Thanks to Samsung we have started with our students working on the latest Samsung Galaxy tablets. Currently we are evaluating the first batch of VIA projects. The experiment number II starts now. The first year university students of Open Informatics program will receive the tablets and the task is the same. Be inventive, hardworking and have fun. Develop an interesting Galaxy tablet application.
How are we going to be organized? This time the projects will be part of the Java course. The students learned the basic Java programming in the winter semester and they continue in the advanced Java course. One of the course requirements is to deliver a Java project and we will create it on Samsung Galaxy tablets.
Why tablets, why Android? Many consider the tablets the new very fast growing segment. Currently there are 4.3 billion mobile devices in the world and this is more than TV, fixed lines or PCs. Tablets are introducing new user interface unleashing new application design and capabilities. The UI is easy for everybody much more natural. This all is opening new possibilities. The new tablets are a great chance to work with the latest technology. On the other hand, keep in mind, that the tablets are not laptop replacements they focus on everyday users, not programmers. We still have to discover how to take full advantage of them, how to address the largest number of users.
Is the Android good platform to learn Java programing? First, Java is the primary programming language for Android apps. There are lot of application examples in the open source. The programming environment IDE plug-ins are greatly simplifying the development. Google is providing better and better support to developers. All these are reasons to motivate students to learn new skills. It is also a great opportunity to get creative and invent new applications and introduce new ideas.
I believe, that programming is a combination of an art and discipline. It requires quite some time to learn a language. Mostly it is a self-learning process. The learning curve is steep once you have a good motivation and this is where I am stepping in. Let's enjoy creating something new on the latest technology and have fun too.
What is the timeline? I am happy I can start working with students early in their university education. There are many interesting disciplines where they would need programming. My mission is to show students the opportunities for inventing and turning their ideas to real products. I hope, some of the students will join us during summer working with us or completing their own projects. Every summer we offer the best students an university internship. Others with strong idea and motivation can join the eClub, learn the art of creating startup and compete for winning seed money. For a freshman in the first year it seems to be terribly long to start working on a baccalaureate thesis, but it is round the corner. Working on problem oriented projects early will help them learning all the necessary skills to write great thesis.
I’d like to organize our work similarly as the VIA course. We will run all as projects see the previous blog. We will keep all in English. Why? We need to cooperate with our colleagues. The world is huge, but Internet connects us. Many students around the world are like you and we need to communicate with them. We keep all on the open Internet, to let other comment. This is a good source of advice. Openness introduces good attitude and cooperation. I will encourage all students helping each other and use all possible resources. I will leave space for all students to come with their own ideas not only for the projects. Think what it is you want to create. How are you going to change the world? Think big! Internet is democratic.
I am looking forward to see the students creating new exciting stuff! Any questions? Send me an email and ask. Join us!