Our impact in 2013/14

Foreword from our Chair

When Mike Bloomberg was Mayor of New York City he liked to tell staff who came to him to pitch an idea: “I believe in God, but the rest of you have to bring data.” In this report we bring you data.

Apps for Good is a purpose driven organisation. Our mission is to grow a new generation of problem solvers, skilled and confident digital makers, able to develop tangible products and solutions which address the challenges of their world. Clarity of purpose is vital to provide an organisation with a sense of direction especially in a fast changing and complex environment where digital technology, young people, education and companies come together.

Yet a sense of purpose is pointless without a commitment to measure where you start from, to track your progress and adjust your path as conditions change and lessons are learned about what does and does not work. That is why at Apps for Good we believe we can only stay true to our purpose if we care about what the data tells us about what works. In pursuing our purpose we have to follow the facts, to understand whether what we do has the effect that we seek and how what we do can be improved.

That is why we are proud to provide this comprehensive account of what Apps for Good is achieving, not just for our students but also for our teachers and corporate partners. Just as importantly this impact report, compiled in loving detail by Myrian Schwitzner, openly shares what we think we can do better and the mistakes we have made as we have grown from a 2010 pilot in a south London community centre to become a structured programme in 400 plus schools, serving 20,000 students.

Apps for Good, in common with many of the other emerging organisations in the field, such as Coder Dojo and Code Club, is a community, one which brings together young people who want to use digital technologies to make things that matter to them; teachers who want to provide more exciting, imaginative opportunities for digital making and experts from the corporate sector who want to encourage young people to develop the habits of collaboration, resilience and entrepreneurship which will be so vital to their future.

We have a responsibility to that community and to the foundations and companies that support us to show we are accountable to them and care about what learning ourselves as much as our students. We expect our students and teachers to thrive on feedback and we are no different. If you have suggestions for how we can improve how we report on our impact then please let us know at myrian.schwitzner@appsforgood.org.

Charles Leadbeater
Elected Chair, CDI Apps for Good
November 2014

Key results of our 2013/14 Impact Report

Below are the key results across the three areas covered in our report: our reach, impact on students and impact on education. For the full version of the report, click here. We also encourage you to read the section at the end of the report that covers the changes we’re making in response to what we’ve learned.

1) Our reach: Aiming to reach a generation

  • Apps for Good is more than doubling in size every year and 2013/14 marked the first time we were in every country of the UK. Most of our Education Partners in 2013/14 were non-selective secondary schools (70%), though our range of schools continued to widen to include primary schools, pupil referral units and informal learning centresgrowth-since-launch
  • In 2014/15, we are partnering with over 450 schools and reaching more than 20,000 students, including over 100 primary schools and 10% of all Scottish secondary schools (a big jump from five Scottish schools the year before, one that we’re proud of)delivery-model
  • In 2013/14, most of our partners delivered Apps for Good within curriculum time, while 26% delivered as a club and 13% used a mixed curriculum/club model
  • We continued to reach a diverse range of students:
    • 37% of our schools were rated as above national average for students of minority ethnic origin and 42% were above national average for free school meals
    • Apps for Good was delivered to our widest student age range to date (9 or younger to 19 or older) but most students (84%) were 12 to 14 years old

2) Impact on students: Growing the next generation of problem solvers & digital makers

  • Over 90% of our educators said students’ problem solving, presentation and teamwork skills were improved. Students placed coming up with ideas, working in teams and designing a product as the top three abilities they gainedgeorge-faux
  • Just over half of educators taught coding or programming and 71% of these saw an improvement in these skills amongst their students. The majority of students (57%) said they felt there were better at coding and programming because of Apps for Good
  • More than half of students are clearer on their career choices and over 35% are more interested in a career in business, as an entrepreneur or in a technical job (e.g. developer or designer)STU career inspiration
  • Nearly one quarter of students would like to continue coding or programming and are more likely to take their GCSEs in computing or ICT
  • Almost half of our students are girls (48%). Nearly a third are more interested in technology and 15% are more likely to continue computing at school. Furthermore, a quarter of girls are now considering technical jobs, more than a third are more keen on a business career and over 41% are more interested in starting their own business (the same as the proportion of boys who are aspiring entrepreneurs)
  • Women delivered one third of Expert sessions, providing positive female role models for both male and female students

female-marylebone3) Impact on education: Growing a generation

  • More than 70% of educators learned new subject knowledge and technical skills, and, most significantly, new teaching methods (pedagogy). 65% said they were more confident in teaching overallimpact on educators
  • There were double the number of Experts sessions in 2013/14 compared to the year before. Of those educators that held Expert sessions, the response was overwhelmingly positive: 92% of educators said the sessions were helpful and almost all (98%) said students were more focused and motivated
  • 40% of schools held Expert sessions, a decrease from 50% last year. Given the value Experts have for both students and educators, we will continue to improve the support we provide educators to implement Expert sessions in the classroom

chris-aitkenRead the full impact report here.

If you have suggestions for how we can improve how we report on our impact then please let us know at myrian.schwitzner@appsforgood.org.