After a sequence of pilot courses over the last 18 months, in September 2011 the AppsForGood programme will run in 38 certified partner schools across the UK training, 1,500+ young people in a combination of problem-solving, design, enterprise and technology skills. We have more than 120 schools and community organisations that are waiting to be involved. We now have on average 3 partner requests per day!
Despite the fact that we haven’t been focused on running new courses before September, we continued to expose our methodology to young people whenever possible. In July, 300 students participated in an app design workshop organised by AppsForGood in partnership with TeenTech. BBC presenter and Teen Tech founder, Maggie Philbin, wrote a blog post on AppsForGood website about the experience. Working in groups of ten, the students came up with very creative ideas covering various topics from emergency first aid to finding nearby car park spaces and helping people to learn how to play a musical instrument .
At the core of our strategy to deal with the high demand and grow without increasing the costs exponentially is our online platform. A first version will be launched in October and we will be open sourcing our course learning content through it.
In June last year I graduated from the first ever Apps for Good course. My group made the Stop And Search app, an app that lets users know their rights when they are stopped and searched by police.
So what’s happened with our app since then, you ask?
Well, since its launch onto Android Market, we’ve so far had over 800 downloads with a 4and ½ rating with great comments from users.
At the end of last year we successfully applied for and received funding from Unltd, which is about to enter our account.
We’ve been doing a lot of behind the scenes ground work over the last 6 months – meeting and talking with various organizations including the Community Monitoring Network, National Policing Improvement Agency, numerous Metropolitan Police services and the Independent Police Complaints Commission. Everyone has been encouraging and supportive of our work, and given us great tips and feedback on how to take things forward.
We are determined to make the Stop and Search app as successful as possible, to make as much of a positive impact as we can. Which is why we’ve been talking to so many people…we are creating a new version! It’s still in the making and we are hoping to get as much buzz when we release it on ALL platforms as we did when we released the first version on Android. So of course we want to make sure we get things just right! So for now keeping watching this space… a shiny, new and improved version of Stop and Search will be coming soon to an App store near you!
- On February 16th at the Communities & Local Government, we hosted our second Dragons' Den, a stimulating event in the style of the BBC’s “Dragons’ Den”. Teams of Apps for Good students presented their final app ideas to a Dragons' Den panel who decided which apps would receive further support and be built.
Since early September, 20 students (aged 13 - 17) from the Central Foundation Girls School in East London have been working in teams to research and reflect on issues that affect their lives and their communities and creating mobile apps to solve them. In November 2010, we saw five teams present their initial ideas at Talk Talk in Soho for the first time. They have since worked hard to evolve and refine their ideas based on the feedback they received.
Our panel of dragons included:
Buzzer-Buddiez, a social wake-up app that helps people to remember why they should wake up in the morning and send messages to friends and families and Transit, an app to help teachers to communicate with parents who speak Bengali only, have convinced the Dragons and will work closely with developers to have their app built.
For the final presentations of the winning apps:
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