It was such a brilliant day. I began today feeling a bit sleepy after a VERY busy week and now I feel all buzzy and alive.”
We know Interaction between young people and volunteers from the tech industry is one of the most important parts of the Apps for Good experience for students, teachers and our volunteers.
We know that industry interactions can bring to life the skills students are learning through our courses and how to apply these skills in the workplace. Volunteers can also show young people the many different careers they might be able to pursue with digital skills, and the many different routes to success.
But 2020 has not been an easy year for this kind of interaction: volunteers haven't been able to visit schools due to the COVID-19 crisis and the restrictions are likely to stay well into 2021.
That’s why Apps for Good have launched two new programmes so that we can continue to facilitate industry-school engagements for all our students. 16 students from Christ the King Sixth Form College, in Lewisham, South East London, have been among the first to take part.
One-day industry supported Apps for Good course
Today’s session, gave me a better understanding of what goes on behind the scenes and what it really takes/ involves to develop an app and bring everything to life.”
Student, Christ the King Sixth Form College
The Remote Design an App in a Day course guides pupils through an iterative development model where they begin with a problem that affects them or their community and then spend the day being guided by Apps for Good and supported by industry volunteers to design a product that can solve their problem.
Students work in teams to ideate, explore user needs and features, market research and user profiling before creating drawn wireframes of their app ideas and pitching them back to the class and volunteers. Collaborative working, problem-solving and communication skills are all encouraged and developed during this innovative workshop.
Apps for Good’s Education and Engagement team, support the day through video conferencing software and are able to introduce each of the activities, showcase videos, presentations and resources online to support the students. At three separate points throughout the day, the students were also joined by six volunteers from LEGO & BNY Mellon who provided help and advice to students at key points during the ideation and design process. The students were also able to hear from the volunteers about their career journeys and learn how the skills they were developing could help them in the world of work.
The students were motivated to help a variety of communities and we had a selection of fantastic ideas come out of the day. The ideas included: an App to support users with mental health concerns, an App to encourage users to become more active and an App designed to connect users with similar music tastes. All of the ideas were very user focused with all teams carefully considering how to engineer their solutions to support their user needs.
Expert Feedback Tool - asynchronous online volunteering
My classroom lit up when I shared the feedback and efforts have redoubled! Also means I can maintain productivity for all groups in a given hour when otherwise I would be making them witness their classmate's online discussions.”
As students and teachers have found it difficult this year to engage with industry and provide external opportunities for students, we have created the Expert Feedback Tool to make it even easier for students to interact and get supported by industry volunteers.
The Tool allows individual students and students teams to submit elements of their projects that they would like help with, or feedback on at a time of their choosing to be reviewed by industry Experts.
The tool is designed to be really flexible so that students can upload work whenever they have access to devices and the internet, and volunteers can feedback whenever they have time. All feedback is then sent to the teacher within five working days of being submitted.
Students from Dr Challoner’s Grammar School have been using the tool to receive extra feedback on their initial Apps for Good designs. Volunteers from SAGE, BNY Mellon and LEGO logged in and reviewed their ideas.
It's been really interesting so far to read all the different groups ideas and offer some input. I have tried to offer advice without telling them what to do and pointing them in the direction of things to think about, other similar websites that may help.”
To find out more about volunteering remotely with Apps for Good, or if you’re a school who’d like volunteers to work with you, please email firstname.lastname@example.org