In Europe there is not a poverty of technical skills; there is a poverty of ambition.
The Centre for Digital Inclusion Europe, which is the new extension of a successful Brazilian charity, is now working in the UK to help people turn their technical know-how into a force for good. Dan Morris, from the CDI Europe team working on Apps for Good, ran a ‘Mobile Apps’ session at last week’s Connected Generation unconference.
AppsforGood is an exciting initiative that has just been tested out in two schools in London. Over several months a group of 10-20 teenagers are brought together to design an app. They are guided through a rigorous design process that not only hones their digital awareness, but also teaches them loads about team work, public speaking and problem-solving…
The whole idea is that it is up to the young people to solve issues that arise themselves.
There are five stages to the design process: define the problem, market research, solution design, product design and product building. A lot of work is done before they get near the technical stuff.
The two pilot projects in London were very successful.
In Lambeth, the group came up with the idea of a Stop and Search app to provide information about people’s rights. Only 1% of stops result in arrests at the moment and so the issue is one of frustration for youth in that area,
The other group, designed an alarm clock that plays a pre-recorded message upon your second ‘snooze’. ’Snooze’ a third time and a text will be pinged to your ‘buzz buddy’ informing them that they should be prepared for a no-show.
They are now looking for schools who might be interested in hosting the course. They work with teachers, train them up and support them as they deliver the course.