A new computer science class at Collierville High School has students creating applications for Apple Inc.’s iPod Touch and iPhone.
Buy this photo »
Collierville High School junior Daniel Ault works on designs of his version of an iPhone application for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital by using a simulation program in his computer programming class.
In the Shelby County school district’s first “iPod/iPhone class,” students who already have taken basic computer programming are developing apps on Apple Inc.’s portable media player and smartphone for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Shelby County Schools and Collierville High.
“I like it,” said junior Daniel Ault of the skills he’s learning in the new class. “It’s kind of satisfying when you make something and it actually has a purpose.”
Computer science teacher Robert Vawter plans to make the best Collierville High app available to the public on the school’s Web site.
The school received 20 Apple laptops and 20 iPod Touch devices for the new class, which will be offered again next year.
On a recent day, the students worked on the apps for St. Jude using simulated iPods and iPhones on their computer screens. The apps display photos, contact lists and links to other Web sites.
Vawter said the class is experimental, with no textbook, and the students learn a great amount online. Typically, students wouldn’t learn this technology until college.
Vawter said the students will leave the class with the skills to create apps for businesses or individuals.
“Let’s face it, these kids are all using computers and doing more than most adults are,” Vawter said. “I feel like we need to offer as much as we can to stay competitive. This is exciting.”
Senior Courtney Comstock, the only girl in the new class at Collierville, said she’s interested in computer graphics and thought it’d be fun to learn how to create an app for her own iPhone.
“It’s very interesting to be able to learn all this in high school and be higher up than some of the college students, maybe,” Comstock said.