Donna Hay Award for Impact 2023

Recognising the impact of outstanding educators

Teacher of the Year Award 2023

This year's award goes to Steve Hall, Senior Leader at the Life Academy Trust, Leicestershire!

We are thrilled that Steve Hall from Bosworth Academy is our Educator of the Year 2023. Steve has been instrumental in introducing our new Innovate for Climate Change course to over 400 students across three schools in the Life Academy Trust, and ensured each student had the opportunity to pitch to an expert during one of our Expert Sessions. Steve has also been an ambassador for Apps for Good, supporting our recent Meet a Teacher event with partners. We look forward to continuing to work with Steve throughout the next academic year.

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Q&A with Steve Hall

What do you see as the main benefits of Apps for Good?

The opportunity that Apps for Good gives students to tackle a real world problem and pitch their ideas to industry experts is absolutely amazing! It gave our students real purpose to their learning and empowered them to understand how they can make a positive difference.

Our teachers really appreciated the wealth of lesson materials and the way that they have been sequenced to help the students understand the full process behind designing and building an app. They also really enjoyed the session which linked each class with an industry expert via a remote meeting, probably as much as the students did!

How do you think Apps for Good supports young people with the skills required to succeed in life and work?

Our students learned so much more than just the technical knowledge required to build a prototype app - they learned how to collaborate more effectively during the design process and how to communicate their ideas to a wider audience. Lots of students wouldn’t necessarily consider themselves to be good at coding yet they were able to use their imagination and creativity throughout the design process. They also had to think critically and show resilience to solve problems that they encountered when building the prototype.

What do you think are the benefits associated with engaging with industry professionals?

This is such a unique and standout feature of the Apps for Good Course. Firstly, the mere fact that the students know their ideas will need to be pitched to someone outside of their class really drives motivation and gives them a purpose to sharpen their ideas. The session itself effectively immerses the students in an environment similar to a business meeting and so the experience of actively listening to each other and the industry professional is invaluable.

What would you say to other teachers looking for new ways to teach tech innovation and computing?

Embrace all of the opportunities that organisations such as Apps for Good can provide! They can really help you to bring the learning to life, particularly as it applies the learning to how it is currently being used in the tech industry. It’s also really powerful to be able to show students that the tech industry needs a wide range of skills to thrive, and that the people who are able to come up with engaging ideas and communicate them effectively are as important as those who actually go on to build the products.