I am a high school physics teacher in Illinois, USA. A little over a year ago, we learned that our school district would be buying iPads for use in the classroom, so my fellow physics teachers and I decided to learn to program so we could develop better tools for our students. After developing and releasing products in Objective C and php/HTML5, we discovered GameSalad, which I tried with my students and loved.
We have just recently discovered Construct 2 and it has completely changed our workflow. Our team has gone from 1 developer and 3 designers to 4 developer/designers, and in just a few weeks we have tripled the number of cool tools for our students to use. We are looking forward to holding workshops for the other teachers in our district to show them how to use Construct 2 for their own classrooms.
This school year I have used both Construct 2 and GameSalad with my AP Physics C students (2nd year, calculus-based physics). The results are as follows:
GameSalad (5 days total):
Day 1: I showed students the basics of making a platformer. Students loved the ease at which they could apply the physics engine.
Days 2-5: Students made something that could be controlled without the use of the keyboard or mouse, as we would be designing tools for next year's iPad students.
Construct 2 (two weeks):
Students were tasked with recreating a physics simulation from the phet.colorado.edu website so that it could be used on the iPad (no keyboard or mouse controls). PhET simulations currently require Flash, Java, or both.
After spending time with both, I can say that my students had an easier time picking up the workflow in GameSalad. Construct 2's event system is less intuitive for them, and many of them were frustrated because they couldn't figure out how to do simple things like they could in GameSalad. In particular, they have a lot of difficulty with the idea of "picking". On the other hand, the fact that Construct 2 has a built-in image editor means that my students could create something other than colored rectangles right in the program itself. I introduced Adobe Fireworks along with Construct 2, so many of the students have had a great time working in Fireworks and importing images.
Bottom line: Construct 2 is THE BEST TOOL out there for teachers to make simulations for their students. The fact that Construct 2 creates HTML5 natively means that the output can be used anywhere on any device, including websites and iBooks Author Widgets. However, before I try it with students again I need a pretty tight set of lesson plans in place so they don't get lost. GameSalad was easier for students to just pick up and use for my AP students. My regular students will definitely need a much tighter script to follow before they are comfortable creating with it.
My Ultimate Dream: A Construct 2 iPad port. If there were a way to bring Construct 2 to the iPad in a student-friendly package, I would sell my left kidney. Construct 2 is an incredibly powerful tool, and if it were combined with the anytime, anywhere accessibility of the iPad we could create a generation of people who could think analytically and creatively.
PS - We will be finishing up the PhET simulation project next week. As soon as we are done I will post a link to the website with student work.