Smart trains teachers on mobile app creation

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by SMART Public Affairs Sep 04, 2014

[4 September 2014] Developing mobile applications is no longer the sole domain of IT experts and programmers. Wireless leader Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) is helping empower everyone with the skill to create mobile apps.

Developing mobile applications is no longer the sole domain of IT experts and programmers.  Wireless leader Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) is helping empower everyone with the skill to create mobile apps.

The Smart SWEEPx Mobile Apps Development training course aims to level the playing field—giving teachers from colleges and universities with prior knowledge on Java and Object Oriented Programming (OPP) the capability to create apps on Android devices.

In just five days, 40 faculty members from Central and Northern Luzon not only learned the basics of mobile apps development, but also managed to create apps for their respective schools during the training program held recently at the Angeles University Foundation in Angeles City, Pampanga.

Smart Developer Network (Smart DevNet) and Here Maps resource speakers trained and mentored the participants on the basics of developing Android mobile apps. The teacher participants, grouped into 12 teams, developed mobile apps for their schools. The teachers were required to present their mobile apps to a panel of judges, demonstrate the various features, and cite the problems the apps seek to address.

Hub for mobile apps development

The SWEEPx training focuses on Android mobile apps development as majority of the mobile handsets and tablets in the Philippines run on the Android operating platform.  The demand for mobile app developers has increased tremendously as smartphone usage continues to increase here and around the world.

With Smart SWEEPx, the telco aims to nurture the mobile apps development community by building a bigger base of Android apps developers in schools. This move is seen to provide teachers with the means to earn additional income.  Smart is also hoping that mobile apps development will become part of the schools’ course offerings to provide students with the skills that are relevant to the market place.

“Smart envisions an educational landscape where faculty members who are capable in mobile apps development will influence more students and fellow teachers to become apps developers themselves through their school’s course offerings,” said Ramon R. Isberto, head of Public Affairs at Smart.

“SWEEPx has a multiplier effect, benefiting not only the workshop participants but also their fellow faculty members and students,” added Isberto. “By tapping the creative pool from our schools, we want to make the Philippines a hub for mobile apps development for learning, games and recreation, mobile money, and even for social good.”

SWEEPx is the latest initiative of Smart in the mobile education space, and forms part of the Smart Wireless Engineering Education Program (SWEEP), which is the longest-running industry-academe partnership that helps enhance Philippine IT and engineering education. 

“With SWEEPx, we want to help build and expand the skills of faculty members of our colleges and universities.  This initiative is in line with our efforts to sustain learning among our teachers and keep them abreast with the latest trends in mobile technology,” said Stephanie Orlino, senior manager and head of education programs at Smart Public Affairs.

The SWEEPx training program was also organized in preparation for the 11th SWEEP Innovation and Excellence Awards, which will have an Open Category starting this year.  The SWEEP Awards is being mounted by Smart annually to provide engineering and IT students to develop wireless devices and applications that aim to provide solutions to the public’s pain points with the possibility of having these becoming commercial products.

The entry of Team Wesleyan University- Philippines “WU-P University App” bagged second place in SWEEPx’s Best Mobile App contest.  Developed by Christopher Joy Dugtong and Alison Ignacio, the app allows users to check the description of all university courses, and open the school’s portal.  The users can also make use of Here Maps to locate Wesleyan University and other landmarks in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija.

Meanwhile, Team Lollipops’ “Android Student Portal for Pampanga Agricultural College” won first place.  Parents and students can check the grades, as well as balance on tuition and other school fees with the app.  Users can also send and receive messages with other members of the school portal via the app’s email, voice, text messaging, and social networking (Facebook) functionalities.

Rodel Pentecostes and Erl Xander Labug, both from Pampanga Agricultural College, and Lawrence Sales from Divine Word College in Vigan, Ilocos Sur, comprised the winning team.

Smart partnered with Here Maps, a Nokia mapping and location business, and the Philippine Society of Information Technology Educators (PSITE)-Region 3 for SWEEPx Angeles City.

The SWEEPx caravan will be in other educational hubs across the country such as Legazpi, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, and Davao over the next few months.

The other institutions that participated the training program for the Angeles leg are ACLC College of Mabalacat, Angeles University Foundation, AMA Angeles City, Baliuag University, Cagayan State University, College of Immaculate Conception in Cabanatuan City, College of Subic Montessori, Columban College in Olongapo City, Dr. Yanga’s College in Bulacan, Gordon College in Olongapo City, La Verdad Christian Colllege in Apalit, Lyceum of Subic Bay, Mabalacat City Colleges, Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology—Main Campus, Sta. Rita College of Pampanga, Systems Plus College Foundation, and Tarlac State University. Schools that are interested to become SWEEPx members can just register at www.smartsweep.ph/about/members.

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