Just in time for the holidays, we are proud to be announcing the first public release of devLearn. devLearn is an application to learn real programming on tablets and mobile phones. It essentially makes programming so easy that you don’t even need to know how to type.
Our first live release is for Android based tablets and phones and is completely free. Also, we know a lot of people have asked for an iOS version as well. And we want to ensure you that Apple support is indeed on the plan for our next release, which will be coming soon.
Play Store Download: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.devlearnapp.devlearn
Anyways, check it out, and have a great thanksgiving!
We finished up all the CSS lessons. And finally we were able to track down a really important bug with one of the continue button handlers being added multiple times. This bug has been bugging us for months, so we are really thrilled to have found it.
Also, we are releasing 1.0 of our app this week. If you were one of our alpha testers, you may need to either reinstall or clear the apps data one last time after receiving the 1.0 update. And thanks for everyone involved that made this 1.0 launch possible.
This week we completed two more CSS lessons and implemented several more fixes. We now just have a small handful of mobile fixes, an additional two CSS lessons, and we should be all set for our first release some time next week! Also, as a reminder, we will be demoing our project at the Giglab’s Launch Party this weekend.
This week we added a load screen, updated our internal tools to graph user success rates on a per lesson and per question basis, updated our match_code quiz type to support CSS, and completed another CSS lesson. Essentially, we’ve been polishing up the app. And now we just have 4 more CSS lessons to write, and we will be all set for our first public release.
Additionally, we will demoing our project along side several other great community projects at the GigLab’s Launch Party next Saturday.
This week we started our pilot test with Clifton Hills. It was really neat how this all came together. For starters, the school needed 20 tablets, and we just happen to have exactly 20 tablets on hand. What is even more interesting about this fact is that we had actually been slowly acquiring tablets in preparation to donate them to the school without any indication on how many we needed. And in the mean-time, we were using them at events such as the Chattanooga & New York Maker Faire. Anyways, we had actually acquired 21 tablets, but we found out a couple days prior that one stopped working. So, we ended up having exactly 20 tablets at the exact time the school needed 20 tablets. Secondly, we ended up piloting with one of the very first people in education I met on our first prototype day. This was at hacknooga and it was really just the beginning of devLearn, back when it was just at the idea stage. Then, I found out on the first day of our pilot that she helps updates some of the school sites and has experience with HTML. This is really helpful to us. Especially, with the younger kids, as even though the app is designed to self-taught, kids will definitely have questions. It’s just great to work with someone that loves what they do, and is always on the lookout for ways to their classroom and the classrooms of others. Lastly, we are still getting started with the pilot, but I’m always stressed about is the app too challenging or too difficult. So, it’s been encouraging to see that even though it can be difficult for some of the younger kids, that they are always so positive and they actual do try it out several times until they get it right. It’s definitely not a Nintendo, but actually, nearly all of the kids say they want to keep using the app.
Anyways, we’ve been working hard programming too. This week we tweaked the app to work on smaller phones that have smaller displays, tweaked the sign-up error messages, fixed a pretty bad memory leak, implemented additional fixes, and implemented a coming soon page for additional languages. We still have more work to do on our CSS language, but we are really looking to make our first release on the Google Play Store later this month.
This week we added the display of grades to the lesson pages. Now, users can quickly see which lessons they have completed and how well they performed on each individual lesson. Additionally, we took preparation steps to work with our first pilot school. We will be working with three classrooms this week in order to ensure we have the right difficulty level and that students are mastering all the material. Lastly, we went through all our open task items and narrowed down the list to just seven tasks that we plan to complete before our first public 1.0 launch! We are getting closer.
This week we started testing the application on a wide variety of devices, particularly a wide range of android phones, and worked out several display issues. We are actually really close to completing this. All, we have left to do is to tweak some of the image scaling to ensure that images are appropriate sizes on some of the smaller phones. In all, we are just inching closer every day.