Teacher learns Swift to help students build apps
According to the Spotlight on Consumer App Usage report by App Annie, the average Australian has just under 100 mobile applications installed on their phones, using more than 10 throughout their daily routine and spending around 20 minutes a day on their favourite app. It’s safe to say that apps are very much second nature for us as the rise of the smartphone continues to grow.
We caught up with Monique Green, who recently completed the iOS App Development with Swift course at RMIT Online. Monique is a Digital Technologies teacher and enrolled in the course to help her students build their own apps.
Monique is passionate about encouraging girls to study technology and hopes to break down stereotypes of women in IT. Last year, she was awarded with the Leading Light Award by EdTech SA for her outstanding work within the education community. Here's what she had to say about her online learning experience, her plans for future projects and her predictions for apps in the future:
Did you have any experience with app development prior to commencing the course?
My experience was in block-based coding and writing simple programs with python, and some HTML and CSS experience. I used YouTube and iBooks to learn some introductory Swift and Xcode.
Why did you decide to study the iOS App Development with Swift?
My students wanted to move away from block-based coding and wanted to develop apps on a platform they had access to. I did not want them to be limited to my current knowledge and I wanted to show them that if you don’t know how to do something, just go and learn.
How have your students enjoyed your new app development skills?
My students were really excited when I told them I built an app that was almost ready for the app store. They were very supportive. I have had students and teachers come up to me with plans on building an app and how happy they are they have someone to come to that knows how to do this.
What is Her Tech Path?
Her Tech Path is a not-for-profit organisation of women who work in the IT industry. Eva Belen-Vnuk is the founder of this organisation and our main purpose is to run career briefing sessions for schools. This is to expose the many different career paths available in IT. We all share the same values of wanting to increase diversity in Information Technology professions.
Why do you think it’s important to encourage girls to study technology?
The top 6 largest companies in the world by market value are technology companies. They are the companies impacting our future and how we interact with the world and this technology is being developed by men. Females need to be equally represented.
What’s your vision for the market in 5 years?
Apps will be just as popular as websites and there will be more variety. They will not be created by app developers but by anyone who is digitally literate. We use Wix to build websites, there will be an app equivalent in the future. Personally I would like to build an AR app in the future.
What advice would you give to any female wanting to break into the tech industry?
There is a lot of support available and more companies are doing things to improve diversity and improve working conditions not just for women but for men e.g. working from home, flexible hours. Code Like a Girl supports professionals wanting to break into the tech industry.
What advice would you give anyone interested in studying app development?
What have you got to lose? If I can do it, you can too – that is what I tell my students.