Visiting Knox Academy
When Mr Redford from Knox Academy emailed me a few weeks ago asking if anyone could come speak to the Young Enterprise group about mobile app development, we jumped at the opportunity to get away from our desks. None of us had been to Haddington before, and we thought it would be a good chance to practice talking to people about what we are doing (something you can forget how to do if you stare at screens all day) and hopefully help the students out a bit.
It was nerve-wracking for some of us going back to school after all these years as ‘adults’. School itself is quite similar to how it was back in the days, with some striking differences. For example, the school was massive and the bell sounded like an siren for an air-raid. Despite these differences, it was a very friendly and welcoming environment.
Mr Redford introduced us to the group and they told us about their ideas. The group of very ambitious students had a great idea for an app, and although none of them had any experience in computing, they were keen to get started.
The group had a clear idea about what they wanted their app to do. They had spent hours putting together posters of how they wanted it to work. This was a brilliant first step, as they had essentially, without knowing it, story-boarded their idea, and thought out some use-cases for the app.
The idea behind their app is basically a price comparison tool. They explained that if Mrs Smith is in the supermarket and needs to buy some oranges, she can either buy them individually, or she can buy a bag of them. Without getting her calculator out, she has no idea which is better value, and can easily get herself in a right state trying to work out the sums. Using this app, she could input the amounts and prices of the oranges, and as if by magic, this app will let you know which is the cheapest. Mrs Smith is no longer in the dark and she can save a few pennies to spend on chocolate instead.
Next steps for the group
Now that the group have their idea, they need to start planning and designing their app. With a deadline of the christmas fair in December, there is a lot to be done in a short period of time. There are certain stages of development that they should follow, and there are techniques they can use to help them keep track of progress. The following is our basic outline of how to turn a basic idea or concept into a complete product:
Considering that none of the group have any experience in computing, they can either see this as a development learning exercise, and teach themselves how to use html and css, or they need to find someone to develop the app for them. Whether someone develops it for them or not, this wont be an easy process for them. This will be a great opportunity for them to manage people and see their idea through to a completion. Whats more, they should find this Young Enterprise project a lot more rewarding than selling tea cups or calendars at christmas time.
Good luck guys!