The 7 student teams that won the Apps for Good Awards in June 2014 are gearing up for the public launch of their apps. Through the Apps for Good course framework, the students were encouraged to tackle problems in their everyday lives. The sheer range of ideas demonstrates the creative potential in schools in the UK which is not being fully engaged by traditional pedagogy. As well as testing their creative potential, the Apps for Good course has helped to improve both the students’ technical coding skills and other soft skills, such as teamwork, confidence and communication.
At the Awards, the finalists got to visit local enterprises in and around Tech City to take part in Accelerator sessions, including advice on how to pitch ideas which came in handy when the teams had to present to our Expert dragons. The App Launch, taking place on 5th February 2015, will be a fantastic celebration of all this hard work, not just by the students but also our educators, corporate partners, professional app developers and team.
Here’s a quick profile of the seven winning teams and their apps:
ShoreCast - The team from Budehaven Community School won the Thomson Reuters sponsored category, My Planet: ideas for a greener and healthier world. The four boys – Tom, Jay, Ben and Archie – have created an app that allows users to find the best surf spots nearby, access clear surf data, rate different beaches and upload reports on conditions.
I’m Okay - The team from Stratford Girls’ Grammar School won Thomson Reuters sponsored category, Information: big ideas for using data and information. The four girls – Josie, Emily, Katie and Alexandra – have designed an app that is aimed at young people coming to terms with their sexuality and gender. It offers a means of sharing experiences through a collection of real-life short stories. Users are able to upload their own stories, find key definitions and locate the details of the best support services through the app.
Pocket Money Pig - The team from The Wroxham School won the Barclaycard sponsored category, Saving, Spending & Giving: making the most out of your money. The three boys – Christopher, George and Ross – have created an app that is aimed at young people, aged 5-15, and their parents, to help reduce family quibbles over pocket money. It offers a simple way for parents and children to keep track of what’s been earned, lent and spent. A parent can keep track of several children through one account with each entry needing approval from both child and parent, making sure everyone is on the same page.
Safe Nav - The team from Shireland Collegiate Academy won the TalkTalk sponsored category, Connected Communities: using technology to connect people and ideas. The four boys – Joshua, Rikardo, Ijahmar and Callum – have made an app for young people to help them navigate the streets safely. The app uses UK police data to provide a heat map of crime in the user’s area and will vibrate to alert them if they are heading into a crime “hotspot”.
CryptoConnex - The team from Hymers College won the Samsung sponsored category, Learning: inspirational learning through technology. The team – Harriet, Paula, Holly and Frederick – have been completing the final stages of the product development process. The app is a teasingly addictive game based on the art of code breaking. Combining tricky game-play and challenging puzzles it’s an innovative way to learn a secret language, the pigpen cipher.
Chore Attack - The team from Wick High School won the SAP sponsored category, Productivity: running better to get the most out of work and play. The girls – Katie, Caitlyn and Meghan – have designed an app, which makes dividing chores among the household fun and rewarding. The app allows families to keep track of who has done their assigned chores. Chore finishers can earn points to climb the leader board and work towards rewards.
PartySpot - The team from Sutton Grammar School won the Tech London Advocates sponsored category, The People’s Choice Award. The winning idea was chosen via public vote in the run-up to the Apps for Good Awards. The boys – Tyler, Dylan, Oliver and Jashvanth – have been completing the final stages of the product development process. The app helps users find the perfect place for their children’s party. It allows users to find party spots near them, read reviews and rate venues.
From assembling mood boards for thematic designs to signing off on user features, the teams have been in full control of the production process. The teams have also had to devise their own branding, marketing and business strategies, which has been a fantastic learning experience for all involved.
The App Launch will also see the official announcement of the Apps for Good Fellows programme. The new initiative will create an official channel for students to keep in touch with Apps for Good, after they have been through the course. The community of Fellows will be able to continue building their digital skills, seek advice on careers in the tech industry and access work placement opportunities (see previous report). We are very excited about the potential impact of the Fellows programme on the future of Apps for Good students.
The Shore Cast Team
Stephen Fry Supported The I'm Okay App On Twitter