Local students create smartphone app
MIAMI (WSVN) -- Local students created a smartphone app from scratch as part of an afterschool program.
Pupils at the Cushman School in Miami, ranging from fourth to eighth graders, built the app "Wish to List." "It's really fun because you come up with a lot of ideas, and you get to do anything you want," said student Emma Fraser. "You know what kids would like because you are a kid, and it's really fun."
The head of the Cushman School, Arvi Balseiro, took the kids beyond the textbook and gave them practical learning experience. "The program teaches them brainstorming, learning how to negotiate with each other, because each one of these students is bright and has very creative ideas," Balseiro said.
All their ideas were compiled and programmed over seven weeks in this afterschool class. The end result, "Wish to List," is now available at the Apple App Store. Through the app, kids create wish lists they can email to their parents.
"They look for items on the web, they take a picture of them, or they look at the 'top toys,' and then they add them to their lists," explained software entrepreneur Marty Schultz, who teamed up with the students to make this program happen. "And then the kids can say, 'I want to share this with my friends,' or 'I want to be able to comment on my friend's wish list, I want to be able to put stars there,' or 'I want to be able to change the color of the screen."
One of Fraser's favorite features of "Wish to List" is how easy it is to navigate. "I really like that you can go online and you can look through the 'top toys of the week,' and you can see what other people wanted the most," she said.
Sixth-grader Mariel Schultz pointed out how she played her part in ensuring "Wish to List" is a bug-free app. "I helped with all the bugs that were in it, and I came up with a little jingle for it," she said.
Students and faculty alike highlighted the way in which the creative process behind "Wish to List" made them appreciate the virtues of teamwork. "What began as an afterschool project, which developed the mindset of creativity and problem-solving and entrepreneurship, is now being implemented in our middle school," Balseiro revealed. She added that the program is well on its way to become a part of the school curriculum.
"It's a great learning opportunity for kids, and I get my target market, kids, actually designing the app they want," said Marty Schultz. "So they built the perfect app."
The Cushman School is now offering a one-semester class teaching programming basics.
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