by Ovi Barcelo
Expert Educator Columnist, Spain
One of the best things I have gotten from apps is the chance to meet some of their developers.
Apps now are everywhere, even in the classroom, and we can say so because this new ecosystem has socialized the development of software.
Now, (almost) everybody can be an app developer and even achieve great success in the digital world.
The coding part is not very difficult and the tools provided by the big companies are user-friendly, in most cases.
On this point, I want to highlight Microsoft’s Project Siena (pictured above). This is remarkable in that it is an app to create apps. This simple blank canvas is the typical drag-and-drop environment. With everyday updates, Project Siena allows all kind of users to develop their own apps.
I have tried it with kids as young as 9 years old and we have got pretty effective results.
Give it a try! You can find many tutorials in the Web and you can start programming your own app in a few minutes.
Now, let’s move on to chronicle some of the people who’ve successfully taken it upon themselves to create some incredible apps that are transforming education. Today, when we use our phone or our own device, we can find thousands of apps ready to be installed, from translators to image editors, from flashlights to all kinds of sophisticated ways to get in touch with people around you.
But have you ever thought about just who are the faces behind these apps?
Since we founded Innteach, we have met a lot of different people very engaged with education who invest their money, their time, their knowledge… most of the time for free, to make classrooms a better place to learn.
Let me tell you about some of them with very different backgrounds (all pictured above).
João Carlos Ramalheiro is a Portuguese music teacher who has been involved with the Microsoft education program for many years. He was even a Microsoft Expert Educator in 2013.
João Carlos used his knowledge on computers to develop an amazing app to use in his music lessons with his students. Oratio’s Flute Master is an incredible adventure where you can play your own flute and interact with the app to solve mysteries while learning how to play at the same time.
A group of Spanish musicians decided one day to record themselves playing their instruments and share their art with everybody.
The have developed one of the first and the best music apps I have ever seen– Practice your Music,” where you can play with a real orchestra with the many pieces they have uploaded. You can mute the instrument that you want and even read the tablatures while you are playing.
But if we want to talk about developers who have contributed to the education world we have to talk about Corinth.
Since the very first moment I saw the app at the Microsoft Global Forum, when Anthony Salcito was presenting the Surface device with one of their apps, I fell in love with this company.
These guys from Prague, they’ve used augmented reality like no one has before.
And it is not only about developing apps; it is about how they work to spread the voice of the educational change.
You just have to Bing “Ondrej Homola,” their CEO, and you can learn about everything he’s done in the educational app sphere.
So, next time you download an app, take one minute or two to think about these incredible people behind it. All their vision and effort is stored in those lines of code—this is how they are contributing, without being personally in the classrooms, to improve the skills of our students.
A big round of applause for them!