Apps for Good is epic! It was awesome to make our own apps and I really enjoyed talking to Sophia (Expert) using Skype. I can’t wait to do more work on our app!
Jonathan, Year 6 student, Raglan VC Primary School

What are the best things that Apps for Good has added to your school/college, teaching staff and students?

The most immediate, standout benefit of using Apps for Good was the impact it had on the motivation of all the learners. Every child in the class was engaged at each stage in the project and they were always keen to find out when we would be having are next session. This extended beyond the classroom to include children having discussions with their families about their ideas and conducting their own research into existing apps that were already in the marketplace. The motivation of the children was sustained through the varied menu of activities available within the programme. The really enjoyed giving short, concise ‘elevator pitches’ to present their ideas and they all really appreciated the opportunity to pitch their ideas to an industry expert via Skype.

What has been the biggest challenge in delivering the Apps for Good course?

Initially, I thought the main challenge would be my own skill set and my lack of technical knowledge when working with apps. However, it was a great relief to find that the way in which the course is structured, the initial training and the support materials all contributed to remove that barrier completely. It also helped me to have greater confidence in letting the children take the lead for certain elements. In practice, the biggest challenge was ultimately getting the Balsamiq software installed on our school network. This was not an issue with the software itself, as it is a very intuitive and friendly piece of equipment, however getting the appropriate level of password protected access from our technical service providers took some time.

How helpful have you found the opportunity for your students to interact with industry experts?

Being able to take feedback from an industry expert on their initial ideas certainly helped to add a real life context to the children’s app ideas. They really concentrated on developing a detailed elevator pitch and, as they were talking to someone from outside the school, it helped them to develop a more formal style of presentation. They came back to the project buzzing with ideas and even more motivated to develop their app designs further,

How is Apps for Good different from the way in which you were teaching ICT/Computing previously?

Apps for Good has certainly helped us to develop our ICT curriculum to be truly 21st Century, as it is now reflecting the true nature of ICT in everyday life and it relevant to the children’s own experiences. Apps for Good has also made us think very carefully about how our new school building will need to be developed to allow versatile 21st Century ICT learning across the curriculum.

What advice can you offer to any schools/colleges in your position who are thinking about applying to be a 2014/2015 Apps for Good partner?

Certainly from a primary school perspective, you don’t need to be an ICT expert to lead a class of children through the Apps for Good programme. The skills of being able to develop a sequence of learning activities and then support children with their learning are essential; Apps for Good then deals superbly with your own technical know-how and confidence. I would say, dive in, give it a go – the children will really appreciate it and you will be further enhancing their learning experiences. This is definitely a good opportunity for the children to see the adults in their classroom as lifelong learners, collaborating with the children to develop their understanding.