Monday 03 April 2017

Students create an official app for TeachTechPlay

International teaching conference, TeachTechPlay, started today and attendees will have easy access to all information they need via an app created by two Ivanhoe Grammar School students. Emilie McKenna, who is in Year 8, and Abbey Hines, who is in Year 10, created an official app for the conference having spent a month developing it in their own time based on a professional brief from conference organisers.

The project began when Abbey, who is keen on a career in IT, asked Director of ICT & eLearning Steve Brophy if she could volunteer on the school’s IT Helpdesk. She was joined by Emilie, who showed potential in a Year 7 app building unit.

The girls used the Yapp app builder after being briefed on the requirements, style guide, timeline and budget. Steve says they did an excellent job. “The app will provide users with general information about the conference such as parking, schedules, conference maps, wi-fi details, keynote speaker and presenter bios and a live Twitter feed,” he says.

“It is simple to use and this was required in the design brief. The app needed to be clean and intuitive and so the sophistication lies in the clarity of information.”

The free app went live today in conjunction with the opening of the TeachTechPlay conference. Anyone can download it by accessing the Yapp app and looking for TeachTechPlay.

Emilie and Abbey are excited about the prospect of their work being used by teachers and other educators.

“’Are we really going to do this?’ has been the catchcry for the whole project,” Steve says. “Young people are capable of amazing things, especially when we let them lead.”

Run by Steve with Melbourne teachers Eleni Kyritsis and Corey Aylen, TeachTechPlay is an independent professional teaching community that hosts online discussion, a monthly web show and an annual conference.

This year’s conference topics include coding, children’s entrepreneurship, 3D modelling, building empathy, using Minecraft in teaching, robotics and carbon-free classrooms.