Here we present you with the data that measures the impact of our programme in 2016/17. Gathered through self-reported survey data, we look at the impact we have on educators who partner with us to deliver our courses to young people and what changes the young people themselves experience as a result of the course. Collecting and then connecting this data is not an easy task – and a process we aim to improve every year – but one that is essential to understanding and strengthening our offering as a charity.
2016/17 year marks our seventh year working with schools. Since our launch, we’ve reached over 100,000 young people in the UK and now globally, mostly in Portugal, Poland and Arkansas, US, but also in 19 other markets. Over the seven years, we’ve seen a global trend of IT and digital skills being introduced through new curriculum and subject areas within schools. How these subjects are approached and the direction of education policy vary globally, but what remains clear is that reaching young people through education is a crucial time to support them to grow, learn and shape their future.
Our real-world problem-solving, technology and soft skills approach is needed now more than ever. The future young people are facing is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. Coupled with this is a growing awareness of both the positive and negative consequences of emerging technologies.
We want to help young people harness the opportunities of the digital age, to be active and aware citizens contributing to making the world a better place, and to thrive in whatever the future brings.
In the UK, we’ve received National Lottery funding to scale our programme and to reach those young people most in need. Globally, we are strengthening our existing markets, including EU funding for our partner in Portugal, CDI. Over the coming year, we’ll continue to share the challenges we face as we grow, as well as where we are having successes.
We talk about Apps for Good as a movement because we know that the impact we have relies on the network of talented and enthusiastic people and organisations who support us. Iris, the Apps for Good team and I all look forward to working with you on this next stage in our journey.
Heather Picov, UK Managing Director
Reflecting on the 2016/17 Academic Year
This year we reached 32,500 students globally. When collecting the data from our students one of the key indicators of impact are the skills they say they have improved on following the course. Combining the technical side of product development with crucial soft skills such as creativity, teamwork and problem solving is a major strength of the course. This makes the course more accessible to those who may not have thought they had an interest in tech.
Over the past 3 years we’ve seen students report improvements in both their soft and technical skills, with confidence being a stand out skill students feel they have developed.
When asked about other skills, the following proportion of students reported an improvement:
What are the stand out stats from this year?
One of the key missions for Apps for Good is to encourage more girls to take an interest in technology and consider a tech career in the future. This year we have seen an increase in the percentage of girls who are now more interested in working in a technical job, getting closer to closing the gap with boys. Girls have reported that one of the reasons the course interests them is because it helps them hone a variety of skills important to working in the tech industry.
This year our awards were dominated by female groups; the prestigious People’s Choice Award being taken by the girls from St Marylebone School with Sign Time their sign language teaching app.
We continue to reach those students most in need; the diversity of schools and regions where the course is delivered is a key focus for our work.
On students in her school having access to Apps for Good, Emma Darcy, Director Of Technology For Learning at The Chiltern Learning Trust, Denbigh High School said: “Luton, as you know, sometimes receives negative (and very undeserved) coverage in the press and it has been so wonderful to have an inspirational and aspirational programme that proves to all of our pupils, regardless of age or ability, that they can achieve whatever they want to, as long as they believe it.”
The feedback from educators about the content of the course and how it impacts their approach to teaching is also very encouraging. By supporting educators to not only improve their subject skills and knowledge, but also their confidence and teaching methods, we can reach more young people.
This year we piloted a new Internet of Things course. Ten schools across the UK trialled the content and following the positive feedback we rolling out the content globally. Paul, computer science teacher at Dunoon Grammar School, was astounded with how engaged his students were with the new course: “Not many school based learning experiences can stake the claim of pupils sacrificing social times, but it was evident Apps for Good sparked something positive in our junior pupils from the get go.”
Abbi, Olivia, Rory and Caleb were the winners of the IoT category at this year’s awards and gave the following feedback about their hard work paying off: “We are delighted to have taken part in this IoT course – it has helped us to build confidence as well as many other skills. It feels amazing to be the the winners of this award.”
We aim to get more schools involved with this emerging tech content in the coming academic year which we look forward to students showcasing at next year’s annual awards.