September 2, 2015
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Teaching Mobile Development with Ionic

Katie Ginder-Vogel

teaching mobile development with Ionic

We created Ionic to enable web developers to become mobile developers, using technologies they already know well. Now that Ionic has been embraced by web developers around the world, new developers are emerging. It turns out that if you’re smart and motivated and want to learn hybrid mobile development, Ionic is relatively straightforward to master.

Not only are universities beginning to include Ionic in mobile development courses, other innovative developers are using Ionic to teach students as young as ten how to code.

Ionic in Higher Education

Aaron Saunders of Clearly Innovative in Washington, D.C., is teaching an elective course at Howard University on cross-platform mobile application development, featuring Ionic, after teaching a similar class at Howard last year. Last spring, “the best student project was built using Ionic,” says Saunders. “The student had never programmed in AngularJS or Ionic before the class.”

The London School of Economics featured Ionic in one of its summer courses, and in France, developer Arnaud Lahaxe teaches mobile development and APIs for the master of cognitive science program at the University of Lorraine. “Last year, I decided to change technologies from native Android Java to Ionic + Firebase,” Lahaxe says. “Students loved this new version of the course and send me quite good projects–better than other years.”

Teaching Kids to Code

In the Netherlands, Henk Jurriens uses Ionic to teach students ages 11-14 to build apps through his Coding Stuff organization. Read more on his blog.

In the Putnam City district of Oklahoma City, web developer Carmen Long is using Ionic to teach HTML to students at the elementary school she attended, Tulakes Elementary. “Tulakes students typically don’t have WiFi at home, or even a computer, and even if an adult in the home has a smartphone, it’s often without a data plan,” says Long. “I designed my Ionic app to work on its own–no data or WiFi required.”

Long began by going through the app with fifth graders. “They enjoyed the video and pretty easily recognized which HTML tags did what,” Long says. “After they went through the app, we looked at a few websites under the hood and compared the tags on the page to the tags we had gone over. They were very excited to see how actual websites really use what I went over.”

Long and the kids then built their own fifth grade page together, and then Long worked individually with several motivated students. Long’s grand plan is to create a full-fledged program for the kids this school year and expand to the high school. “I am making everything open source, so I really hope other devs in other districts pick up on it and make their own programs,” she says. “The thing I really loved about Ionic was the fact that I was able to take what I know about Angular–which is limited, admittedly–and immediately get started on making an app to help these kiddoes. That’s always been my goal–to help them–and Ionic helped me achieve that quickly.”

Read more about Long’s experience on her blog, and check out her project here.

Changing the Future of Mobile Development

We’re very inspired by these developers and educators, many of them volunteers, who are using Ionic so creatively to teach students of all ages to code. We’re especially excited to hear that such diverse groups of students are being exposed to web and mobile development technologies at such a young age. That’s how we can change the future. That’s how we can make the tech world more diverse and inclusive of new perspectives and experiences. We hope Ionic can help lower the barrier to entry in the field of mobile development, opening doors for a diverse new wave of mobile developers. When developers represent a variety of backgrounds, that’s one way we can truly change the future of mobile development.

We’d love to hear your stories about how you’re using Ionic as a teaching tool. Please don’t hesitate to share them with us!

Katie Ginder-Vogel