1. Check out a device from USF's library. There are various devices, including , Nexus 1s,Galaxy tablets (we'll have a lottery in class for those interested in tablets), some My Touch phones, and some older Google dev phones (G1s)
2. You need a SIM card and service, with SMS texting at a minimum (you can use Wifi for data and you don't need a voice plan). If you have a TMobile or AT&T Sim card, you may be able to use it in the phone you are issued. If not, find a good plan on-line.
3. Charge up your device and sign in using your Google account. Then change your settings using the following instructions: http://appinventor.googlelabs.com/learn/setup/phone.html.
4. Tablet Users
If you check out a tablet, also see: http://www.appinventor.org/tabs
There are problems getting past the welcome screen without a sim card. Here is a link: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=575168
One solution might be: put a sim card in, sign in to google, take the sim card out...