Android Being Taught In Middle School Programming Class


Well, look what we have here: Android is making its way into the classrooms. Josh Beck – an advanced programming teacher at Krueger Middle School (San Antonio, Texas) – has been incorporating Android programming lessons into his curriculum. On April 13th, one of his students – 14-year-old Christian Cruz – was the first to publish his first app in the Android market.


Just over a week later, he’s made over $50. The application – which I was unable to find on my Android 1.6 device – is simply an animated wallpaper (which is why I assume it’ll only be for Android 2.1 and up). The story is great, though. It proves that Android can be used as a learning tool for young developers (and, in turn, it stands to create more Android developers to keep pushing along its booming market).

I commend Josh Beck on taking this sort of initiative inside the classroom (and Christian, of course, gets a good degree of congratulations for his first paid app), and I hope the trend will be imitated and emulated by more educators in the near future.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Its amazing how young kids are learning to program now…..kinda makes me jealous lol.

  2. It is definitely a thrill for a new programmer to see their program come to life on their hardware. Geez, I remember back to BASIC in the late 1970’s. :-)

  3. I wish we had done this instead of TrueBASIC :/

  4. Make it Rain!

  5. Great article! Glad to see more of the positives of Android instead the repeated bashing by Applities of it’s open market. Need more articles like this picked up and covered!

  6. BTW, is that kid making it rain? In the classroom no less :) LOL!

  7. I am curious what his app is called?

    Searches by his developer name yielded an app called ‘Teenager needs Money’ for US$0.99.

    I’m 14 years old and getting started learning to program Android! Please, donate a dollar to help me pay for High School”


    I guess highschool is expensive these days… teaching andriod and all.

  8. Wish Android was around when I was in school. Would’ve aced that class lol

  9. Thanks for the positive comments.
    Christian’s Live Wallpaper is for 2.1
    If you don’t have 2.1, you’ll only see his
    initial ‘Teenager Needs Money’ app from about 6 weeks ago
    where we were learning to export and sign a basic package.

    Thanks again,
    Josh Beck

  10. thats awesome! im a senior in highschool i wish we had that

  11. I can eat 6 hotdogs back to back in two minutes

  12. That is a very cool project, but I don’t know if Android is a good teaching tool. Android is an embedded system so a lot of the patterns and pitfalls are very different than on systems that have much more memory. You hare to approach things like variable scoping, object instatiation and process lifecycle very differently on Android than even other JVM environments. Still, hats off to the teacher for a very cool course.

  13. Wow I am proud of my city now :)

  14. he is the guy that ported over the nexus one boot animation to a live wallpaper * i know i bought it for $0.99 * didn’t know he was a kid though!!
    congrats kid!!! i love his wallpaper

  15. BTW his apps are under josh beck

  16. i cannot believe this. ya i am extremely jelous. i had to drop out of school just so i would have time to spend at home teaching myself programing via google. i wish they would have offered such a class when i attended!

  17. Josh Beck’s live wallpapers are pretty sweet, I sent him an email about one of his live wallpapers this morning and he responded pretty fast.

  18. I know this student. :/ Feel obligated to buy his app now…

  19. Omigosh! Just stumbled on this article by accident! Yes, Josh is an amazing teacher and my personal tech hero. What this article tells us, though, is actually less impressive to me than what it leaves out: that Krueger Middle School is a low-income, “at risk” campus. Just a few years ago, this school was in the headlines for all of the wrong reasons. iMAK (the technology magnet program at Krueger, comprised of mostly at-risk students) has been a big part of the school’s turnaround. In addition to Josh’s classes/clubs centering around Google and Firefox apps/extensions, students take classes in web design, broadcast and print journalism, and video game creation. Me, I only get to teach English there…. ;)

  20. oh dam. $50 is hella bank for high school.

  21. @12

    Are you kidding me? Android is a great platform to learn on simply for those very reasons! I think too many developers that pop out of school nowadays dont have any idea on optimization, memory usage limits, etc. I think those are actually good things to START your learning with. Helps you to learn how to write fast efficient code.

  22. At this level we don’t really even need to talk memory optimization. If a student hits the dreaded ‘VM Budget Exceeded’ error, or they try to tackle something that requires a background thread, we talk. –Always an interesting conversation.

    I’m documenting my lessons this year at (I’m open to suggestions for next year.)

    Thanks for all your emails and comments. I’ll share them with the class this week.

    Josh Beck

  23. This guy just took Beck’s idea. I know I’m in his class as well. I’m thirteen and making those apps.

  24. I’m glad to see that you are taking the initiative to program for the future wave of devices. At the high school I graduated from, APCS and Intro to CompSci are popular courses taught in Java. I would’ve liked to see more support (in class or extracurricular) for other languages and mediums, because the tech world is expanding faster than the current standard can keep up with (I believe that Java SE 5.0 is the College Board’s Standard). More teachers should follow your example and teach newer technology. Whenever I whip out the new version of AndroidMtG, it always gets a few “oohs” and “aahs” from friends, which only encourages me to put out a new version. (It isn’t on the Market yet, because I want to put a good layer of polish on it.)

    Congrats to Mr. Beck and Christian, and keep up the good work. I will view the tutorials. And donate to the cause. =D

  25. NICE! this guy has a lot of live wallpapers up now, Some pretty wicked ones to. Wish they had this kind of stuff when i was in high school, might have stayed in.

  26. Hold on so Beck is the teacher not the student that made them? Ok, was wondering but that does make sense as i am sure the is some clause that makes the person posting the app have to be legal adult(IE 18+).

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