Monday, February 13, 2012

Select High Schools Offer Course to Learn Mobile App Development

Students, how would you like the opportunity to learn how to build mobile apps while in high school? High schoolers at 5 schools nationwide are participating in a program launched by computer maker Lenovo and the National Academy Foundation (NAF), a New York-based nonprofit that develops education programs for public schools.

According to eSchoolNews, students at high schools in North Carolina, New York, California, Texas, and Connecticut will have the chance to take a 12-week course in school to learn how to develop and market apps for mobile phones and tablets. Why? In the past year alone, people have downloaded 17 billion apps—an enormous number that is still expected to grow substantially in coming years. The program will teach students the technology skills—coding and programming—as well as train them at creating a business plan for marketing and selling their app.

Lenovo donated Android ThinkPad tablets and ThinkCentre HD All-in-One desktop computers for the program; the company worked with NAF and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to develop the curriculum.

Bev Perdue, governor of North Carolina, said the program helps overcome one of the state’s challenges: helping students have real-time experiences, which is what the mobile app program is designed to do. She said, “If we don’t give our students time to learn, think, create, and play, we will be doing them a disservice. We owe it to the next generation to give them the skill set they need to have the careers that they want.”

If the program is successful, NAF hopes to implement it in many more schools nationwide. So far, students at Apex High School in North Carolina are already excited to participate in a program they believe will “shape the future of their academic career.”

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