How Educators can make the most of Expert sessions

The Apps for Good programme is supported by a community of over 600 volunteers from around the world, our Apps for Good Experts. Experts are technology professionals and entrepreneurs who meet with the student teams in one hour sessions, giving them advice on how to improve their app ideas.

We consider Expert sessions to be the “secret sauce” for the course, turning a good experience into a great one for our students.  If you’ve never hosted a session and aren’t sure what all the fuss is about, find out more here.

Preparing for an Expert session is easier than you think, it only takes a few minutes to fill in the booking on our platform – just be sure to leave enough time for us to find an Expert, about 2-3 weeks is best. The default way of running an Expert session is Skype. If an Expert lives nearby your school and wants to do a face-to-face visit, we will let you know.

It is a simple process, but  a little extra thought and planning will ensure you get the best experience for all involved. To find out more, below is some advice from one of our teachers from Westfields Junior, a ninja school who managed to get multiple teams into the Apps for Good finals in their first year delivering the course.

Westfields Junior School’s top tips for a successful Expert session

Karen Richards, Year 6 Teacher at our education partner Westfields Junior School, has put together her top tips for organising a successful session:

  • Decide on the best time for your children to speak to an Expert and the area that they would most benefit from discussing. You can choose between ten different areas of expertise!
  • Prepare your children –  Each group needs to have a prepared presentation to introduce their ideas. We insist that each member of the group has to speak. Give them plenty of time to practice both their pitches and answering questions clearly.
  • Contact your Expert in advance of your session – Once your session is filled an email from Apps for Good is sent to you with the contact details of the Expert. Speak with or email the Expert and outline the age and numbers of your groups. Also, giving an outline of their ideas will allow your Expert to tailor questions and advice for each individual group; I like to send the Experts the students’ presentations to review ahead of time.
  • Make sure you have your Expert’s Skype ID
  • Check that your Skype is installed and works on the computer you intend to use for the session – or in my case ask your IT technician to do it and then ask them nicely to stay with you during the session in case of problems!
  • On the day, initiate a video call at the allotted time – again our IT technicians have been invaluable!
  • Prepare the children before the session so that they have everything to hand
  • Relax and enjoy!

Preparation is key in order to run a good Expert session. Hear from our Experts on how you can best prepare your students and the Expert ahead of the session:

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact our Expert Community Manager Myrian at experts@appsforgood.org