Recently, I spent my time reviewing and discussing mobile application ideas from 1000's of school children, from 213 schools (and counting!) across the country. The scheme is called Apps for Good and is run with the intention of teaching 10-18 year olds problem solving, basic programming, and creativity among other skills through technology.
How does it work?
The schools involved are provided with the course content, training and connections with the "Expert volunteers". From here the children will split up into groups and have to come up with an idea for a unique mobile application. From this idea they will make a video pitch , a slideshow describing the idea and wireframes showing how they intend the application will look and be navigated. The groups are then able to have a session with an "Expert" which consists of a video call over Skype where the idea can be screened, questions can be asked and feedback can be given. The groups can then submit their app ideas to Apps for Good who will then begin to filter through the ideas narrowing them down from hundreds to just 6. The groups behind the six ideas are then invited to London to give a Dragons Den style pitch to judges. The winning idea will then be fully produced and made available on the app store! Previous winning apps can be seen here.
How can you get involved?
There are many ways to get involved in Apps for Good, the most accessible way would be by becoming an Expert like myself. There are many different areas to pick from in terms of what your area of expertise are from technically feasibility to user experience. Once you have successfully signed up you will begin to receive session requests which is where you would spend an hour of your time on Skype talking to a group who would like some advice, and feedback on their ideas. If you are an employee or member of a corporate partner of Apps for Good you may get the chance to have a session of reviewing all the apps submitted. The most valuable way of getting involved would be to spread the word and let as many people you know about the scheme including schools, organisations and people in the mobile/technology industry. For more information on getting involved visit: Get Involved.
Overall, Apps for Good is a great programme for bringing better and more technology education into schools. I had a great time seeing the ideas that some of the groups had come up with and how enthusiastic and passionate they were about them!