For the past two or three years I have been making my own apps for several activities and programs with which I am involved. Please don’t roll your eyes and move on to another post because I am not a programmer and I am going to share with you how easy it was.
I do not program the apps. In fact, calling them apps is a bit of a misnomer. I take advantage of an incredible application and service called Yapp. Yapp was designed to democratize app creation. It is a web-based service that lets anyone create an app. The apps that you create don’t really exist on their own, however. They reside within the Yapp app on your phone and it doesn’t matter which brand of smartphone you carry, Yapp works with them all. Take a look at these screenshots from my iPhone:
As you can see, I currently have nine apps in my Yapp app. These include a youth gymnastics team, the upcoming EdCamp that I am on the planning team for, kids soccer, Cub Scouts, and a school volleyball team, In the lower left is the app for an EdCamp that I was only an attendee but it was where I first learned about Yapp. You’ll also see some examples of the types of pages Yapps can include.
Yapp apps are so easy to create I think every teacher should have one for their classroom. Yapp has recently changed their pricing structure so if you head over to http://www.yapp.us
you’ll likely get a bit of sticker shock when you check out the pricing. Remember, they are a business and are looking for users that are companies planning large events. Because I signed up for Yapp so long ago, I have been grandfathered in and I continue to receive access to Yapp Basic. Underneath those big pricing plans is a button to click to contact them for special limited plans for schools and educators.
Following an email I sent inquiring about this, Maria Seidman, the Yapp CEO and Co-founder, contacted me and we spoke for about an hour about how I was using Yapp and how I felt there should be limited plans that include basic features for free for educators and non profits. A few days later I emailed Ms. Seidman a few additional notes about how I felt basic apps could be provide free with small subscription charges for additional, premium features. The Yapp team is small and I haven’t heard back, but I am hopeful that at least some of these basic features remain available and free for teachers and community organizations. Send them a request. Request access to Yapp Basic (you won’t find it listed, but it is what my account has been migrated to). Hopefully Ms. Seidman understands that for small Yapps, like a single classroom or a youth soccer team, there isn’t $200-$300 available for an app. But allowing use of the basic features for free will make us remember Yapp when we finds ourself on a State Conference Planning Team. The conference will pay for the additional features. And don’t forget the soccer mom or Boy Scout dad that is introduced to Yapp through the coach or volunteer leader use of it for the group. I’m sure that there are many influential leaders that could turn to Yapp because they learned about it in this way.
Make a request for Yapp Basic and let me know what you hear from them. It’s a great product and the easiest way to create a classroom app.