RunRev said it LiveCode software will be used ay a quarter of Scottish schools by the end of the year
MOBILE app software developer RunRev has won a contract with North Lanarkshire Council to supply its software as a teaching aid across 24 schools in the region.
The value of the deal has not been disclosed.
North Lanarkshire Council has chosen RunRev's LiveCode computer coding software as part of a wider initiative to transform the way computer science in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) curriculum is taught in secondary schools.
The initiative stems from the Scottish Government's Curriculum for Excellence drive, introduced in August 2010, which includes a requirement for students to be able to design and use software tools.
Edinburgh-based RunRev's LiveCode development software was adopted by East Lothian Council last year.
RunRev estimates a quarter of Scottish schools will be using its coding software by the end of 2013.
LiveCode is a simplified coding language which software developers can use to build applications to run on different mobile devices and platforms.
The latest version of LiveCode allows developers to build applications from one code base to run on different devices and platforms, such as Apple's iOS and Android.
Instead of complex coding language, which relies upon using a mind-boggling combination of numbers, symbols and letters, LiveCode works using simple English language commands as its basis.
Ian Sorensen, information communications technology (ICT) development officer at North Lanarkshire Council, said: “The familiarity and comfort factor that young people have with mobile and computing devices means that any STEM computer science course has to be appealing and engaging if it is to be taught successfully.
“Equally, the course has to be relevant to the demands and expectations of the commercial world and the new Curriculum for Excellence.
“Today, software and app development are increasingly a feature in many commercial activities and understanding the art of software development is an essential skill for any high school student to learn.
“I asked the computer science teachers in the region what they believed to be the best STEM tool available today to teach students how to program, and they selected LiveCode.
“We are aware of the success many teachers and students have achieved with LiveCode and we are keen to ensure that our students are able to get fully engaged in learning the important skill of programming.”
RunRev chief executive, Kevin Miller, added: “At a time when the uptake of computer science in the western world is in decline it is refreshing to see Scotland leading the way to reverse this alarming trend.
“Schools using LiveCode have reported a doubling of uptake in STEM computer science.
“LiveCode is ideally suited for learning and teaching computer programming and logical thinking, as well as creating and distributing apps, games and utilities.”
RunRev has also announced its LiveCode software has been chosen by former head of game development at Disney Interactive Alex Seropian, to create the next generation of mobile phone games.
Seropian was also an initial founder and later president of Bungie Software Products Corporation, the company behind the Halo video game series.
His latest Los Angeles-based venture, Industrial Toys, has brought together former Marvel and DC Comics developers to launch its first app for an interactive graphic novel called Morning Star Alpha, using RunRev's LiveCode for iOS (iPhone operating system).
The app will allow the user to explore the graphic novel and interact with its characters, and is designed to run alongside a 3D mobile shooter game, Morning Star.
RunRev also announced in January it was making its LiveCode platform open source to encourage and support programming and app development, which will be made free as an education tool.
The company claims: “Every school that has used LiveCode for more than a year has seen a doubling of uptake in advanced computer science classes.”
The company is currently in the process of raising £350,000 to invest in re-engineering the platform and introduce a new coding technology called Open Language to make it easier for coders to contribute to the software's development.
Kevin Miller launched RunRev in 1999 from a high school hobby idea and began selling the first versions of the LiveCode software, revTalk and revMedia, in 2001.
The business soon attracted the backing of two of the biggest names in the computing industry.
Mike Markkula, former chairman of Apple, and Robert Cailliau, the co-developer of the World Wide Web, both became shareholders in RunRev and helped drive the development of revMedia 4.0.
US space agency NASA used a desktop version of an earlier version of LiveCode, called Revolution, which it used as a software development tool to control satellites from its mission control facility in Texas.
Industry giants such as Motorola, KLM, Siemens, Apple and Adobe also used Revolution to create their own programmes to collate and manage millions of lines of coding information.