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NJIT Enrolls 9 Students in Experimental iPhone Applications Course

Nine lucky students at NJIT are testing one of the nation’s first development courses for the Apple iPhone. The upper-level course illustrates how to create applications for the iPhone. Enrolled students received a free, iPod Touch for application use and
Nine lucky students at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) are testing one of the nation’s first software application development courses for the Apple iPhone. The upper-level course, which illustrates how to create applications for the iPhone, is taught by the university’s director of web services, Jim Robertson. Enrolled students received a free, iPod Touch for application use and testing. The device would have cost $300. According to an announcement, if all goes according to plan, the three-credit course will be available next fall to more than two dozen students. “We’re planning to have students do case studies on applications,” Robertson said in a prepared statement. “We even have an interview lined up with the creator of an air hockey application.” During the course, students will use Apple’s SDK, which was released last year, and will receive help from university faculty from the College of Computing Sciences at NJIT. Staff from web and technology services will also be on hand. Furthermore, students will be given access to Mac computers for developing the programs, in addition to receiving their own free iPod Touch. “The iPhone application marketplace has exploded,” said Narain Gehani, dean of the College of Computing Sciences. “The phone’s innovative platform has spawned an application marketplace that has turned into a multi-million-dollar business. Companies are hiring iPhone application developers,” added Gehani. “Anyone taking this course will be well-positioned.” The institute also recently launched a mobile site http://mobile.njit.edu , joining universities like Massachusetts Institute of Technology in offering websites optimized for cell phones and smart phones, such as the iPhone. “Students, faculty and staff are increasingly accessing the web through mobile devices,” said Robertson. “We need to provide web sites and services that meet users where they are.” NJIT was New Jersey’s first university to offer audio and video content on Apple’s iTunes U platform. NJIT currently offers hundreds of audio and video files on that platform, and more than 70 free course lectures and presentations. The classes are part of NJIT’s Open Courseware initiative. Blake Haggerty, assistant director of instructional design, notes the importance of making the course curriculum accessible to modern students. “With one click, our students can download course lectures from our NJIT on iTunes U site and watch them anywhere at their leisure,” he said. “Many students like to load these lectures from their computers to their iPhones or iPods and watch them while they are commuting or traveling. We have gotten positive feedback from students who find this to be a great way to review lectures and study for exams.” More information about NJIT’s iPhone applications course is available online.

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