RMIT and Apple Collaborate in Nation-First PartnershipBy Nick McIndoe in News & Events
10th of November 2017
In a nationwide breakthrough, RMIT University has become the first Australian-based university to partner with tech giant Apple. Yesterday, ATAR Notes was privileged to attend the launch of the collaboration, which will see RMIT offer programming courses centred on the “Swift curriculum”. Swift – Apple’s unique coding language – has been specifically designed to be intuitive and easy to use, making the courses accessible to anyone, irrespective of experience.
The RMIT-Apple partnership
At the launch was Apple’s Vice President of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, Lisa Jackson, who reports directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook. Jackson emphasised the importance of coding and programming proficiency not only for the future, but for the present. This really resonated with me. Increasingly, employment is dependent on an understanding of digital literacy – a real understanding of digital literacy. You can see this basically anywhere you look – it’s becoming essential in practically every domain.
Both Apple and RMIT showed a genuine desire to instil and foster in young people – like us – a passion for digital literacy. Literally no other organisation would be better placed than Apple to speak on the importance of coding and programming moving forward. Considering I’ve lived and studied in Melbourne all my life (and considering I’m typing this on my MacBook), I’m super hyped that Apple has chosen RMIT to work with. Both parties indicated genuine excitement about the collaboration, and that excitement was reflected by the atmosphere of the room.
ABOVE: At the launch of the RMIT-Apple collaboration yesterday.
A huge part of all of this is an understanding of mobile applications. And I don’t just mean using them, here, as I’m sure many of us do on a daily (hourly?) basis. What RMIT and Apple are really interested in is giving young people the skills and knowledge required to make their own apps. At the launch, Jackson noted that when the App Store was initially released (2008), there were 500 apps available. Now, there are literally millions, and that number is only growing.
Very many of those apps are developed by young people, just like us – and that’s a really exciting thing. Our society has perhaps never depended on digital technology as much as it does right now and, of course, that comes with changing needs. Who better to cater for the needs of our generation than, well, us? The answer, of course, is nobody. One of the key takeaway points I took from the launch was that if you have an idea, you should pursue it. You never know – you might change the world.
You can get involved!
The exciting thing is that anybody can get involved with app development. Anybody.
I really, genuinely mean anybody – even if you have no experience whatsoever. To highlight that fact, RMIT will be offering a four-day Summer program for those in Year 10 or Year 11 in 2018. The program is free, and you’ll learn how to use the Swift programming language to build your own app. It’s an amazing initiative, because it really shows that, these days, coding and programming is a very genuine career option; it can be much more than a hobby.
RMIT has already facilitated the development of heaps of nifty apps. For example, you might have heard of Roamni: an audio tour app. Roamni (coded using Swift) is just one of the many success stories of RMIT Activator, which supports innovation, entrepreneurship and innovation of existing businesses.
If you’re interested, you might like to read a bit more about each course!