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From the Classroom to the Mobile World: Paul Gestwicki

Computer science professor Paul Gestwicki firmly believes that the best way Paul Gestwickito motivate college students is to provide them with the tools to develop new emerging media technologies and then get out of the way.

He is doing that in his introductory computer science classes in hopes of having a group of students with no computer programming experience create new applications for mobile phones loaded with Google's operating system.

"There is no better challenge for students today than to have them be in charge and let them set the rules," Gestwicki says. "We passed out the phones and told them to come up with ideas they thought would work."

Students have been given G1 developer phones loaded with Google's Android operating system and have access to Google's App Inventor for Android, which the company says allows students with no programming experience to create applications for sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Google's Android-based mobile devices are the third most popular smart phone platform behind BlackBerry and the iPhone.

Gestwicki's believes this hands-off approach to his classes should provide students with leadership skills as well as necessary basic programming.

"I've also thought that business executives should have a good understanding of technologies being developed or sold by their firms. By working with Google's Android operating system, these students will have a solid basis of what it takes to create applications."

Contact Gestwicki at 765-285-8668 or view his profile page for his e-mail address.

Read a news release about the Google Android project.