FAIRFIELD, Maine — A constantly changing world has forced colleges to try to keep up with technology.
As part of that effort, Kennebec County Community College has created a new Mobile Application Development course it is offering for the spring semester to help students tap into a new skills market.
Scott Hood will instruct the class with software he’s quite familiar with — Adobe Flash CS6.
“It was perfect because I was already using the software for my multimedia class,” said Hood.
Previously, Hood said his multimedia class helped design apps and games to be used on Facebook. The same software will allow his class to do the same for Android phones and tablets and Apple’s iPhones and iPads.
“Anybody that wants to do stuff with Flash, you do it exactly the same way [for apps],” he said. “It’s the same software done exactly the same way. You just tell it what kind of project you want to create.”
His class will learn about the history of mobile communication — from bagged cellular phones up to smart phones. They also will progress from simple applications all the way up to their final projects.
“As we’re learning the software, we’ll be doing them one by one,” said Hood. “We’ll start with just text on a screen, just to show, yes, I created it and it’s working.”
A student’s final project could be how to make an existing app better or to come up with an entirely new app that hasn’t been done before. He’ll work with students to see if their ideas are feasible or if their ideas are too big and need to be pared down.
For some students, Hood said, creating apps might be a way to make a living.
“This might be one of their best bets if they can learn how to create them and come up with an idea,” he said. “This will give them more of an edge [in the business world].”
According to KVCC, no previous experience is required before taking the class. But to really excel in app development, knowing how to do graphics is necessary.
“If you’re not a graphic artist, you need to find someone who is [in order to make a living making apps],” said Hood.
So far, Hood has only eight signed up for his class that has more than a dozen slots still to fill. Class registrations continue until the end of the first week of classes, which start on Monday, Jan. 7. Hood said all of his classes are also available online. However, online students will have to buy their own software, which can run upward of $200, he said. The software is already on the computers at the school.