Pupils using mobile tech

NetSupport's Al Kingsley shares strategies to help MAT schools save money with their technology

With school budgets being refreshed, senior leadership teams are looking at how to most effectively make their money work as hard as possible for their schools.

For multi-academy trusts (MATs), this is a challenge amplified. Finances now have to stretch further than ever, so what can schools do to make the best use of their IT?

Dunoon Apps for Good team presentation

Teacher Paul Gallanagh on how Apps for Good's IoT course inspired students to think creatively to solve problems

Our school canteen was strangely quiet during the period we worked on Apps for Good with our first year pupils at Dunoon Grammar School in Argyll, Scotland – with many of our young people choosing to spend their lunch times working together on their app ideas, supplementing the class time spent on this pioneering project.

Not many school-based learning experiences can stake the claim of pupils sacrificing social times, but it was evident Apps for Good sparked something positive in our junior pupils from the get go. (See also "'We're Okay!' Challenging stereotypes with an app" and "Tech boring? Not with Apps for Good".)

A4G student Katie

'Me and tech' — student Katie Griffiths on the opportunities offered by Apps for Good

After having researched reasons why young people may be bullied, and finding shocking statistics about LGBTQ teenagers, my friends and I were surprised to find that there were no apps available to help these teenagers. So, in 2014, we entered a national competition called Apps for Good.

After pitching our app idea to a panel of judges and industry experts, we were fortunate enough to win our category. So, six months later, we released I'm Okay in the Google Play Store before then going on to be a winner at the Tech4Good Awards in 2015. (See also "Tech boring? Now with Apps for Good" and "A legend in their own lunchtimes – Apps for Good".)

Sign Time team

Apps for Good is transforming opportunities for students — the data points to massive impact, writes Heather Picov 

‘‘Before Apps for Good we thought tech was boring!’’ agreed Anna, Michelle and Lily from The St Marylebone CE School, creators of the Sign Time app and winners of the People’s Choice Award at the Apps for Good Awards 2017.

Getting the opportunity to design a digital product that will make a difference to the everyday lives of others helped the team realise the diversity of skills involved in working in the technology sector. They also learnt that computing can have diverse applications and a positive societal impact, which research shows is especially important to encourage girls to pursue a career in technology. (See also "'We're Okay!' Challenging stereotypes with an app" and "A legend in their own lunchtimes – Apps for Good".)

Bryan Plumb

Digital entrepreneur Bryan Plumb is building an online 'satnav' for education marketing - with earlybird benefits

It’s supposed to be the age of the edtech startup, with innovative education companies working with schools to develop exciting new services that break new ground. But schools are inundated with information from all quarters, so how can companies communicate effectively with them?

EdAcademy is a new online service to help keep companies with worthy products out of schools’ trash folders. For a modest subscription they can join a community that offers lessons honed to the needs of those at the sharp edge of learning and teaching. It's a subscription service, and earlybirds who register an interest will get early access, a lifetime discount and invites to an exclusive launch party in London on November 1.