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Working with Scratch on smart devices (androids, iphones, etc.) for Special Education Students

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3 replies [Last post]
Vicki Gold

This summer I am working with the Special Ed director at my High School. This morning I received an email inquiring how to write helpful app’s for her students on smart devices. My answer was of course there are ways to program iPhone’s and the like, but the better solution is to write Scratch programs on these devices. Scratch programs are not only easy enough for her and her students to develop in, but they can be easily configured for each student’s needs. Now that I speak as the expert, I am in trouble, because I don't know what devices Scratch can either be developed on or just run on? I know there is work being down with Android, but I have no idea how far Google has advanced with this venture.

Lastly, if this does come to fruition where would I start trying to raise the money to acquire about 10 of these devices?

I will be meeting with her next week. 

Thanks as Always,


Vicki Gold


Thanks for the response and references. I spent the day reading everything that I could. If I perhaps get a small number of Androids loaded with goggles-app-inventor for the Sped department I think we’d be set. Unfortunately, it is impossible to be positive without speaking to the SPED person at school, but my guess is the Androids are already loaded with all the big organizational app’s that these kids need. What they need and would love to do is to create small personalized programs.  It would be terrific to have the special education students teaching the main stream students how to program creatively.

Your information helped me prioritize and organize my work for the summer. The first important task is to start MIT’s Open course MAS.962 Autism Theory and Technology.

Again, thanks for the help,


Susan Ettenheim

 Has anyone used AppInventor in high school?

Angel Rivera

The catroid project ( provides an " on-device graphical programming language for Android devices that is inspired by the Scratch programming" (see also It is not a full implementation of Scratch and may be too "bleeding-edge" for what you need.

The other alternative I am aware of, and more viable for what you need, is Google's AppInventor ( The relationship between Scratch and AppInventor are rather strong (see and this dicussion AppInventor behaves just like Scracth with more advanced programming features, access to phone features (e.g. sms) and it is easy to create market-ready apps (at least a lot simpler than going the Java + Android SDK route).

Hope this helps.