Press release: National Lottery boost for young digital leaders changing communities

A national charity supporting young people to learn digital skills to solve problems in their local communities has received £1.2 million of National Lottery funding.

The grant has been awarded by the Big Lottery Fund and will give 200,000 young people across the UK access to a learning programme created by Apps for Good.

This programme takes place in schools, teaching students to build, market and launch digital products and tools to solve problems that matter to them. Continue reading

Our Events: What’s coming next

When we held our first event in 2011, we were working from a hunch that a competition would motivate our students and teachers, which has turned out to be true. We’ve learned, however, that the real magic of our events lies in bringing together our students, teachers, volunteers and corporate partners to celebrate what has been achieved, share ideas and encourage our young people to do more – and the connections that grow from there. Continue reading

Internet of Things for Good – New course for the new school year

This year, we piloted an Internet of Things (IoT) course powered by Samsung, which is now open to all Apps for Good schools. Here Learning Content Manager, Donna Hay, talks about the new course and some key information teachers need to know.

Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the connection of everyday objects to the internet (and to one another) with the goal of smarter, more efficient experiences. These ‘smart’ devices can be anything from fridges and washing machines to wearables, medical equipment and jet engines. The Apps for Good IoT course explores the benefits and potential issues surrounding IoT and gives an introduction to the technology underpinning these devices. Students work in teams to design and prototype an IoT project which solves a real-life problem, with an emphasis on building technical physical computing skills and the design of the devices to develop a great user experience.

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Q&A with our Head of Product, Ruairi Doyle

So what brought you to Apps for Good?

Just over a year ago, I had completed an intensive coaching course at Barefoot and decided there were a number of things I needed to assess and change in both personal and professional life.  After spending 6 years at full tilt in senior leadership roles in e-commerce and advertising, I decided I wanted to take a look at different sectors, experience new things and get back a little closer to technology and product where I originally cut my teeth.  A friend tipped me off about Escape the City, where I found a contract role for Apps for Good.  From the very moment I met Amy and Rob on the first round interview panel, I knew these were the people, organisation and values that it made sense to join.

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New adventures

A personal message from Debbie Forster, Apps for Good co-CEO, on the next chapter for AFG UK and her future steps with AFG and beyond.

About six weeks ago, I got a bit of a shock on Whatsapp.  My 19 year old daughter, Jess, had been travelling by herself around Europe for a few weeks and had set up a message group titled, “Do Not Worry Parents.”  On it, she would send us updates of where she was and the highlights and lowlights of her travels.

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Taking Apps for Good to the next level (aka Global Domination for Good)

Many of you will have shared in our celebrations last year of 5 years of Apps for Good. When we first launched, we were sometimes asked what our ultimate goal was. Iris would say immediately, “Global domination.” I would laugh nervously and add, “For good, of course.”  Back then, with only 50 students at one London school, it seemed a wildly ambitious dream, but one we both believed in, knowing that the first step was to get things working in the UK.

Now five years later, we are not only established in the UK, but also growing in Portugal, Spain, Poland and most recently, the US.  I’ve been to New York, Minnesota, Maine and Arkansas and we now have 40 schools across the US, reaching around 1000 students this year.

As I bounce back and forth across the Atlantic, and Iris around Europe, we’ve realised we need someone to focus on leading our efforts in the UK, as our ambition remains equally great here. So, we’re recruiting a new UK Managing Director who can build on our strong foundation, leading the UK forward on its next phase of growth and innovating on our successful programme.  The new MD, working with the enthusiastic UK Apps for Good team, will have the chance to help us implement our new Internet of Things course, expand on our Fellowship Programme for former Apps for Good students and reach even more young people across the whole of the UK. They will be supported by Iris and I and our experienced Global Team. I will continue to oversee Apps for Good’s efforts both in the US and UK, while Iris guides our work in Portugal, Spain, Poland and our emerging partnerships around the world.
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#SiliconWick: Growing the next generation of Scottish Entrepreneurs with Digital Xtra

If you’ve known us for a while, you’ll definitely have heard of Wick, a town in the Scottish Highlands where Apps for Good-famous teacher Chris Aitken from Wick High School has had more teams win our UK national awards than any other school or learning centre (you can see some of the students’ apps here and here). We think the future of tech isn’t in London or San Francisco, but in Wick – and places like it all over Scotland.

That’s why we’re delighted to announce that we’ve received a grant from Digital Xtra, funded by the Scottish Government Digital Skills Business Excellence Partnership, to help us grow our after-school activities in Scotland.

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