You are correct, C# and VB while viable, prevent the students from going beyond simple programs in the time frame of a single semester. PopFly allows them to create fairly sophisticated applications that work with data that is interesting to them AND they can share their results on line via Facebook. It's a win-win.
Bob Familiar is the Director of Technical Evangelism East Region for Microsoft. The Technical Evangelism team engages with students, developers and IT Pros to help them create apps for Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and Windows Azure and create hybrid cloud infrastructure using Windows Server 2012.