Last term we started a brand new club at Penpol, App Design Club. In this club the children in Year 5 and Year 6 are invited to consider an idea or problem and how they might make an app to solve this. Following along with resources made by Apple, the children then learn how to write code using the Swift programming language as well as learn how to plan and design their own app.
In the first half term we had a live link-up with Mr Jenkins who teaches at Booth Wood Primary School in the Midlands. This connection allowed children from both clubs to have the chance to share their initial app ideas and to ask for feedback. This Focus Group session proved valuable as the children were able to adapt and refine their ideas as a result of this feedback.
Following this they then did market research and looked at similar apps to see what they could offer which would be a bit different.
When they had got a clear idea of their app it was time to move onto Phase 2 – the design.
Initially each child created a ‘wire-frame’ idea by sketching on the iPads. This showed roughly what the individual screens of their app would look like and how they would be connected to each other.
After this we were lucky enough to have a Skype conversation with Sabe who teaches in a city called Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. He led the club through a fun and exciting lesson on creating App Prototypes using the Keynote app. The children followed intently and by the end of the session they’d created a simple app to browse animal facts.
We’re now taking the ideas learnt from Sabe and using them to create working prototypes of our own apps. This process is going to take a little while as we are trying to pay close attention to how the app functions and how it looks.
Hopefully later in the year we’ll be able to share an update with everyone where the children can share their app designs with the world!
– Mr Woolcock