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Students Across Continents to Collaborate to Develop Mobile Apps for Social Good

Your Name and Title: Dr. Christelle Scharff, Associate Professor of Computer Science, US Fulbright Scholar

School, Library, or Organization Name: Pace University, New York, USA

Co-Presenter Name(s):

Vidya Kulkarni (

Department of Computer Science, University of Delhi, India

Serene Su (

Independent, New York, NY, USA

Chun Hei Cheung ( and Soda Niang (

SenMobile, Thiès, Senegal

Country from Which You Will Present: Senegal

Language in Which You Will Present: English

Target Audience (such as primary school teachers, high school administrators, students, etc.):Primary school teachers, students, university professors, mobile apps enthusiasts, developpers

Short Session Description (one line): Students from the US, India and Senegal collaborate to design  and pilot mobile solutions for primary school pupils in Senegal.

Full Session Description (one paragraph minimum):

Pace University in the US has been leading two projects to prepare computer science students to the local and global IT labor market. The annual global software development (GSD) project unites students from different countries to develop software together. Recently the focus has been on developing mobile apps instead of web apps. MobileSenegal is an initiative for capacity building in mobile app development that started in Senegal in 2008. Senegalese developers integrated the GSD project in 2009. Developing deployable software has been one of the challenges of the GSD project. In this presentation, we will describe the 2009 GSD project that united developers in the US, Senegal and India in the development of a mobile app for first grade pupils in Senegal. The goal was to develop the app and pilot it in a school in Senegal to get feedback and improve it. The pilot eventually took place in 2012 and the results show that, while pupils and teachers were enthusiastic, the mobile app did not respond to the needs of first grade pupils. Developers made assumptions that caused the app to be challenging for children. We will describe the app, our model to integrate the app in primary schools, and our evaluation plan. The project has been taken further, and the lessons learned have permitted to develop several apps that are more appropriate for Senegalese primary school pupils and for the Senegalese curriculum.

Websites / URLs Associated with Your Session: and

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Christelle -

Your work sounds fascinating and I'm looking forward to attending both your presentations. Before I accept these, I need you to go to OPTIONS in the upper right hand corner here and edit the discussion, adding the required tags as outlined here: GEC Call for Proposals

If you are going to apply for our special technology-driven innovation strand, be aware that it has some additional requirements: We created this strand for ed tech start ups who couldn't afford sponsorship (for profits can't present unless they are sponsor minimally), but I think your work might fit there as well. 

Let me know when you've got the tags added at the very least and I'll put you in the the approved session category!


Lucy Gray



I changed the tags. I hope that it is fine.

Thanks also for the suggestion to submit in the startup section.




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