The long awaited software development kit (SDK) for the iPhone was announced today, and it appears a bunch of new software applications are on the near-term horizon for iPhone and iTouch users. According to ARS Technica writer Eric Bangeman, the SDK kit will include full support for Microsoft’s Exchange email and communications platform. That is potentially GREAT news for those of us with professional email accounts on Exchange servers.According to Jennifer Guevin’s article for CNET Australia, “FAQ: What does the iPhone SDK mean?” “Over a thousand Web applications are [already] listed on Apple’s Web site,” but those are web-based applications rather than client-side, software applications. One of the biggest issues with third-party, downloadable applications today on Windows platforms is the prevalence of malware. The IT departments in many U.S. school districts (particularly larger ones) grant limited rights to teachers as well as students on district computer systems, in part to prevent the installation of additional software programs which could contain damaging malware. Apple will be addressing this potential situation by officially funneling all iPhone and iTouch applications through the “App Store” which will be added to the iPhone, as well as the iTunes store now accessible from the computer used to synchronize the iPhone. The SDK is priced at a reasonable level to permit a wide variety of developers to create applications for the iPhone. According to the ARS Technica article previously cited, Steve Jobs announced today “Developers will be able to set their own prices (including “free”) and will keep 70 percent of the revenues” for applications developed for the iPhone and iTouch.I’m sure there are lots of iPhone applications I haven’t even dreamed of that will be developed soon, but I personally hope we’ll see an implementation of a simple program like TaskPaper. I’m still working on implementing David Allen’s GTD system, and a straightforward iPhone application for project and task tracking would be great. A wide variety of GTD software applications are already available, I’m sure this list will grow further now that the iPhone SDK is out.Are students in your school able to participate in an after-school club focused on computer programming (using Scratch or MicroWorlds EX) and/or robotics? How many PicoCricket invention kits are available in your school computer lab for student checkout? Have you stopped to contemplate the financial possibilities of developing a popular software application available for global distribution via the web? Have your students?It’s time to offer learners of all ages more opportunities to “get creative” with software programming. Not only can people have a lot of fun and learn a great deal through programming, they can also potentially make a pile of money.For more on the benefits of programming, check out Marc Prensky’s recent EduTopia article, “Programming: The New Literacy.” To learn more about the iPhone SDK, watch the entire presentation from today online. The following articles authored or co-authored by Dr. Mitch Resnik of the MIT Media lab are also excellent resources related to student programming and robotics:

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