Create a Mobile Apps Curricullum

I worked as a instructor of web design for several years. During that time I bought an Android smart phone and became interested in developing mobile applications. When I looked at mobile development, what I saw was three major platforms: iOS, Android, and Windows. That meant learning three languages and platforms to publish one app to all the devices.

Additionally, I wanted to teach mobile development to my web students. The issue was that corporate had an approved set of software, and while we had the tools for iOS, we did not have anything for Android and Windows. Also, I did not want to burden the students with additional languages. We taught HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, SQL, PHP, and ActionScript. I felt that was enough.

So the problem was this: how can I teach my student to develop mobile apps using existing software and the languages they know. Or rather:

How can I write mobile apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript?

The answer was a software product called Cordova. While it had been proprietary, it had recently been bought by Adobe, and turned over to the Apache Foundation. Thus it became open source.

With Cordova you can write mobile apps for all three platforms using web languages – languages my students already knew. Plus, Adobe allowed anyone with an Adobe account to use their Phonegap service. With Phonegap, you can simply zip your asset folder and upload it to the Adobe Cloud. They will then compile your app for all three platforms simultaneously and you can download and install on your phone (with some caveats for iOS).

Phonegap solved our problem, and I taught my first successful mobile apps class to web students in 2013. Now students from my old school graduate with at least one mobile application on his or her portfolio.