CDI Apps for Good

Apps for Good is an open-source technology movement that aims to grow the next generation of problem-solvers and makers; students who can create, market and launch new products that change their world. Apps for Good wants to change technology education forever by teaching young people to be makers - and not just consumers - of digital products. We want to enable young people to solve problems within their communities through technology by building mobile, web and social applications. Apps for Good sees technology as a way of levelling the playing field and we aim to close the gender gap in the sector.
Jan 25, 2013

Apps for Good students launch winning apps at the BT Tower, London

David from Beat the Book
David from Beat the Book

Award-winning UK students unveil their mobile apps to investors and tech experts 

 December, London:  UK teens are leading the charge into innovative app development, according to seven groups of students who launched their mobile apps at the Apps for Good marketplace at BT Tower.

 Seventeen-year-old Mahjabin created an app with her classmate Janna in a bid to help her mother and grandmother learn more about growing plants.

 “My family care so much about their plants but don’t really know where to get information from – we thought by creating an app that brings the information to them quickly and easily we could improve their lives,” said Mahjabin.

 “Through the Apps for Good course we’ve learned all kinds of technical skills like user interface design and coding as well built our skills in everything from talking to a room full of investors to ways to project manage large and difficult projects – which helps even in preparing for A-levels.”

 Thirteen-year-old Kordaine, whose team’s app Promise Keeper is set to help young people build better relationships with their parents, has set himself a goal to ensure everyone he meets downloads the app.

 “Promise Keeper solves the issue of parents not keeping their promise – we want our app to help not just people we know but also people all over the world who want to fix this problem,” he said.

 The seven apps launched were:

  • Beat the Book - an app that uses gamification to encourage students to read and has been produced by a boy from St Matthews Academy with Injoit and sponsored by Nesta.
  • Feelings in a Flash - a communications app that helps teenagers track, share and deal with their mood or feeling and has been created by two girls from Blackheath Computer Club with Plant Pot and sponsored by Nominet Trust.
  • Mapp Your Way - app that helps students navigate their way around a large school using QR codes and was produced by five students from Wildern School with Codeten and sponsored by BlackBerry.
  • Weather Birds - garden watering app that instructs users based on weather predictions and has been produced by two girls from Central Foundation Girls’ School with Fuerte International and sponsored by Thomson Reuters.  
  • Promise Keeper – an app that allows two parties to track commitments and has been developed by five boys from St Matthews Academy with Put It Out and sponsored by Omidyar Network.
  • Oyster on the Go – proof of concept app that shows information from TFL based on an individual Oyster card and was developed by four boys from Featherstone High School with Novoda and sponsored by Barclaycard.
  • RMBme - a highly customisable reminder app that uses images and has been developed by four girls from Reading Girls’ School with Service2Media and sponsored by Dell. 

The apps, available today on Google Play and BlackBerry App World, were created over the past 12 months by student teams in partnership with some of the world’s leading tech companies, businesses and developers as a part of the Apps for Good Awards and programme. The apps were chosen from a competition entered by more than 1,200 students across 50 UK schools in 2012.

Apps for Good students also received coaching on the day from games heavy-weight Ian Livingstone, Apps for Good board members social and innovation guru Charles Leadbeater, and angel investor and former MD of LinkedIn Europe, Kevin Eyres.

Apps for Good is reaching out to schools across the UK to deliver the free course, and is seeking more industry experts to help guide the teachers and students.New experts can apply on our new online platform: http://network.appsforgood.org/ 

Oct 16, 2012

Apps for Good is now recruiting experts!

Bob Schukai in Scotland!
Bob Schukai in Scotland!

We have just launched our online platform, a powerful tool for online/remote volunteering. Please check it out on http://network.appsforgood.org/.

Our experts are at the core of what we do. They give feedback on our students' ideas, give masterclasses on various topics and mentor groups of students (remotely or face-to-face).

Last week Bob Schukai, Global Head of Mobile at Thomson Reuters, just flew in from New York and did an amazing expert visit at Wick High School in the very north of Scotland (see map). Here are some impressions from his visit:

“You don't have to be an expert in mobile technology to be in the program. All you have to do is listen, guide, mentor, and give constructive feedback. On my last trip to Wick, Scotland, I had the chance to personally meet with 53 kids taking part in the Apps For Good program. The kids are responding to the challenge to make Britain the best and most competitive place in the world for future entrepreneurs. Take the time to help them make this a reality!”

No worries, you don’t have to travel to Scotland to get involved (even though you might!). The default mode for an Expert feedback session is a Skype video call. Here is our tried and tested format:

1. Introduction (10 min): Expert explains professional background & area of expertise; teacher explains learning journey of student teams so far and shares profile of the teams & school

2. Pitches + Q&A (15 min - 60 min): Each student team pitches their app project/prototype build and a Q&A session with the Expert follows (we’d say maximum an Expert can engage with are up to 5 pitches and Q&A before running out of steam...)

3. Final feedback (5 min) by Expert on issues that are common to all student teams

What are you waiting for? Register as an Apps for Good Expert now: http://network.appsforgood.org/..

The Apps for Good Team

Links:

Jul 17, 2012

Apps for Good Awards

The Apps for Good Awards took place at the Barbican Centre on the 29th of June 2012. The day involved over sixty Apps for Good students from across the country pitching their app ideas to top industry judges, the Apps for Good Market place and a spectacular awards ceremony in the evening.

The Skillsmatter workshop allowed students to gain an insight into the mobile tech industry. Mobile experts Kevin McDonagh and Paul Ardeleanu took the students through app solution sketching. An example they used was an app for Kevin’s American employee Ben, who keeps getting lost in London. Students were able to take their minds off their pitches and learn something new.

The day moved on to the seven category judging sessions – where the top two teams went head to head and presented their final pitches to our top industry judges. Each team had fifteen minutes to pitch their idea, followed by a Q&A session. While judges thought they might need to take it easy on students, they quickly realised they could really put the team through their paces and the questions became increasingly challenging. The students responded very well to the judges’ questions, impressing them with their technical knowledge and calmness under pressure. Judges were very impressed with the quality of the teams’ pitches and found it very hard to pick a winner. One panel even missed their dinner break, debating long and hard to determine their category’s winner.

During each judging session we brought in a team of 7 artists to capture our students’ pitches through illustration. Each student team then had their idea captured in very great creative way, ready for the next phase—the marketplace.

The event now shifted to a more public focus as we were joined by guests from across the sector. Kicking this off was the Apps for Good Marketplace—a chance for each student team to convince our evening guests that their idea should win the overall Apps for Good Audience Award. The atmosphere in the room was electric with fourteen student teams pitching their app ideas. Guests found it hard to tear themselves away to make their way to the Cinema for the big finale.

After our evening guests cast their votes for the Audience Award, it was on to the evening awards hosted by BBC journalist and ex-Tomorrow’s World presenter, Maggie Philbin. The evening was a opportunity to see a video showing the progress of Apps for Good this year, see an overview of the day and to see well-deserved prizes given to the teachers, schools and experts for their outstanding contributions across the year.

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