I must admit one of the perks to creating online career courses is getting a chance to hang out with groups of STEM students. A couple days ago I made a jaunt up to Des Moines to meet that state’s first class of Mobile Application Design and Development students. Des Moines School District has a high school called the Central Campus, which is a career and technical high school. The building was at one time a Ford factory turning out Model Ts in the day. Now it is turning out Model Teens (ok – I could not resist that one – please don’t judge me for one bad pun) who are preparing for STEM and STEAM careers. Sam Oppel is the educator leading the class and is a fun and thoughtful teacher. His students asked great questions that showed me they were getting it. Since our Mobile App course is, an industry credentialed course we talked about the business of mobile apps, global market size, intellectual property and monetizing apps. One message I believe they all got from me is that you don’t have to wait till you are out of college or let alone out of Sam’s app class to begin their careers creating apps. We went over ideas for creating niche apps that they could develop and sell now.
We talked about how this industry certification listed on their resumes would help them stand out from the crowd. To get employed or into college you need an edge. They are being given the chance to learn not only how to create apps, but also how companies are leveraging mobile technology to engage with their employees, markets and customers. I tried to emphasize how lucky they are that Des Moines Central Campus and Sam Oppel is giving them this chance, and this course will help them regardless of where their interest and talents take them.
Sam collected emails from the students about my visit
“I really enjoy learning how to code and the change to let me make my own app in the future. Steve’s visit has made me realize that this class (Mobile Apps) could become a career for me.” – Moulid
“Steve’s visit helped me get more into this course and made me want to make my own app that I can make money off and also how I can get my apps noticed by other peoples.” – McLain
“This class is helpful and really fun and your visit helped me understand a lot more about the careers behind app development” – Zakariyah
… and from Sam Oppel – “We had a blast with you!”
I couldn’t agree more – it was a blast and I appreciated the invite to visit with Sam’s class.
Here is the thank you card that came along today from the class. Notice all the app hungry devices in their hands…