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Choosing the right Course

Feb 11, 2021
Our Work
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The app development and machine learning standard courses have been revised to support both face-to-face and remote learning. ”

Apps for Good have a range of different courses to meet student’s needs and it can sometimes be a little daunting trying to decide which is the best fit for your current situation.

All Apps for Good (AfG) courses (app development, IoT and machine learning) involve students:

  • identifying a real life problem they care about
  • researching the problem so that they understand fully both the problem and who is affected by it
  • designing a solution to the problem using their chosen technology
  • building and testing a technical prototype
  • presenting their solution

The two main decisions you need to make therefore are which technology to use and which length of course to deliver. During this time of Covid restrictions a third consideration is which course will fit with your current teaching situation, whether that is face to face teaching in a computing suite, remote learning or something in between.

Technology

Apps for Good courses cover app development, machine learning and IoT.

  • If you are new to Apps for Good or if your primary focus is programming and / or UX design app development would be a good choice
  • If your main focus is the impact of technology and / or the ethical implications of technology then machine learning would meet these needs
  • If your interest is in physical computing or setting up a ‘maker’ group then IoT would be the best choice. However due to the equipment required (micro:bits etc) the IoT course is unsuitable for remote learning unless students have their own kit

Length of Course

Apps for Good courses come in a range of different lengths to meet differing needs:

  • Standard Course

These are our 10-12 week flagship courses. They fit into a single term making them suitable for both curriculum and enrichment / extracurricular activities. The app development and machine learning courses also include the Industry Expert feedback tool allowing students to get personalised advice on their ideas.

  • Extended course

This is a 20 week course for app development. It is our original course and allows you to go into greater depth in aspects such as user interviews, technical and data feasibility and marketing. It also has a number of dedicated programming sessions. This might be a good choice for an after-school club which runs throughout the year.

  • ‘In a Day’ courses.

These are 4-5 hours long and are ideal for collapsed timetable days. There are two options for app development - paper based which can be run in a standard classroom and technology based which uses App Lab to create a click-through prototype. There is also a machine learning ‘In a Day’ course which allows students to create an anti-bullying AI filtering model. All ‘In a Day’ courses have follow-on resources to support students to take their designs further.

Completion of any of our courses allows entry to our annual Awards competition.

Covid restrictions

This last year has been really challenging for teachers and students alike with periods of remote learning and restrictions even when schools are fully open:

  • Standard Courses

The app development and machine learning standard courses have been revised to support both face-to-face and remote learning. They can be completed either in teams or by students working individually with individual study facilitating the move between face-to-face and remote learning with as little disruption as possible. The amount of explanations have been increased and video walk-thoughs are available for app development (and are in progress for machine learning). The Industry Expert feedback tool provides industry engagement opportunities and additional support for students.

  • Unplugged Courses

The app development and machine learning unplugged courses were developed in response to reports that some schools were restricting access to computer suites as part of their in-school ‘bubble’ measures. These courses can be delivered in a standard classroom with only the teacher having access to technology. There are follow-on resources that can be completed once students have access to computer suites.

  • Home Study Courses

There are three home study courses, app design, app development and machine learning. They were our first response to the initial lockdown and provide a six to seven hour continuous project for students to work on individually. The app design course can be printed off and completed on paper by students who do not have access to technology at home. The standard courses are divided into hour long sessions making them easier to set as core curriculum but the home study resources may be useful for remote enrichment or to provide extension activities to stretch higher ability students.

Our team are always on hand to help you find the best way to adapt our courses to your class. Just get in touch at education@appsforgood.org.