Seton Hall used as a ‘guinea pig’ for AT&T research
Seton Hall University has officially made plans to team up with Newark Technology High School in a “program funded by AT&T Inc. aimed at preparing the youth for the tech-savvy real world while bettering the community,” Seton Hall’s president Dr. A. Gabriel Esteban said on Sept. 13.
Esteban announced that the program, called the Young Developers Program, will begin in January 2013 as part of Seton Hall University’s Center for Mobile Research and Innovation. AT&T Inc. has provided $250,000 to the program in order to encourage the power of positive technology that can have in the lives of youth today and the impact it can have in communities.
This program will not only help the high school students, but it will also benefit student mentors from Seton Hall who will travel to the high school on a weekly basis to aid in teaching afterschool classes on the creation of mobile device applications, according to CMRI’s Executive Director David Middleton.
Middleton said this will include skills such as prototyping, coding, testing, marketing and interface design.
“Seton Hall student mentors are selected based on their academic success and their potential to serve as role models for students transitioning from high schools in underserved school districts to college,” CRMI’s Academic Director Michael Taylor said.
Taylor added that the popularity of the program has even lead teachers to allow students to integrate the program into their daily coursework.
According to AT&T Inc., the ultimate goal of this program is for students to acquire specific technical skills required in college and the workplace while improving the community. The new technology is aimed at “challenging social problems” by tackling them within the schools.
“Apps can promote social good in many ways, including increasing access to vital information, educating the public [and] improving communication,” Taylor said.
“As YDP grows and starts expanding it will most likely continue as an exclusively volunteer and extracurricular program for the rest of the metropolitan area,” Middleton said.
AT&T Inc. chose Seton Hall University and Newark Technology High School specifically as guinea pigs for the program because of Seton Hall’s ultimate mission to give back to the community, according to Middleton.
Middleton said he predicts the program will begin to expand across similar communities once YDP sees its initial success. Above all, YDP is a program that will keep giving, even after the school year is over, according to Taylor.
“The apps they create during the program will be publically available through the app marketplace, and will just be the first, hopefully, of many apps they will create,” Taylor said.
Mary Marshall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.