Students create digital tools to solve problems

by CDI Apps for Good
Vetted
Apps for Good Co-CEO Debbie Forster MBE
Apps for Good Co-CEO Debbie Forster MBE

It's been an eventful winter at Apps for Good, and as we count down to our 2017 App Launch on the 27th of February, we can reflect on the great stories that the impact of our work continues to generate. This year we have six amazing student apps that have been in development since launch:

  • Allergy Basket helps people keep track of the allergy free foods their family can eat by allowing them to create shopping lists by scanning barcodes. The app was created by Charley, Eddie, Keir and Sam from Westfields Junior School, in Yateley. The app, won the Productivity category, powered, by SAP at the Apps for Good Awards 2016. 
  • Changes helps young girls who are going through, or about to go through, puberty. The app was created by Bea, Fizzy, Joss, Leila and Mia from Coleridge Primary School in London. The app won the People’s Choice Award, powered by EE, at the Apps for Good Awards 2016.
  • DiPloy helps people with disabilities who want to get back into work build confidence and find employment. The app was created by Oman, Azim, Saabira and Marcos from Denbigh High School in Luton. The app won the Accessibility category, powered by Samsung, at the Apps for Good Awards 2016.
  • Donate it connects people who have unwanted household goods with charities who can sell items to raise money for their cause. The app was created by Georgia-Leigh & Sina from Connell Sixth Form College in Manchester. The app won the Sustainable Communities category, powered by Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, at the Apps for Good Awards 2016.
  • Fear Nothing helps people conquer their fear of spiders. The app was created by Anwyn, Jay, Kiera, Poppy, and Thomas from Westfields Junior School in Yateley. The app won the Information category, powered by Thomson Reuters, at the Apps for Good Awards 2016
  • Lilies is an app for young people who have lost somebody they love. The app was created by Charlotte, Izzie, Rose, Arushi, Mia and Olivia from Stratford Girls' Grammar School in Warwickshire. The app won the Connected Communities category, powered by Salesforce.org at the Apps for Good Awards 2016.

We are all really proud of the work that the students have put in to make each of these Apps a reality, working with professional development agencies to create some fantastic Apps for Good! 

In other news, we are saying goodbye to our Co-CEO Debbie, who will be moving on to new adventures after the launch, with former Apps for Good Head of Communications and new Managing Director Heather Picov taking the helm for an exciting new chapter in our story. The following is a personal message from Debbie: 

"Many of you remember our App Launch last February, when we kicked off Apps for Good’s 5th birthday. In her talk, Mohima, one of our first students and now a Council Member, referred to me jokingly as her “Apps for Good mother.” We all laughed, but the last five years have felt like that.

Don’t get me wrong, AFG has never been the work or inspiration of any one person. In the early days, we really weren’t sure what AFG could be. But from dashing up and down the country in my broken down car to meet all our first amazing teachers who gambled on us, to speaking to all the enthusiastic Experts and companies who worked so hard with us to build something that could scale with quality, to finding and growing the most incredible team I’ve worked with, we’ve been able to make AFG what it is today. And for the last few years, I’ve had the absolute pleasure – at times headache and worry-filled pleasure – of leading this great organisation here in the UK. And at that Launch, I did feel like a proud mum welcoming everyone home for a family celebration.

Later that year at our Awards in June, I saw how AFG had grown and established itself in the UK and was thriving, and I realised that, for me, my AFG baby had grown up. And on that day, I knew that while there were still challenges ahead AFG UK was ready to start the next chapter and so was I. So we decided to look for a Managing Director for the UK.

After a long search with a strong external field, the team, Trustees, Iris and I are delighted that the right person for the job is our own Heather Picov. Heather has been part of the senior management team at AFG for four years and brings not only deep knowledge of AFG and commitment to our mission, but also a strong sense of where we can go in the UK. We are at a crucial and exciting phase in AFG UK’s growth, with both challenges and opportunities, and I know that now that Heather and the team have worked to set the vision and next chapter, it’s the right time for me to step back."

Lastly, we have had two great blogs from two of our most high achieving, inspirational and committed students at Apps for Good published in the last few months from Fellows Ellora and Katie. 

  • Katie is a creator of I’m Okay, which she designed with her team during the Apps for Good course at Stratford Girls’ Grammar School in the West Midlands. After winning the 2014 Apps for Good Awards, I’m Okay won the Tech for Good Awards and were finalists for the BBC Radio 1 Teen Hero Awards. Follow the link here to read about how Katie has become inspired by a future in computing.
  • Ellora is a creator of Envirocache, which she designed with her team during the Apps for Good course at Wick High School in Scotland. Since the course, Ellora has been working hard to transform her app idea into a reality. Ellora won the "One to Watch" category at the 2017 FDM Everywoman in Technology Awards. Follow the link here to read about how Ellora gained the confidence to pursue her idea.
Fear Nothing
Fear Nothing
Lillies
Lillies
DiPloy
DiPloy
Allergy Basket
Allergy Basket
Donate It
Donate It
Changes
Changes
Ellora accepts an FDM Women In Tech award
Ellora accepts an FDM Women In Tech award
Katie presents at the Apps for Good Awards
Katie presents at the Apps for Good Awards
Scottish Apps at the Apps for Good Awards
Scottish Apps at the Apps for Good Awards

Temperatures are dropping around the UK and the summer holidays seems a long time away as schools are deep into a new academic year. Whilst students and teachers were away from school this summer, Apps for Good took the time to develop and release a new educator platform, vastly improving the way that we connect with over 850 schools across the UK. 

Our new Dashboard doesn’t just look sleeker, it’s packed with information, tools, lesson plans, CPD training and more  to help make sure that delivering Apps for Good is as straightforward as possible for teachers. There are so many ways in which a better online platform for teachers expands our impact as an organisation. Examples of this are: 

  • Improved monitoring and evaluation - our new platform collects crucial information that can be analysed to further broaden and deepen our impact whilst being better able to identify and address challenges with our model, making Apps for Good a more agile organisation better able to adapt and stay at the cutting edge of what we do. 
  • Improved user experience for teachers - whilst the last version of our educator dashboard was effective, our new look platform is not just more appealing visually but is built on what we have learned from teachers around what they need from the tool. It is now easier than ever for teachers to access course materials.
  • Improved interfacing with the Apps for Good Expert Community - it is now easier than ever for educators to connect with our Expert Community, allowing more students to recieve feedback and advice on any of the topics covered on the Apps for Good course. 

For a more indepth look on our new Educator Dashboard, please take a look at our blog.

We are also delighted to announce that we’ve received a grant from Digital Xtra, funded by the Scottish Government Digital Skills Business Excellence Partnership, to help us grow our after-school activities in Scotland.

If you’ve known us for a while, you’ll definitely have heard of Wick, a town in the Scottish Highlands where Apps for Good-famous teacher Chris from Wick High School has had more teams win our UK national awards than any other school or learning centre (you can see some of the students’ apps here and here). We think the future of tech isn’t in London or San Francisco, but in Wick – and places like it all over Scotland.

Because of Chris and enthusiastic teachers like him – such as Liz at Boroughmuir High School in Edinburgh and Claire at Lochdonhead Primary School on the Isle of Mull – great networks like Stemnet Ambassadors, and organisations that include Coder Dojo and Code Club, we’ve grown from 5 schools and learning centres in Scotland in 2012/13 to 133 last year. Along the way we’ve been able to connect to a vibrant ecosystem of businesses, universities, schools, libraries, government and other non-profits who are all coming together to help young people learn the digital skills they need to succeed in the 21st century.

You can read more about recent developments in Scotland here.

In other news, two of our winning teams, I'm Okay and weKonnekt, had the chance to vist the Radio 1 Extra studios last month after being shortlisted for the Make it Digital award at this years Radio 1 Teen Hero Awards. The teams had a great experience meeting famous DJ's and got the chance to work with a BBC producer and professional camera crew to produce a video for Radio 1's YouTube channel!

For further updates on everything that's going on with Apps for Good, please visit https://blog.appsforgood.org 

An example of our new educator dashboard
An example of our new educator dashboard
weKonnekt and I
weKonnekt and I'm Okay at the BBC

Links:

Ben and Rebecca - Creators of My World of Atoms
Ben and Rebecca - Creators of My World of Atoms

Apps for Good is delighted to announce we have been nominated for GamesAid! Until the 5th of September this year, games industry professionals and affiliates will be voting to decide if Apps for Good will receive a GamesAid grant. GamesAid is a UK charitable organisation that seeks to harness the talents, creativity and enthusiasm of games industry professionals to raise money for a number of smaller charities that are working to help children and young people.

Each year GamesAid members come together to select grant recipients from a group of shortlisted charities. Apps for Good has been selected alongside 18 other worthy causes to be in with a chance to receive a GamesAid grant to support our work. Apps for Good has a strong track record of working with developers in this space, and the impact that we make through schools is helping to create a pool of talent which can support the work of a thriving global games industry. By opening the eyes of students to the wealth of opportunity in the technology and entrepreneurship fields, it is lighting the path for young people to move into industries such as gaming while simultaneously helping them to develop the skills, knowledge and opportunity required to succeed in an increasingly tech driven world.

A popular creative direction taken by students studying our course is to create games with a social purpose, for example helping others learn through gaming. Apps for Good Award winners CryptoConnex (2014)  and My World of Atoms (2015) are both excellent examples of fantastic student apps in this area. CryptoConnex was created by a team from Hymers College, Hull to help people learn cryptography and code-breaking. My World of Atoms, the brainchild of brother-sister team Ben and Rebecca from The Boswells School, Chelmsford, helps students learn about the periodic table through a fun adventure game based on finding and combining elements to complete a collection. With inspiration from Minecraft and Pokemon, Ben and Rebecca won Gold in the Mobile App category at the 2016 Essex Digital awards for their efforts.

Students from our growing Fellowship Community are already using the skills and experience to pursue careers in gaming. 16 year-old Jashvanth from London is one of our most active Fellows and has taken advantage of what the Fellowship has to offer in order to learn from industry professionals. Last summer  the skills Jashvanth gained as an Apps for Good student and Fellows helped him secure work experience with a games development company and learn more about the industry.

Ensuring that all of our former students have the opportunities available to them to follow their interests, expand their skills and inspire others is the central goal we are trying to achieve via the Fellowship Community. If we're lucky enough to receive a GamesAid grant we will use it to focus resources on strengthening the impact that we have on our Fellows. It would allow us to leverage the great connection we have with tech firms and industry professionals, to build a varied and interesting pipeline of activities for students, continue building their skills,  find mentors and gain valuable experience.

If you or someone you know is a games industry professional or affiliate who would like to support us over the coming weeks, go ahead and sign up to GamesAid! A polling card will be sent afterwards via email where you can find more information. Voting for us is a great way to support Apps for Good and help us continue our mission. 

In other news, our Fellows have been put through their paces in a really successful careers work experience day at the offices of our partner SAP. Students were able to test their problem solving skills with an idea generation session around using SAP software to solve problems around the theme of sport and the olympics after learning about the future of tech and further opportunities to develop their skills.

It was great to see a diverse group of former Apps for Good students engaging what they have learned so far in this event, and we hope it will be the first of many to come in the coming months. 

We are looking forward to the start of the new school year at Apps for Good, with schools across the country both returning and broaching new ground with Apps for Good signing up to deliver the programme over the 2016/17 academic year. Our course content continues to develop alongside our online delivery platform, and as a result we are hoping that we can deliver the most valuable and eye opening Apps for Good course ever!

Jashvanth answers questions on a Fellowship panel.
Jashvanth answers questions on a Fellowship panel.
Students plan their solutions at the SAP workshop.
Students plan their solutions at the SAP workshop.
Fellows pitch their ideas to judges at the SAP day
Fellows pitch their ideas to judges at the SAP day
The WeKonnect team present at Wembley Arena!
The WeKonnect team present at Wembley Arena!

In the three months following the launch of last years winning apps, Apps for Good students, staff, Education Community, Expert Community and Fellowship Community have been working hard building up to next months big event: The 2016 Apps for Good Awards. 

During March, students across the country were finalising their app ideas ready for submission in April, whilst our previous winners and Fellows have been developing their ideas further and spreading the word about their award winning creations, most notably the WeKonnect team who won the People's Choice Award powered by Essence in 2015. The winning students from Denbigh High School in Luton presented to a massive audience at this years We Day celebrations at Wembley Arena on the 9th of March. WeKonnect is an App to help build a support network for young carers to share their experiences and provide easier access to information around a challenging issue that many children across the country have to muster the courage to deal with every day. We are very proud of what the WeKonnect team has achieved, going from strength to strength since their app debuted at our App Launch this February. 

Equally as impressive,  2015 Apps for Good Award Winners Ben and Rebecca who created "My World of Atoms", a mobile game that is an accessible platform for children to learn chemistry, picked up Gold in the Mobile App category at the Essex Digital awards. Ben and Rebecca have been working hard on taking their app a step further, releasing My World of Atoms on the Apple App store this April after securing funding for it's development. 

It's been a busy time for Apps for Good in the past weeks and the next few are going to be even busier! Throughout April we worked in conjunction with our Expert community and our corporate partners to shortlist a very strong body of entries down to 15 finalists for categories sponsored by Samsung, Thomson Reuters, Salesforce, The London Legacy Development Corporation and SAP. We have some excellent apps this year which will make for a great event. All of this years finalists are listed on our website

As well as some very creative app ideas with topics such as healthy eating, access to culture for disabled people and helping young people cope with loss, we are also honouring six influential members of our Fellowship Community who have been tireless in their efforts to expand their ideas and aspirations, inspire and mentor students on the course and engage with industry. Have a look at this blog for more information on each of these rising stars.

Your continued support has been influential in allowing all of this to happen and will be a strong contributor in making this years Apps for Good Awards the best yet! We are very excited for the event, and whilst the coming weeks will mean hard work for all involved, the result is always a fantastic day where all of the communities that make Apps for Good great come together to acknowledge the ingenuity of some inspiring students with some excellent ideas.

The stage is soon to be set for another celebration of the next generation of technologists, intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs.

My World of Atoms
My World of Atoms
Ben and Rebecca win a Gold EDA award.
Ben and Rebecca win a Gold EDA award.
Alejandro demonstrates BOOKd to Fellow Jashvanth
Alejandro demonstrates BOOKd to Fellow Jashvanth

As we move closer to spring, Apps for Good looks set for another successful year powering a new generation to change their world with technology.

Whilst our hugely enthusiastic students are still knocking it out of the park with some really impressive Apps, one particularly special thing about 2016 is that it's our five year anniversary!

We began delivering our programme to only 34 students in two centres in London in 2010/11. Over the past five years we have grown within the UK and internationally and are now delivering in over 850 schools worldwide and have positively impacted over 50,000 young people! This rapid growth has enabled us to inspire students to use technology creatively and open their eyes to the wealth of opportunity tech and entrepreneurial skills can bring. This has been our core focus for the past five years, and will continue to be for the next.

Besides continuing to deliver the Apps for Good programme, we also have big plans for the future; we want to continue developing into a truly global movement, introducing students to problem solving with technology all over the world. Some of our goals for the next five years include:

  • Increasing the number of centres delivering the Apps for Good course to 2,200 by 2020 - we want to maintain and grow our reach in schools within the UK and expand the number of institutions working with us internationally.
  • Giving former Apps for Good students the opportunity to continue to develop their problem-solving technology products and help expand the Apps for Good movement by strengthening and growing our Fellowship programme.

Growing our reach over the last five years has been a great achievement, but it could never have happened without the dedication of our teachers, experts and funding partners. We want to celebrate those relationships and the achievements of our students this year by running a fifth anniversary social media campaign using the hashtag #AFG5years. The campaign began alongside our 2016 App Launch on February 4th and saw over 1,500 related Tweets and millions of potential impressions across social media on the night, further drawing attention to the wonderful digital creations the winning student teams were presenting at the launch and the wider Apps for Good movement.

The event itself was a great success. It took place in an excellent location at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park that brought together a truly diverse room of students, fellows, teachers, parents, experts and corporate partners all sharing ideas and praise for the fully developed products the students have created.

It was an evening of forward thinking with a focus on progress in technology education, spearheaded by speeches from Apps for Good Chairman Charlie Leadbeater, Founder and co-CEO Iris Lapinski, Chair of the London Legacy Development Corporation David Edmonds and last, but by no means least, Apps for Good Trustee and Fellow Mohima Ahmed.

Representatives from our Fellowship Community were no small help in making the evening a success; several former Apps for Good students attended the event to talk to our guests and raise awareness about how participants of the course can continue to develop their new found interest in technology after completing the initial Apps for Good journey.

We have so many people to thank that have helped us to get this far and deliver the impact that we have, but we would like to extend a special thank you to all those who have donated through Global Giving and particularly the money raised by the people at Nokia and VMware. Without vital fundraising like this we may have never made it to five years delivering Apps for Good, and events like our App Launch may never have been able to go ahead.

Your continued support is so valuable both to us as an organisation and the students that receive the Apps for Good programme. Make sure to tweet with the #AFG5years hashtag, and stay tuned for our annual awards this June 20th!

The My World of Atoms Team present their App.
The My World of Atoms Team present their App.
Apps for Good Fellows Josie and Habibah
Apps for Good Fellows Josie and Habibah
John from One Click Politics discusses his App
John from One Click Politics discusses his App
David Edmonds, Chairman, London Legacy DC
David Edmonds, Chairman, London Legacy DC
Apps for Good Fellow & Trustee - Mohima Ahmed
Apps for Good Fellow & Trustee - Mohima Ahmed
Hasan from weKonnekt discusses the app.
Hasan from weKonnekt discusses the app.
Clodagh & Isaac from GardenKing present their App.
Clodagh & Isaac from GardenKing present their App.
The Assemble Jobs team present their app.
The Assemble Jobs team present their app.
The MySoundClash team prepare for the event.
The MySoundClash team prepare for the event.

Links:

 

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Organization Information

CDI Apps for Good

Location: London, UK - United Kingdom
Website: http:/​/​www.appsforgood.org
Project Leader:
Sophie Ball
London, London United Kingdom
$33,445 raised of $80,000 goal
 
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