Lenovo Launches Initiative To Teach Android App Building In High School

NC Governor Bev Perdue pictured with Tom Looney VP/GM of Lenovo at announcement of Lenovo's Android App building curriculum at Apex High photo courtesy of Lenovo

20 somethings and 30 somethings in this day in age are already looking towards the days when kids won’t remember not having internet. Can you imagine a day when Android Application Engineer is a full blown career field? Well that day is getting closer and Lenovo in partnership with the National Academy Foundation are spearheading that effort.

According to the IDC Lenovo is the largest provider of laptops and desktops to education in the world. They’ve shipped over 3.6 million units to educational institutions. In case you were wondering Apple is ranked 4th in providing computers for education.  With that kind of commitment to education its no wonder that Lenovo is spearheading a program like this.

Five schools that are part of NAF’s network of career academies are piloting a new curriculum based on developing Android app development. The program is geared towards student’s in NAF’s STEM program (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

More after the break
One of the five schools launching the program is Apex High School’s Academy of Information Technology in Apex NC. Lenovo (US HQ is in Raleigh NC) alongside NC Governor Bev Perdue announced the program.

“High – tech skills are critical for North Carolina’s pipeline of future workers,” said Gov. Perdue. “Unique partnerships like this one not only give high school students real-world, real-time learning opportunities, but they align with the broader goals of business, education and government to create North Carolina’s next generation of professional leaders.”

“Our schools are strong because we have great partnerships with business and industry,” said Anthony J. Tata, superintendent of the Wake County Public School System. “This unique program gives our students practical experience with innovative technology at a time when they’re making decisions about their future careers. We’re creating the next generation of entrepreneurs.”

There are roughly 40 kids at each of the five schools that will participate in the Android app building program. According to Lenovo’s Mike Schmedlen in an interview with thedroidguy today, the program will consist of about 20% of in classroom course work and the other 80% with the kids getting their hands dirty in a lab setting.

Schmedlen and Lenovo will be following the program closely through the rest of this academic year at each of the five schools. Lenovo is committed to keeping the kids in the program totally up to date meaning that Ice Cream Sandwich will definitely be part of the curriculum.  In addition to building Android applications the students will also learn about developing business plans, testing apps and bringing them to market.

As the course evolves The NAF and Lenovo will decide how many schools to bring the curriculum too next year. Schmedlen said that it could go into as many as 100 schools in the 2012-2013 school year.

“The partnership between NAF and Lenovo is a real example of how business and education can play a pivotal role in changing high school education to ensure college and career success.  We are pleased to be working with such innovative thinkers to inspire and equip tomorrow’s leaders,” said JD Hoye, president of the National Academy Foundation.

Many colleges and universities across the country have started to implement courses on mobile apps and mobile development. This is the first high school level course for Android app development.


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