The Android platform is currently the most popular operating system used on mobile devices, and tablets. With over 500 million active devices, and an average of 1.3 million devices added each day, Android developers have plenty of opportunity! Soon, we can develop for platforms like OUYA, or how about Pebble?
I’ve been teaching Android development for about three years now. I chose this platform because of its open nature, vast community support, and the many opportunities that it presents to a developer. The software required for development is free and open source, and runs on just about any platform, including Windows, Linux and OS X. Working with Android also introduces you to several industry standard skills – The Java programming language and the Eclipse development environment.
I teach two Android courses primarily face-to-face at Bergen Community College and County College of Morris, both in New Jersey. While teaching face-to-face has some benefits, there are just as many negatives. First, I am not able to teach everything that I feel is important because of course time constraints. Secondly, face-to-face training is expensive, with each course costing over $400. Finally, it’s not done on your schedule, but that of the college.
And so my Kickstarter project is to create the most complete, practical, and up-to-date Android course there is. I plan on expanding the material in my two existing classes, and add four new courses to the curriculum. In the end, the following six courses will make up the Android Complete course:
- Introduction to Java (New)
- Beginning Android Development (Expanded)
- Advanced Android Development (Expanded)
- Android Tablet Development (New)
- Marketing, Monetizing, and Profiting with Android (New)
- Developing Games for Android (New) - Will be released by April 2013 - this course was added due to popular demand, and will be available in both, $25 and $45 rewards.
For a detailed list of topics covered by each course, please visit the course web site at http://learnandroidcomplete.com/courses/
All material will feature the latest versions of the Android SDK (called Jelly Bean), the latest version of Eclipse (Juno), and the latest version of Java (JDK 7).
This course is a lot more than just reading and following along. This is going to be an interactive experience, with audio, video, and a lot of hands-on effort. For support, questions can be posted on the course web site, so you're never alone, or stuck on something you don't understand.
Each course will consist of narrated presentations as well as printable PDF versions. Step-by-step exercise guides will provide practice. Homework assignments and work-on-your-own projects can be completed to help reinforce a topic and help build confidence. Narrated videos will help demonstrate the topics, exercises, and assignments. All source code will be provided as well, which you can re-use in your own applications. There will also be a forum where you can get your questions answered as you learn.
This Kickstarter project will help me obtain hardware and software that will help me make a better course. For example, I’d like to get a new microphone to record my narrations, and I’d like to setup several virtual environments to use as the stage for my videos. Software like Adobe Captivate would also help me create a more professional course.
The course will be delivered as a downloadable ISO file in January of 2013. The ISO could be expanded or mounted directly on a Windows, OS X, or Linux PC, or burned to a DVD.
If you have any questions or concerns about this project, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I welcome all feedback, good or bad, and would even welcome suggestions on additional content and modules to include.
Thank you for your time!
STRETCH GOAL! - $15,000
If I manage to get to $15,000, I will add a set of native iPad / iPhone versions of this course created in the iBook format. This promises to be a unique experience for iOS users and through various tests that I ran should work quite well. For Android users, I'll create native apps that can run the course on Android tablets and phones.
I want to point out that I have a ton of work ahead of me, and I don't want to miss my January deadline. Therefore, the iPad native iBooks and Android apps will be delivered in the February / March timeframe. Games course will be available in late March or April.
Risks and challenges
The risk here is fairly low. I've been doing this for over 14 years, and in that time have built many similar courses. A lot of this material already exists so I am not building 100 hours of material from scratch. I have almost 70% of it, and while it's still in need of updating, revising, and has to be recorded properly, the content, and the concept being covered is already in place. Worst scenario is that I fall behind schedule and deliver the course late. However, rest assured that late or not, you will have an Android course when this project is complete.
I do plan on regularly updating everyone on it's progress here on Kickstarter, and on the learnandroidcomplete.com website.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
No, we begin with the installation of Java and take it from there. We cover the various topics that you should be familiar with as a programmer, and I'll help you learn all this properly, and in a fun way.
With that said, the only way you'll improve your skills after the course is by continuing to work with the technology. If you're passionate about building something, and working with a PC, you will be successful!
The course will be downloadable. I will provide an ISO file (or probably multiple ISO files), which can be burned to a DVD, or simply mounted and used directly in any major operating system. The course will work on Windows, OS X, and Linux, and you can even copy parts of the course to your tablet and/or phone. This will allow you take the course with you. There is no DRM on the material.
I currently teach at Bergen Community College and County College of Morris, both in New Jersey. Previously I worked for Rutgers University, and this spring, I will also be teaching Android at Ulster Community College, in upstate New York.
Here's a link to the course catalog at BCC: http://www.bergen.edu/continuinged/Documents/CEfall2012.pdf - Android 1 & 2 and my WordPress course appear on page 46.
The course is designed so you can work at your own pace, and on your schedule. Everything will be self-contained, and I am available for support in case you run into issues. You download and work with all of the material on your PC, and/or tablet. Lifetime updates and erratas will be provided to you as well.
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- (30 days)