It’s a real privilege to welcome five new Trustees to our board this spring. Each of them brings a wealth of expertise from both the education and technology sectors, which will undoubtedly be a huge asset to pursuing our vision of a world where all young people have the skills to create a brighter future through technology.
Emma Darcy, James Garnett, Rebecca-Garrod Waters, Luisa Gockel and Mark Martin MBE will join existing trustees Andrea Sinclair, Mohima Ahmed and Marc Abraham.
Emma Darcy is Director of Technology for Learning at Denbigh High School and the Chiltern Learning Trust. Working on both the Leadership Team in the school and across the other fifteen schools in the Trust, Emma supports staff and students with digital strategy and the impactful use of technology across the curriculum. Denbigh is an EdTech50 school and, in 2019, was selected by UNESCO as an international Best Practice Case Study for “Developing and delivering a successful technology for learning strategy in the UK.” During the pandemic, Denbigh was a DfE EdTech Demonstrator School, supporting other schools across the country with technology for learning. In 2021, Emma became a member of the BETT Advisory Board and also won the Gold National Teaching Award for Digital Innovator of the Year.
Emma is delighted to join Apps For Good as a Trustee and said “I’m looking forward to working with the rest of this fantastic team. It has never been more important to prepare our young people for a future filled with digital possibilities, but also the need to take better care of our planet. Apps For Good is uniquely placed to do both and I am excited to help support schools and students on this aspirational journey.”
James Garnett is Director of IT at United Learning, a Multi-Academy Trust of over ninety academies and independent schools with oversight of all the Group’s IT systems as well as educational and effective use of technology. Until the end of August 2022 James also led the EdTech Demonstrator programme on behalf of the Department for Education. He currently leads United Learning’s Cloud First strategy and developed the Digital Strategy for the Group; his current focus is on the digital divide in education, cyber security, IT Governance, sustainability and technology, and the importance of schools having a coherent digital strategy. James is also a Trustee of Sheffield Theatres Trust and the City of Sheffield Theatres Trust.
James said, “I was delighted to accept the role as Trustee at Apps For Good, having been a great fan of the organisation for nearly 10 years and being a strong believer in the power of connecting young people with industry professionals to broaden their understanding of possible careers. I also really like their focus on sustainability and machine learning as they are areas children are passionate about and need to better understand for their (and our) futures. I hope to be able to use my knowledge and connections in education and the MAT sector to support Apps For Good in extending their reach as well as supporting schools, teachers and pupils to benefit from the resources and programmes available.”
Rebecca is the CEO of Ufi VocTech Trust, and has been growing their activity across a wide portfolio of projects designed to impact across the UK, delivering better, faster and more effective vocational Training. Her background is in supporting and encouraging innovation and increasing the use of technology within business. Rebecca joined Ufi in 2014 with a clear remit to enable more vocational skills for more people, more of the time, increasing learning and skills opportunities for communities, sectors, industries, and places that are traditionally ‘unloved’. Rebecca believes it’s critical that we equip young people with the skills and confidence to develop and utilise technology so that they can become the next generation of innovators and have the skills they need to have fulfilling and rewarding lives.
Passionate about the potential for digital technology to positively transform the way learning is delivered, Rebecca said, “I am thrilled to be joining Apps For Good as a Trustee, and looking forward to being part of the next phase of the Apps for Good journey. The skills that young people develop through engagement with Apps for Good are not only technical, but also equip them with the confidence and capacity to navigate the changing world. Tech is a powerful tool to support learning and engagement and I am looking forward to working with the brilliant team!”
Luisa is a former journalist with 20 years’ experience in the non-profit and social innovation fields. She spent the past decade working in the education sector in the UK where she was part of the founding team at Apps for Good and worked with Unreasonable and Pearson to deliver accelerator programmes for start-ups working to improve literacy and education globally. Following her passion for education and innovation, Luisa joined the Lightbulb Trust in 2020 as Director.
Reflecting on her appointment, Luisa said, “Apps for Good was one of the first organisations in the country to disrupt technology education through adding problem-solving, creativity, and collaboration to the curriculum. For the past 10 years, it has had a great impact on policy and on how teachers teach and use technology. We still have a long way to go as forming passive consumers, rote memorisers of facts, or test-taking drones is no longer relevant or even acceptable. I'm very excited to join Apps for Good as a trustee and support the team in their journey to change the education system.”
Mark Martin MBE aka @Urban_Teacher, is an Assistant Professor in Computer Science and Education Practice. Mark is a thought leader in #EdTech and a hugely popular speaker, sharing his expertise and insights to educators around the world. He is a teacher/advisor for several major global tech brands and continues to advocate for home-grown talent, digital skills and education equity. Mark is also co-founder of technology innovation group, UKBlackTech whose mission is to make the UK the most ethnically diverse tech ecosystem in the world. In May 2022, Mark was recognized as one of the top 50 most influential people in UK IT by computer weekly. In 2019, he was awarded an MBE for services to education, technology, and diversity in UK technology.
Mark said, "Apps for Good has a critical role to play in education because it equips young people with essential digital skills, creativity, and problem-solving abilities. By empowering students to become creators of technology, Apps for Good is helping to shape a future where technology is used to solve problems and create a positive impact in society. This is crucial in today's digital world, and I'm proud to be part of an organisation that is making a difference."
Apps for Good founder and Chair, Iris Lapinski has stepped down as a Trustee, but will remain part of the broader team as a Council Member, while Valerie Hannon steps down after 8 years as a Trustee. We are excited that Iris will continue to be supporting Apps for Good from the Council and are enormously grateful for Valerie’s contribution to Apps for Good both in the UK and internationally over so many years. Valerie has enabled us to develop our content and our strategy and helped us enormously by ensuring we stay informed about education policy and trends, whilst also giving us great insight into how best we can support schools and be a positive force for good for teachers and young people.