Build a sustainability app
This is one of a series of posts on the Sustainability Cross Curriculum Project. Other posts in the series include:
Sustainability Cross Curriculum Project (CCP) - Intro
Sustainability Cross Curriculum Project - Research Techniques
Sustainability Cross Curriculum Project - Evaluation
Sustainability Cross Curriculum Project - Use augmented reality
Sustainability Cross Curriculum Project - Create a multi-level game
Sustainability Cross Curriculum Project - Create a sustainability video
Sustainability Cross Curriculum Project - Build a sustainability app
Sustainability Cross Curriculum Project - Design a sustainability city or town
Sustainability Cross Curriculum Project - Overview
For a more student-friendly layout visit the Sustainability Cross Curriculum Project website.
Create an app to teach the community about sustainable practices they can implement in their home.
Review existing apps about sustainability
Do a quick online search to find available apps about sustainability or more specifically about your topic. If the apps are free you might like to download them and try them out. If the apps costs money you might choose to read reviews about the apps rather than pay for them. Are these apps enjoyable, informative or entertaining? What are the positive aspects of the apps? Are there some aspects which could be improved?
Brainstorm app ideas
As a group, write down all of your ideas for creating your own app. Try to be original and innovative. Include all of your ideas, even the ones that might seem silly. Brainstorming allows you to get a whole range of ideas down on paper before narrowing your ideas down to the best and most practical options.
Use the app scaffold to design your app
Once you have developed your idea you can start to plan how it will unfold on-screen. In the app scaffold, plan the screen displays of your app. Keep the screen simple, rather than including too much text or complex visuals. Remember that you will also need an app icon.
Write the content for your app
Once you have decided on the structure of your app it is time to develop the content (or text). How much detail do you want to include? What is the purpose of the app? Write your content, and then read it several times and edit it. Text in an online format should have short sentences. If you use complex words they should link to a definition on another screen.
Source or make your images
What images will you need for your app? You might be able to find some copyright free images from Wikicommons or similar sites, but you will still need to give attribution. This means that you will need to say somewhere in your app where you obtained the images from. You may choose to use a graphics software program to create your own images. Programs you could use include Photoshop and Fireworks.
Create an app map
Before you start to build your app it is a good ideas to map out how each of the screen link together. Create a diagram with boxes and arrows to show how the app will work.
Create your app
If you are short on time or you aren't very technologically proficient, you may choose to display your ideas for an app in PowerPoint or Captivate. If you would like an extra challenge, you may choose to actually build your app. You can use AppsBar, Google App Inventor, iBuildApp or Appsme.
You may find the following links helpful in helping you to build your app.
Apps in Education: App Building Tools for Teachers and Students
A great tool for students to create their own Android apps
App Maker for iPhone and Android
Coding in the Classroom: 10 tools students can use to design apps and video games
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Deputy Principal at a Sydney high school. Coordinating author of the Geoactive text book series.