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Free app coding curriculum coming to towns in Idaho

Science & Technology

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IDAHO FALLS — A northern Idaho company is bringing free education to anyone wanting to learn about app development.

Innovation Collective, in conjunction with the College of Eastern Idaho, has begun promoting its Inspire Idaho program locally. Innovation Collective wants to help anyone who desires to learn a new skill to be able to tap into the growing industry.

“We work with different companies to build (a) curriculum and then we scale by utilizing universities,” Bryan Wright, Innovation Collective’s director of communities said.

The statewide education initiative launches later this Spring. The program aims to teach anyone wanting to learn Apple’s Swift code using Apples Everyone Can Code curriculum. Swift is the programming language which Apple uses to do all of its application development both for the Mac, iOS, Apple TV and Apple Watch.

“If anyone is interested in making more money no matter where they live. This class is for them,” Wright said. “We will take anybody, and everybody who has an interest in preparing themselves and their families for the future of work.”

Participants don’t need any experience in the tech field to be a part of the program. Inspire Idaho is designed to help people make more money by eliminating education barriers and aligning programs to match the demands of the growing tech economy.

“App development becomes something that you can teach very quickly and very rapidly over the course of 180 hours as opposed to a four-year computer science degree,” Innovation Collective’s COO Chris Cochran told

Over the course of three days, the Inspire Idaho team will be hitting 20 cities around the state to promote the class. The team is made up of representatives from Innovation Collective, University of Idaho and leading experts from around the country trained in Apple Inc’s Swift programming language.

On the tour, reps will show live demos of Apple Inc’s Swift, Xcode and Playground products. Participants can use an Apple iPad to program Sphero Robots and other interactive activities.

“If you’ve never written a line of code in your life, you can come out next week, and you can actually learn to code within 30 minutes,” Cochran said.

The program is utilizing U of I’s extension offices to bring this knowledge to all citizens in every county. Participating in Inspire Idaho is free of charge, and if participants don’t have a computer, one will be provided. Participants will learn through a self-structured program and will have access to local experts. They will complete a yearlong 180 hour course and receive a badge of competency upon completion.

CEO Nick Smoot said its Innovation Collectives mission to connect people to growing economies during a time where there is a shrinking need for humans.

“Idahoans are awesome, period. We had the first nuclear-powered city. We created the T.V. I can’t wait to see what Idahoans make next using Apple’s tools.” Smoot said.

Each stop on the Experience Tour is free to attend. The team will be in Rexburg March 27, Idaho Falls March 27 and 28, Blackfoot March 28, and Pocatello and Preston March 29.


“If anyone has any interest at all in technology, and or the future they should come to this tour,” Cochran said.