Lenovo and NAF Team Up to Teach High School Students Mobile App Development


Lenovo and the National Academy Foundation have announced a partnership that will see the latter bringing mobile application development curriculum to students of high schools within their network. Five schools will be getting the program but the NAF aims to bring it to their entire network of schools in due time.

Lenovo’s contribution will come from providing the devices for development and testing. Namely, some of their ThinkPad tablets will be headed straight for several classrooms. Pretty exciting stuff, though I’m the nerd who always wanted to learn mobile application development while I was in high school. Kind of makes me want to rewind time, actually. Anyway, the press release is below.

Lenovo and the National Academy Foundation Launch Mobile App Development Program for High School Students

Schools Pilot Premier Curriculum Using Latest Technology Devices to Strengthen 21st Century STEM Skills

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC – JANUARY 24, 2012: Lenovo and the National Academy Foundation (NAF) today launched an innovative program to teach mobile app development to high school students across the United States. Five schools from NAF’s network of career academies are piloting the program as part of Lenovo’s initiative to encourage greater student interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects and to strengthen 21st century skills. This innovative curriculum will also strengthen NAF’s mission to prepare students for college and career success. N.C. Gov. Bev Perdue and members of Lenovo and NAF’s executive leadership team made the announcement today at Apex High School’s Academy of Information Technology in Apex, N.C., one of the participating schools.

“High – tech skills are critical for North Carolina’s pipeline of future workers,” said Gov. Perdue. “Unique partnerships like this one not only give high school students real-world, real-time learning opportunities, but they align with the broader goals of business, education and government to create North Carolina’s next generation of professional leaders.”

To aid the students and teachers implement the curriculum, Lenovo provided a package of technology products to each school, including Android-based ThinkPad Tablets and large format ThinkCentre HD All-in-One desktops, among other items.

“To succeed in tomorrow’s workforce, students need a solid foundation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics with fluency in the technologies that will power the global economy,” said Michael Schmedlen, worldwide director of education, Lenovo. “This exciting program engages students via the technology and apps they use every day. By partnering with the National Academy Foundation, we’re delivering a rigorous and relevant curriculum that will help create our next generation of developers and entrepreneurs.”

The other schools that will offer the app development course are part of the National Academy Foundation’s Academies of Information Technology: Grover Cleveland High School in New York City, Downtown Magnets High School in Los Angeles, Pathways to Technology Magnet School in Hartford, Conn., and A.J. Moore Academy of Information and Technology in Waco, Texas. The program aims to ultimately make the curriculum available to NAF’s 100 Academies of Information Technology.

“Our schools are strong because we have great partnerships with business and industry,” said Anthony J. Tata, superintendent of the Wake County Public School System. “This unique program gives our students practical experience with innovative technology at a time when they’re making decisions about their future careers. We’re creating the next generation of entrepreneurs.”

The course is designed to be implemented as either a 12-week after-school or “out-of-school time” activity to supplement the NAF-developed IT courses students take during the school day or as part of the existing NAF daytime curriculum. Student teams will develop a working wireframe, business plan and implementation schedule for an Android-based mobile application.

“The partnership between NAF and Lenovo is a real example of how business and education can play a pivotal role in changing high school education to ensure college and career success. We are pleased to be working with such innovative thinkers to inspire and equip tomorrow’s leaders,” said JD Hoye, president of the National Academy Foundation.

New Research Shows Kids Want to Learn App Development but Lack Tech Confidence

New research from Lenovo also supports creation of the mobile app development curriculum. The research shows that while students have a strong interest in mobile apps – which many of them use on a daily basis – and see app development as a valuable skill, they don’t have confidence that they will have the technology background needed for tomorrow’s workforce. The Omnibus survey of American teenagers, conducted in December of 2011, found that:

80 percent of American teens would be interested in learning how to create their own mobile app.
Almost a quarter (22 percent) think that mobile app development will be the most important technology skill to have when entering the workforce in a few years.
63 percent are only somewhat confident, at best, that the technology know-how they have now is enough to secure a good job upon entering the workforce.


Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Man I wish I could have had this opportunity while i was in high school… didn’t even have android when i was in high school lol class of 05.

  2. in·no·va·tion/ˌinəˈvāSHən/
    Noun:The action or process of innovating.
    A new method, idea, product, etc: “technological innovations”.Great story to empower our students and future tech leaders

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