Back To School: Learning To “App”

Screen-Shot-2014-07-08-at-15.05.51.pngChances are, most of us raising digital natives have no idea what all this technology stuff looks like “under the bonnet”. Facebook and Google occasionally ask us to update our settings, profiles or other questions – but beyond the page that asks us to verify (again?!) who we are and how we use the platform, the technology is pretty patchy for us.


Whilst we are in the business of raising young folk this causes us a few problems. As our children can download, register, update, message and consume vast amounts of technology in the time it takes us oldies to brew a cuppa.


If your child is a digital native immersed in their games, messages and photos, going back to school and into the classroom can feel like a retrograde step. School, in an ideal world, is the environment for our children to learn and create.


However, if we are raising a generation of digital natives how do we engage our children in learning in this environment?


In the best schools, teachers and classmates make stuff happen together: with collaboration, motivation and using different tools for learning. Sounds like great training for the adult world of work, doesn’t it? Moreover, you could learn something from them along the way. Accessing and following “how to” guides for App creation could increase your knowledge.


With over 3 million new jobs to be created in the app economy in the next 5 years, a likely consequence of this is that our children will be consumers or creators of this economy. Digitally savvy or not – the best help we can give them in school is to encourage them to engage with the technology.


Founders4Schools (F4S) has launched the Appathon, as part of their CREATE! Campaign, precisely to do that. Schoolchildren of all ages – from primary to secondary – are being encouraged to create their own Apps, which will be developed in an Appathon as part of Silicon Valley Comes To The UK (SVC2UK).


The Appathon encourages schools to get children together in diverse age groups, with all of their fun, quirky or downright useful app ideas, and enabling them to design that app. Engaging and creating apps with impact opens up the possibility – that going back to school isn’t so bad, after all.


The possibilities are endless. If your child has a particular passion for games you can encourage them to design their own. Or tap into that knowledge and enjoyment of playing a game into designing a classroom aid that uses gaming. For example, learning times tables can unlock free games to play.


Encouraging your child to create and not just to consume is a fabulous education. Encourage your school and your child to take part in the Appathon and who knows where it could lead?



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