Ready for the 21st century: Building students’ grit and resilience

Teachers, employers and schools want more for their students than good exam results: they want to see students leaving school with the skills and character needed to succeed in the 21st century. While our Educators use Apps for Good to teach digital skills, what I often hear from our educators, and what is the most moving for me, is about the transformation they see in their students and how they develop life skills such as problem-solving, teamwork and resilience.

Working together on Apps for Good students learn more than digital skills
Working together on Apps for Good students learn more than digital skills

Apps for Good Educator Fathima Anwari of Mount Grace School recently shared with Sec Ed her experiences of teaching Apps for Good as part of overall efforts to encourage entrepreneurship in students, describing how she has seen students with new-found confidence thanks to the course. One of Fathima’s shyest students has ‘come into his own after working with peers to design and build an app prototype’. For Social Bank, Mount Grace’s winning team at the Apps for Good Awards 2013, the team faced many setbacks and challenges before developing their winning app idea but these allowed them to develop the ‘resilience and belief in what they were doing’.

The team behind Social Bank faced many challenges before coming up with their winning app idea

This is something I have also seen personally in Apps for Good Fellows. Mohima, who created the Bengali to English translation app Transit in 2011, says that speaking to Apps for Good Experts throughout the course and working with other students helped improve how she worked in a team and her communication skills. Since developing her app she has gone on to represent Apps for Good at many events, most recently at Facebook’s International Women’s Day celebrations, and is also studying biomedical engineering at Imperial College London.

What to help your students develop soft skills in their computing classes? Visit our website and find out more about delivering Apps for Good in 2015/16 or email me at