Module 2: Idea generation and screening

Welcome to the second blog in our series giving you a sneak preview of what the thousands of Apps for Good students will be learning in our course. In Module 1 students were given a crash course in app development and introduced to our pedagogy that places the students at the forefront of their own learning. Now settled in their teams, it’s time for students to put pen to paper and get creative!

What’s it all about?

In Module 2 students generate the pipeline of app ideas that they are interested in exploring further, getting inspiration from their interests, daily routines or a social change they wish to see. From this idea generation process, students harness this energy and excitement and go forward to establish which of those ideas is the most viable to turn into an app. Through undertaking basic market research they will pivot and adapt  ideas based on their findings and prioritise those which have the greatest chance of success.

What do they learn?

There’s one golden rule in the Apps for Good course: no one else can set the agenda – the ideas must be generated by the students themselves. We don’t expect students to come up with the next Facebook or Instagram, but it’s key that students drive forward their own ideas, however big or small they are. Students are introduced to the techniques of idea generation and how to frame their app around a problem they want to solve (we talk about one of these activities here). Students are encouraged to focus on their daily lives and interests, as the most successful apps are those in which the students understand the problem they are trying to solve and can offer a unique perspective on it as a young person

Students are encouraged to focus on their daily lives and interests in order to come up with ideas
Students are encouraged to focus on their daily lives and interests in order to come up with ideas.

Once students have come up with their list of ideas, they go through screening activities to begin narrowing down the pipeline of ideas. Teams explore the feasibility and market potential of the idea so that they can spot and solve any  issues at an early stage and become aware of how the problem is currently being solved , as well as rule out less promising ideas. This is a fantastic time for educators to bring in one of our industry Experts to help students focus on the most viable ideas.

In Module 2, Students are also introduced to the digital tools for building their app prototype. Depending on the tech tier students are using, they have the chance to begin developing basic skills in coding and programming. For example, students who might use a building block tool begin exploring AppShed and AppInventor’s tutorials, while those who are thinking of web programming can learn the fundamentals of Javascript using resources from our partner CodeAcademy.

What’s next?

Module 3 gives students the opportunity to learn about how scoping can give them a greater understanding of their target users and market competition, which in turn will give them and their app a better chance of success. Educators will also get to connect with our community of Experts who can bring real life experience to the scoping process.

We love hearing from our community educators across the country and how Apps for Good is going in their classrooms, so share your stories with us! Contact us through Twitter @AppsforGoodCDI or email education@appsforgood.org