done before, and I’m doing it twice: I’m taking free online classes that instructors are using to augment classes that I’m paying for. The first is from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

It’s an app design class for Android phones based on Google’s now defunct Google App Inventor. It’s called MIT App Inventor 2,, and while TMCC’s structure for getting into the MIT class was a little frustrating at first, MIT’s interface is really easy and intuitive.

App Inventor 2 is an open source, Web-based system that allows people to create Android apps without having to know how to code. Instead of writing code, you just kind of drag around jigsaw puzzle pieces to make your phone do things.

I use my laptop to do the design and then send the app to my phone. So far, all I’ve been able to do is make my kitty purr and scribble on photos I’ve taken of my friends, but I’m starting to get the idea.

The other class I’m taking is called Social Media for Journalists, sponsored by the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at The University of Texas at Austin (UT). It’s a MOOC, which means Massive Open Online Course, which means everyone’s welcome to this party.

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