iOS Apps Lab Inaugurated; ‘Tinker with the World’ – President

iOS Apps Lab Inaugurated; ‘Tinker with the World’ – President

It can be said to ride on the changing preferences of today’s generation, especially with almost everything now accessible by a click of a finger. But it is one laboratory that challenges students to innovate; it nurtures mistakes and transforms them into an opportunity to learn and create an impact in the community.

So is the vision of the Apps Incubation and Development Laboratory of Silliman University inaugurated October 27. Located at the Uytegnsu Computer Center, the Apps Lab can be among the first in the country, geared towards empowering the youth to tinker with their creativity in putting what can initially be “bold and wild” ideas into mobile iOS applications.

The Apps Lab was established with funding from the Uytengsu Foundation and in partnership with Apple, Inc.

Equipped with 31 iMacs, 31 iPads and a state-of-the-art projection system, the Apps Lab targets to draw in students and young people from around Dumaguete and Negros Oriental in creating mobile iOS applications that will aid in academic learning and respond to community needs.

Silliman President Dr. Ben S. Malayang III describes the Apps Lab as the “beginning process of hauling our students to tinker with the world”.

“This facility is intended to provide the university with the space for translating what is in your brain and heart into something that can be useful to our community,” he said.

Unlike other usual laboratories, Dr. Malayang considers the Apps Lab to be a cradle of ingenuity. “We don’t see this as merely a simple laboratory. It is a place for creativity — not just for testing but for innovating.”

Encouraging students to test out their ideas, the President said that the University is the only place where you invest in order to make mistakes.

“The university is the only place ever in your life where you pay tuition in order to make mistakes.

And here, when you make mistakes, you will be appreciated because it is part of the learning process. When you are in the workplace later on, to make a mistake means you will be punished. But in the university, don’t be afraid to make mistakes. This is a place for creativity, therefore dare to make mistakes.”

In the context of experimenting with ideas, he stressed: “Not to dare to make mistakes could be the biggest mistake.”

Earlier this month, the College of Computer Studies, headed by Dean Dr. Dave E. Marcial, rolled out a trainers’ training for some Silliman faculty and staff to be familiar with both Apple technologies and the iOS operating system.

Dr. Marcial is currently the Coordinator of the Apps Lab. He said during the inauguration of the Apps Lab that the facility will further pave the way for possibilities and opportunities for the University to forge more partnerships in innovative learning in the global market. The College envisions administering elective and certificate courses and special programs focusing on iOS apps development, in order to widen the reach of the Apps Laboratory and benefit more from outside Silliman University.

With the mobile apps industry raking in billions of dollars in revenues, Dr. Marcial said the Apps Lab can also serve as an outsourcing hub that will provide opportunities for faculty, students and other interested personalities to develop commercial iOS apps.

Also present during the inauguration were Prof. Rommel Feria, Apple Distinguished Educator and director of the Information Technology Development Center of the University of the Philippines-Diliman, and Ms Chezka Yap of iStore Philippines.

In his presentation, Professor Feria highlighted how the “mobile” has now surpassed the “PC”, in terms of usage and functionality. He also walked the audience, composed of faculty, students and members of the local tri-media, through the benefits of the iOS operating system and how the same offers more options tailored-fit to the lifestyle of mobile users.