Project Details

A close up of a girl using an app on her mobile phone

Apps for Good

Delivering apps courses to young people.

By CDI Europe

Project URL:
Project Twitter: @AppsforGoodCDI

Organisation Twitter: @cdi_europe

  • Community Engagement
  • Education
  • Data
  • Mobile
  • Social Software

A team of three boys, all sons of farmers, from Wick in the far north of Scotland, were fed up with seeing their fathers, often in the wind, rain and dark, struggling with the vast amount of paperwork which is now integral to keeping a herd of cows. To ease the burden they designed an app so that a mobile phone could scan and record all the information a farmer would need, to provide to retailers and the Ministry of Agriculture.

This is just one of the hundreds of ideas for apps that young people have come up with through the Apps for Good programme, which trains teachers to run courses in schools, for young people to devise apps with a social purpose. Among the other ideas to emerge from the course is an app to help people keep promises and an app that teachers can use to translate student reports into Urdu.

The Apps for Good course takes them through in steps; from understanding their target market through to making and presenting their prototype. Along the way they get support from a community of professional designers, developers and entrepreneurs who advise them on their app ideas via video conferencing.

Apps for Good started in seven schools in 2010, and by 2013 the course was being used by more than 20,000 students in more than 400 schools, with plans to expand into 1,500 schools by 2015. By making its basic course available as open source to any school that wanted it, Apps for Good has started to work with schools all over the world: 10 US schools started using the course in 2013, with more expected to follow.

The course is helping young people to gain skills in using digital technology creatively. But the mission is not just to produce more apps and programmers. Apps for Good is a programme for creative thinking and entrepreneurship, using the vehicle of smartphones and apps to appeal to young people. Evidence so far shows that it often appeals to those children least motivated by traditional academic teaching methods and helps to pull them back into learning.

Image courtesy of Apps for Good

Last updated: 09th of May, 2014

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