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Build Your First App Educator Notes

In this document, you will learn how to train, prepare and deliver a Build Your First App course.

teacher training

The best way to train yourself at running the event is to go through the activities on your own.
Each activity can also be printed with the complete list of steps for further review.

logistics checklist

1) Devices

  • Use the student's personal phones: Phones are cool, fashionable and powerful! Coding on a phone is cooler than on a laptop!
TouchDevelop runs on phones, tablets and desktop, with or without touch, with or without a mouse: iPhone, iPad, Android phone and tablets, Windows Phone 8, Windows desktops, laptops and tablets, Linux and Mac.
  • Each student should have access to a device running TouchDevelop. We do not recommend more than 2 students per device.

2) WiFi

Make sure your WiFi is connected to internet and can access the following web sites:

3) Create a class group (recommend)

Create a new group and invite all your students to join it.
  • A group provides a message board
  • allows you to track the progress of students in their interactive tutorials

4) Raffle tickets and prizes (recommended)

  • Reward the student progress with raffle tickets to keep them engaged. Tutorials have clear trophy checkpoints that you can use to give away raffle tickets.
  • Give away lots of cheap prizes (candy works great!).

5) Music (recommended)

We recommend to play the latest hits (loudly) while the students are coding. It creates an playful athmosphere and makes the entire experience more enjoyable for all the students.
Several web sites allow to stream music but beware that they might be blocked on your network.


As much as possible, TouchDevelop will try to diagnose problems and provide specific instructions to fix them. Here are a couple tricks that might help:
  • make sure the device time and date are correct
  • try refreshing the page
  • try clearing the data in the browser and disabling private mode.


If you have a document camera, project device screens directly.
When your students complete an activity, they can publish their work to the cloud. After publishing, their script will receive a unique script id.
Once you have a student script id,
  • go the hub
  • tap see more
  • type the script id
  • tap run to launch the demo

follow up

After your hour of code, you will plenty of material to continue learning about coding. Here are some good places to start: