OpenSocial Application Builder and Customizer for School Teachers


Nowadays, a large number of online laboratories are avail- able and deployed throughout the world. Most of them are sponsored by universities and often only used by their home institution, because they tend to be dedicated to the needs of their creators. However, in many cases these labs provide successful experiences and other teachers would wish to in- corporate them into their classroom activities and to embrace Learning-by-Experience methodologies. Currently, they cannot do that effectively without first tailoring the lab experience to their own teaching style and the educational background of their students. This can be a complicated affair, due the closed nature of many online labs and the steep learning curve of the few tools that allow customization. This paper describes the work on an application builder, named App Composer, which aims to make it easy for school teachers to create their own customized applications from existing ones. Different customization levels are provided, each one pow- ered by a different type of composer. For instance, teachers will be able to easily translate an application into a new language, or to start with a template and create a customized version of an application. The App Composer makes use of Graasp and OpenSocial – a widely-used, interoperable and open technology.