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So You Want to Teach an iPhone Programming Course?

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Best of Computers in Education Division

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1305.1 - 22.1305.10



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Paper Authors


Kyle D. Lutes Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Kyle Lutes is an Associate Professor for the Department of Computer & Information Technology (CIT) at Purdue University. Kyle joined the department in 1998 and is the chair of the department’s software development curriculum. His teaching and scholarly interests cover a broad range of software development areas including software applications for mobile devices, data-centered application development, and software entrepreneurialism. He has authored/co-authored numerous papers and two college textbooks on various software development-related topics. Prior to his current appointment at Purdue, Kyle worked for 16 years as a software engineer and developed systems for such industries as banking, telecommunications, publishing, healthcare, athletic recruiting, retail, and pharmaceutical sales.

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Teresa A. Shanklin Purdue University

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Teresa A. Shanklin has a Bachelors degree in Computer Science and graduated from Iowa State University with a Masters Degree in Information Assurance. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Purdue University in the College of Technology, where she is a research assistant in the Machine-to-machine (M2M) lab. Her research interests lie in the areas of indoor positioning and path planning, mobile devices and multi-agent systems.

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So You Want To Teach an iPhone ProgrammingCourse?AbstractAccording to a Pew Research survey conducted in April and May 2010, an estimated 82 percentof adult Americans now own a mobile phone and nearly 25% of United States adults use mobileapps on their phones. The Apple iPhone was introduced in 2007 and to date has been a culturalphenomonom in addition to being a commercial success. According to Apple's quarterlyearnings, close to 60 million iPhone’s have been sold through the end of June 2010. The successof the iPhone can at least partially be attributed to the iPhone ecosystem consisting of mobiledevice hardware, the iOS operating system, software developer tools, and the App Store – allcreated and controlled by Apple. To date, over 250,000 applications are available in the AppStore, and Apple has reported that over 1 billion dollars in profit has been paid to iPhonedevelopers.Our department strives to keep its curriculum current and to teach courses using best-of-breedtechnologies. For this reason, an undergraduate, upper-level course on iPhone applicationdevelopment is being offered for the first time during the Fall 2010 semester. Our departmenthas been teaching software development for mobile devices since 2002, but this semester will bethe first using Apple development tools for Apple devices.The driving force for creating a course based on the iPhone platform is two-fold: student interestand market demand. When polled about which smartphone platform they were most interestedin, our students overwhelming chose the Apple iPhone over RIM BlackBerry, Google Android,and Micorosoft Windows Mobile. iPhone’s are considered to be at the forefront of changingtechnology and a portion of the draw is the ability of any programmer to develop applications tobe sold through the iPhone App Store. This is particularly appealing as there is a very lowinvestment threshold and shortened time line in developing relevant and available applicationsfor these devices.In this paper we will discuss our experiences teaching the course. Topics will include obtainingfunding, selection and purchasing Macintosh computers for our mobile computing lab, selectionand purchasing of mobile devices, course pedegodgy, textbook selection, student assessment,and unexpected problems will be presented. A discussion about our choices and the reasoningbehind each decision will be added. A section on student feedback conducted at the end of thesemester will be included. Finally, conclusions and lessons learned (or how to avoid commonpitfalls) will be addressed.

Lutes, K. D., & Shanklin, T. A. (2011, June), So You Want to Teach an iPhone Programming Course? Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18436

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