ITx Rutherford 2019 Speakers

Keynotes and Speakers for ITx Rutherford

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David Skelton

EIT

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Teaching Mobile App Development: Choosing the best development tools in practical labs

Friday 11:00am - 11:30am, CITRENZ (CITRENZ 1 Room)

As mobile app development becomes more mainstream, many educational institutions in New Zealand recognize a need to integrate this subject into the programming-related curriculum. However, one challenge is to select the best framework and development tool to use in the practical labs amongst many available frameworks.
Choosing the right tool and language is an important factor for success in teaching and learning within this subject. This paper first presents a detailed discussion on different development tools (language) - Android Studio (Java/Kotlin), Xcode (Swift), Flutter (Dart), React Native (JavaScript), Ionic (HTML5, CSS3, TypeScript), Xamarin (C#), Cordova (HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript), and Appcelerator (JavaScript). This paper concludes by suggesting that the Android Studio IDE (Java) and Flutter Framework are ideal choices for use within practical labs. By using Android Studio, students are able to develop native apps, which are usually high-performance and good user interface, for Android devices.

By using Flutter framework, which is integrated in Android Studio, students gain the capability of creating a cross-platform apps running on both Android and iOS smartphones. Furthermore, the paper recommends a collection of eight specific topics which should be covered in the practical sessions to provide students with sufficient technical skills to develop all types of mobile apps at their disposition. While the focus is on Android platform, these topics can be used to teach other native iOS apps or cross-platform apps.