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Design thinking through creating mobile apps

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Duration: 2:51

Frankley School students design apps that work to solve problems in the community.

There's a few reasons why we introduced app development in the classroom. Perhaps the biggest one is we want our students to be working on authentic, rich tasks.
So they're going through and identifying a need, or a problem, or an issue that they want to actually sink their teeth into and help with. They follow a design process. And then they start making their digital solution, which in this case is an app.

Student 1: 
Our app is called “Fishforall”. We came up with the problem because people were taking undersized fish and they were taking too many every day. It was said that at 2050 there would be no more fish in the sea. We think fish are really important. So we came out with a hands free way for fishermen to ask what their fish is.

We talk about opening up your eyes and actually just looking around both the school and the community or even New Zealand.

Student 2: 
So we're making an app called “Learn for Life” and it’s a maths app and it's going to help people learn their maths online.

Student 3: 
Our game is called “Game Explorer”, it is a game that will find the perfect game for you. So if you have one of your favorite games you could search it and it will come up with related games.

Student 4: 
We're making our app called “Elderly Assist.”

Student 5: 
Our target market is mainly for people 50 and over. But anyone can really use it. Well it has a variety of helpful tools, like nice walking spots. It’s got the weather forecast, and medication and bill reminders.

Part of it is knowing about your competitors. So they go and research what other apps that might be similar to yours or solve the problem.

Student 6:
This is our business plan - basically it's just a plan for our app.

Student 1: 
We had to compare apps to five similar (six similar) other apps to make sure that it wasn't going to be exactly the same. Marketing and Branding, so how we are going to market it out.

Student 5: 
I’m mainly researching is our app original? Or are there any other apps like that?

They then start designing their app and thinking about how their app might actually help with their problem and what that might look like. They design their app, they test their app. They get feedback on their app. And then they launch the app to the App Store if they want to.

Student 1: 
To make an app your first step is to come up with a problem in the community. Come up with a name for your app. Then come up with all the different features for your app, and then you have to come up with how it's all going to work and come together.

Tags: Primary, Technology, Collaborative learning, Coding, Future focused learning, Project based learning, Makerspace, STEM/STEAM, Design, Computational thinking, App development