University of Texas at Austin, School of Journalism Apps Class

Mobile News App Design Class

What happens when 13 computer science and 13 journalism students come together with the goal of creating mobile apps? You get five creative, smart startups producing beautiful, clever apps in one semester. Welcome to the future of journalism, courtesy of the University of Texas at Austin.

The Journalism School of the University of Texas at Austin started the course of Mobile News App Design since 2013, with the goal of bringing journalism and computer science students together to work towards building iPhone apps. Although the course has a short history of only one semester so far, the students in the class have already made their way to the Apple App Store. If you find Glos Guide, an app that provides students and journalists a quick reference and study tool for AP style, in App Store for download, don't be surprised. That's designed by the students from the Mobile News App Design class! The secret to success lies not only in mastering Swift, the programming language of IOS, and the advanced graphical design skills, it also needs the passion to do something that Steve Jobs would have called "insanely great."

Led by Robert Quigley, a senior lecturer in the School of Journalism, and Jeff Linwood, an Austin mobile developer and entrepreneur, the class exuded an atmosphere of teamwork, experimentation, failure and success. The students learn Swift and XCode. Every student is pushed outside his or her comfort zone. The teammates rely on each other to build parts of the apps. Whiteboard markers went dry and coffee went cold as the students spent their free nights and weekends meeting. The teams will give four stand-up demos for the class and show off their creations to a panel of professionals, students and the general public on the big demo day at the end of the semster.

With journalism playing a strong role in everything we did, the students create bold social media campaigns, write excellent blog posts and shoot some hilarious videos and photos about their apps. It's an exciting time for journalism, and this is just the first step for UT as we push the boundaries.

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