Every day, hundreds of millions of people around the world use handheld devices, such as smartphones and tablets, to run software applications that: direct them to the places they want to go, securely provide information about the people, locations, goods, and services near them, and let them interact with the people they care about and do business with.
So, what do all these applications have in common? Increasingly, they rely on a powerful trio of computing technologies, collectively known as mobile cloud computing, where applications are designed to run on smart mobile devices, connected to powerful computing services that are accessible over commodity wireless networks.
So where can students go to learn how to program mobile cloud computing applications and services? That’s easy! Through the Coursera platform, Vanderbilt University and the University of Maryland have teamed up to design and deliver a Coursera Specialization entitled Mobile Cloud Computing with Android.
MEET YOUR 3 PROFESSORS IN 2 MINUTES
This Specialization contains a sequence of three courses that were intentionally designed to complement each other. For example, the programming assignments are coordinated, building on each other as students gain mastery of the material. The full sequence of courses in this Specialization also includes a final “capstone” project course where students who receive a statement of accomplishment with distinction in the three earlier courses can combine what they’ve learned to develop a complete mobile cloud computing application from the ground up.
- Adam Porter from the University of Maryland will teach the first course, Programming Mobile Applications for Android Handheld Systems. His course provides a broad overview of the Android platform, focusing on the design and programming of user-facing Android applications.
- Doug Schmidt from Vanderbilt will teach the second course in this Specialization, Programming Mobile Services for Android Handheld Systems. His course extends the foundation laid in Professor Porter’s course to incorporate Android middleware systems programming topics, such as synchronous and asynchronous concurrency models, background service processing, structured data management, and inter-process communication and networking.
- Jules White from Vanderbilt will teach the third course in this Specialization: Programming Cloud Services for Android Handheld Systems. His course rounds out the coverage of mobile cloud computing by focusing on how to connect mobile devices to cloud computing and data storage resources.
We’ve been working together as part of the same research communities and have shared ideas and software for many years. Adam and Doug went to graduate school together, and have been colleagues and friends for over 25 years. Moreover, Adam and Doug have known and worked with Jules for over 10 years. While we’ve been able to work together on research, however, collaborating on teaching has just been too hard. Trans-institution instructional communities simply haven’t been as fully developed and supported as scholarly research communities have.
Digital learning and MOOCs are changing all that. Our Specialization on Mobile Cloud Computing with Android shows how intentionally-coordinated MOOCs help create learning communities that span traditional institutional and technological boundaries. These trans-institution Specializations would not be feasible without the MOOC paradigm and MOOC platforms like Coursera.
We’re excited to be the first trans-institution MOOC Specialization on the Coursera platform. We look forward to working with you to explore ways in which these Specializations foster intentionally designed, community-based instructional collaborations that help students and faculty achieve greater flexibility, choice, and control over the time, place, path, and pace of their teaching and learning.