Thursday, December 4, 2014

App, app and away..

Earlier this school year, I found out about the Verizon Innovative App Challenge, a competition open to middle- and high-school students where they innovate an app concept.  I really liked the word 'innovate' because the challenge made the point that the app concept that the students come up with need not necessarily be something entirely new, but something based on existing ideas...with added twists.  My students first had to identify a problem in their local community in one of the Verizon Foundation focus areas:  healthcare, sustainability or education.  They then had to research this problem and come up with an innovative app idea that could help to address this problem.  Not only so, they had to research other similar existing apps and clearly articulate how their app was distinct.  In writing the responses for the competition, they reflected on not only their research, but also on the form and function of their app.  They got to dream big!  Using Scratch, they created a prototype design of their app and created a 3 minute video to submit as part of the application.  So many skills were integrated into this one project - writing, research, reading, collaboration, communication, coding, math, technology, video production, script-writing, performance...the list goes on.
Here is their video submission presenting their innovative app concept.


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