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Mobile application development has reached the collegiate level, with MIT coursework now devoted to building applications on mobile platforms. A new class titled “Building Mobile Applications” has begun to do just this. I missed this item from being out for a little while, but it still has legs in my view — especially with respect to local search applications in the evolving mobile environment.

Specifically, it’s emblematic of a few important trends:

1. The degree to which the barriers have lowered for mobile application development (to the point of being college coursework). In fact, MIT professor Hal Abelson kicked off the first class by saying “A course like this couldn’t have existed 10 years ago … maybe not even a year ago. Courses like this right now are unique, but in two years they’ll be completely ordinary.”

2. The importance and prevalence that local search applications will have in this (more) open development environment. Most of the applications developed so far in MIT’s course involve local search and they all tap into the location targeting capabilities of these mobile platforms.

CrunchGear profiles a number of these applications. Check out Ballyhoo and MobileTrader in particular.

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