An Idea Looking for a Good Home

February 9, 2013

User interface design
Emerging technology

About this time two years ago, while thinking about the growing void of quality mobile apps for education, an idea for a way to help fix that was born:  EdAppCamp. The idea was simple, easy to implement and would spark interest in a problem that needed attention. And the perfect domain name was registered: (we thought it was going to be big, right?). Unfortunately, with only 24 hours in a day competing with other priorities, the idea slowly fell by the wayside… until today. 

Before the domains expire and get auto-registered from some remote corner in cyberspace, we’d like to transfer them (for free!) to an organization ready to carry the idea forward: EdAppCamp Concept.

Here’s the essence of the EdAppCamp idea (Of course, you’re free to adapt and grow the concept beyond this too):

First, find a venue suitable for a weekend marathon of rapid prototyping (comfy ergonomic chairs, preferably near or as part of a hotel to facilitate working through the night) and invite:

  1. Tech-savvy educators with concrete ideas for mobile apps they desperately need for classroom instruction.  (Up to 15 perhaps.)
  2. Mobile app engineers and UX/UI designers interested in building apps for education.
    (At least five developers and five designers, preferably more.)

Then, supply them with ample starting resources (notepads, coffee, sharpies, protein bars, etc.) for exploring and mapping ideas into concrete app designs.  Offer sidebar presentation sessions like “understanding the education environment” for developers/designers and “what makes a great app” for educators.   

Leave them to self-organize into work groups to explore the ideas and bring some into focus and definition and be ready to decide on the strongest concepts by late afternoon.  Then let the developers take the drivers seat to bring the ideas to life (and educators begin working on content to include/embed in the apps).

The next day, while some might be finishing up their magical creation, let everyone peer review and make suggestions and ideas for the prototypes.  Educators can then try out the working prototypes with their peers to practice/model how it would be used in the classroom. From there, the ad-hoc groups can decide if they want to pursue creating the idea into a commercial or free app. 

In the end, everyone benefits from participating: educators learn more about the app definition/development process, and engineers/designers learn more about the constraints, challenges and opportunities for building apps for education.

Make your request today

If this sounds like something you’re interested in doing, (or are doing and just want a better domain name for it), please contact us!  We’ll accept requests until 5:00pm PST, Friday, February 22, 2013 and choose the submission most likely to succeed. 

Even though the problem remains two years later, it's finally getting the attention it deserves. We think more efforts like EdAppCamp are needed. Be the change and make this idea happen!