Transport for London and Apps for Good announce partnership helping young Londoners develop technology skills

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My good friend Jenny Hodge, previously PR Manager for Leica in the UK is representing Switch Communications on behalf of Apps for Good and it’s a fabulous resource. Apps for Good is an open-source technology education programme aimed at providing young people with creative, business and technical skills, particularly in low income and under-represented communities. Participants in the new scheme will work together in teams over several months to design exciting new apps for mobile phones and social media platforms such as Facebook, which could work to find ways of tackling issues in their communities utilising TfL’s publicly available open data.

Starting immediately, TfL and Apps for Good will aim to collaborate in four areas:

  1. TfL will provide placements and mentoring opportunities for London-based students and alumni of Apps for Good;
  2. TfL staff will join the Apps for Good Expert Community as volunteers providing feedback to young Londoners as they participate in the Apps for Good programme;
  3. TfL will collaborate with Apps for Good to develop case studies on the correct use of open data; and
  4. TfL and Apps for Good will explore specific app projects based on the needs of both organisations

The link between the two organisations became clear last year when as part of an Apps for Good pilot project 14 year-old students Aaran, Hakrishan, Jasvinder and Ivneet from Featherstone High School in Southall, West London, created an innovative app named ‘Oyster on the Go’, which offered potential users the opportunity to keep track of their Oyster balance on the move.

Kit Malthouse, Deputy Mayor for Business and Enterprise, said: “London‘s economic future depends on the innovation, ingenuity and skills of Londoners. We fully support this partnership as a great example of implementing the Mayor’s vision to raise aspirations and digital skill levels amongst young people from all backgrounds.”

Transport for London (TfL) Marketing Director, Chris Macleod, commented: “We are delighted to be partnering with Apps for Good. TfL is keen to explore innovative use of its open data for the benefit of all Londoners, and to help more young Londoners, especially from disadvantaged backgrounds, to develop world class digital skills. The partnership with Apps for Good will ensure young Londoners fully understand the implications of creating third party apps and will give young people a first-hand understanding of the technology that keeps Londoners moving.”

Apps for Good CEO, Iris Lapinski, commented, “The ultimate goal of Apps for Good is to change radically the way technology education is taught in schools. We are building the confidence of the students taking part and developing their creative, business and digital skills for the future. This will ensure that young people are not only users and recipients of technology, but creators and makers.

“The partnership with TfL will help us to ensure that students create apps that are not only original and creative, but also fully take into account data protection and privacy issues. Integrating these lessons learnt into our courses will significantly improve our work, and the direct feedback and placement opportunities for our students and alumni will create amazing opportunities for them.”

TfL and Apps for Good aim to help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds develop their knowledge and skills; to increase opportunities for, and promote the aspirations of, children and young people in London; and to engage young Londoners so that they feel more involved in the city.

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