Got an app for that?
Apps for Good is a practical programme that encourages young people to use the latest digital technology to tackle problems for social good.
Following a successful pilot phase, Apps for Good is now expanding to meet growing interest among local communities – there is a 100-strong waiting list of secondary schools looking to start the course.
This demand is also driving further developments. With the support of funding from Nominet Trust, programme organisers are also developing an online open-source education platform, which will allow UK-based organisations (and eventually interested parties worldwide) to run their own Apps for Good courses.
Valuable skills designed to deliver real benefits
Iris Lapinski, CEO of CDI Europe, explains why Apps for Good is proving so popular: “Our students are given the opportunity to create apps that make a difference and solve real-life issues that matter to them and their community. It gives them a launchpad into social enterprise and the exciting world of technology, design and innovation.”
As well as gaining a useful, hands-on understanding of the technology market and product design, Apps for Good also gives students the opportunity to develop valuable entrepreneurial and transferable skills that are designed to deliver very real personal benefits – enabling them to launch their careers or giving them the potential to help transform their communities, for example.
Mobile technology that makes a difference
During a 2-6 month Apps for Good course, students go through a process of discovery and start to develop entrepreneurial awareness as they are asked to identify what’s wrong with their world before designing a way of fixing it with a mobile app.
Once they have created their apps and completed the course, the best teams of students during each quarter get to pitch their work, ideas and prototypes to a panel of ‘dragons’ at a Dragons’ Den event. The dragons – media and business professionals from organisations like Channel 4 and Orange Labs – assess their ideas for market focus, originality, mobile features and viral marketing effects among other criteria, and decide if the projects should get funding for development to become fully functioning apps that can be downloaded on Android Market.