In a recent blog post on the Inside BlackBerry® for Business Blog, we highlighted the BlackBerry® Academic Program and a Pace University project that spanned the globe to assist first graders in developmental education. Today, I’d like to share another incredible example of how mobile solutions and dedicated learning contribute to education. Luciano Freire, Coordinator of Undergraduate Programs in Computer Science and Computer Networks at Universidade Anhembi Morumbi (UAM) in Sao Paulo, Brazil, is currently utilizing mobile solutions as educational tools. As Coordinator of Undergraduate Programs in Computer Science and Computer Networks, Professor Freire is using BlackBerry Academic Program resources to help his students gain a competitive edge in the job market.
UAM wanted to ensure that their students gained a well-rounded set of skills to help them take advantage of the growing mobile market in Brazil. “Mobile development and mobile management are new topics in Brazil,” explains Professor Freire, “so there are few resources about these topics. The BlackBerry Academic Program provides curriculum resources that explicitly reference these mobile topics. Students and professors have access to extensive, high quality resources to study and prepare for classes.”
Students are also given the opportunity to build and test their applications on BlackBerry® smartphones provided by Research In Motion® (RIM®). “This is important,” he says, “because I believe that BlackBerry smartphones are becoming increasingly popular in Brazilian companies. The BlackBerry smartphones provide an opportunity for students to gain exposure to industry technology before beginning their careers.”
UAM’s Ubiquitous Computing course gets students involved in mobile application development. “Students learn to develop and deploy applications for the BlackBerry platform through a balance of theoretical concepts and practical application of the course topics,” Professor Freire explains. Final student projects see students developing applications to solve everyday issues. Students identify problem scenarios that they encounter in their day-to-day lives and create an application that would provide a solution to that problem. Some project examples include an appointment book and a personal finance manager.
The success of teaching mobile solutions has led to UAM’s plans to include BlackBerry Academic Program resources in their Information Systems courses. For the 2012 academic year, UAM is planning on using BlackBerry smartphones in research projects related to augmented reality and mobile development, as part of their Masters of Digital Design degree program.