Monday, November 7, 2011

Geek Culture in the Library

One of the greatest things about my job is that it forces me to try new things. My motivation is that I want to stay relevant, keep the library program relevant and help get kids ready for the careers of tomorrow. My latest round of learning is on programming Android apps. A few years ago I tried my hand at programming a Library gadget for Google, but ran into numerous obstacles trying to get the search to work with library systems. Furthermore, there were not many resources for beginner developers to get started and I abandoned the project without producing a workable gadget.

Now with the proliferation of Android, it's a different world. Google has made App programming more visual and created some wonderful tutorials to learn the basics.   When I created in the first Hello Purr App via the tutorial and got it on my phone I was so excited, I wanted to show it off to everyone in the library. Here's a short introductory video.

I'm a natural born geek, but not hardcore.  In high school I watched Star Trek, but wasn't one of those going to conventions in full regalia speaking Klingon. If I can do this, anyone that is even slightly geeky can try it out.

I've been progressing through the tutorials learning about the drawing canvas, image sprites and soon I will make Mash Mole, a fairly simple game based on the carnival favorite, Wack a Mole.

Now that I'm ahead of the students, I'm ready to help them get started. Ultimately I would like to form a little App developer group and get them working on a real world project. I even have some ideas and potential partners. This project is really a logical extension of my work I described in the wonderful collective Ebook, School Libraries, What's Next, What's next to come. Additionally, I was inspired by this story on NPR about youthful App developers. It's all about creating opportunities for the kids to develop skills that can make them successful and perhaps the next software billionaire!

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