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Australian startup Appster is teaching schoolkids how to code

Australian mobile app development company Appster has partnered up with a Tasmanian high school to create a new course which teaches kids to code and build apps.

Australia’s tech bosses, including Freelancer CEO Matt Barrie and Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes, have said kids need to be taught computer science while at school.

In recent years, the low number of students enrolling in technology-related courses has been blamed for the shortage of tech talent in Australia.

Appster’s partnership with New Town High School in Tasmania intends to give students a hands on experience designing gaming apps. The year-long course, created by Chris Deeley, the school’s head of IT, and Appster, will be available to about 90 students in years nine and 10.

The curriculum begins by looking at the history of apps, how they work and are shaping interactions with technology before students develop, program, test and launch their own app.

Towards the end of the year, students will have the opportunity to submit their app to the App Store for approval. If successful, they’ll then be taught how to market their app and encouraged to promote their work via a video, blog or via social media to help increase its success.

“I see ICT as an area that is continually changing and growing, so I am very excited to be giving our students the opportunity to engage in an area which is such a large part of the digital economy. There is quite a buzz around school over this course and my classes are completely full. This is essentially a trial course and the school will evaluate its success at the end of the year to see if we will continue to run it,” Deeley said.

Appster co-CEO Josiah Humphreys said this project should help students get a job in the tech sector.

Appster co-founders Josiah Humphreys and with Mark McDonald. Image: Supplied.

“Being a part of this project means we get to make an impact on the future of so many and help them prepare for a world which every year is becoming increasingly technology reliant. We believe this course will give students an upper hand in securing a job; a job which may not even exist as yet,” he said.

Founded in 2011 by Mark McDonald and Josiah Humphrey, Appster now has offices in Australia, the US and India. The company is on track to hit $25 million in revenue this financial year and is planning to hire about 300 people around the world over the next couple of months.

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