By Solomon Crenshaw Jr.
Dr. Alice Tyler Milton said the possibilities are made clear when students begin their first class in Swift Programming and App Development.
“We let them know from Day 1,” said Milton, the associate dean for the Business and Information Technologies Division at Lawson State Community College. “Just think of something that’ll probably be beneficial to other people and Apple may purchase that app from them.”
Lawson State is among a number of schools partnering with Apple to lay the groundwork for developing apps that could change the world. Lawson State is among the second group of colleges teaching the Swift program, which is the language for developing apps.
Lawson State has two campuses and teaches the course on its Birmingham campus in the Wenonah area and on its Bessemer campus. The Birmingham campus offers the class Mondays and Wednesdays at 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.; the Bessemer campus offers the course Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:30 a.m. and 7 p.m.
“They both have 20 stations and the smart board,” Milton said. “The whole main part of developing those apps is students learn Swift programming.”
Lawson State is in the beginning phase of Swift instruction. The summer mini terms will yield apps for Lawson students. The hope is to enhance lives.
“Like in church now, people don’t bring Bibles anymore,” Milton said. “They download the apps and things like that. The younger generation, they use apps. They bring their phones and iPads to church. Everybody walks around with a phone.”
Milton cited former Drexel University student Christopher Gray, who developed an app to help students find sources for college scholarships.
“He wanted to enhance life for future students and that’s what he did,” the associate dean said. “Apple bought that particular app.
“That’s our ultimate goal, to train our students to enhance other individuals’ lives,” she said. “In order to do that app, you have to have a background. You can’t develop anything you don’t know about. Anyone who says, ‘I would like to see an app that’ll do this,’ that will give that student an idea, to do research on that.”