SpontaneousTech, is a group of 14 students who attend Metropolitan Business Academy. The Students are all rising juniors and seniors. We are in a class called Research, Design and Development (RD2). The purpose of the course is to construct an app and then compete at the end of the year at the Connecticut Innovations Expo. At this competition you compete against all the other RD2 classes and the apps they developed.
RD2 classes were only required, by the competition, to construct their app using DAPP. DAPP is an app used to create prototypes, producing screen shots of theoretical apps. SpontaneousTech decided that our vision for Back off Bully (BOB) was far too extensive to be created on DAPP. Therefore, we decided to learn HTML, CSS and PHP in order to create a fully functioning app.
Many students in RD2 are also members of our school's Student Council. the council wanted to make all students feel comfortable in school by attacking the issue of bullying. They developed an interactive teaching skit where they display acts of bullying. Questions are then posed to the audience, getting them to think deeply about the issues and emotions within the skit. then audience members are asked to enter the scene in attempt to stop the bullying.
With this already being an initiative within the school, the Research Design and Development class thought it would be perfect to reinforce Student Council's efforts with an accompanying app about bullying.
Bullying is a national problem. We hear horror stories in the news on a daily basis. The problem is at it's worst in schools.
- 35% of students in MBA said, "Yes, they've been bullied"
- 67% of students in MBA know someone who has been bullied
- One out of every four students in Connecticut are bullied
The statistics need to change. Bullying is a real problem, one that many speak about. However, no one is coming up with a real solution. Back Off Bully, is a real solution.
After observing all the problems surrounding bullying, we chose to develop Back Off Bully, or BOB for short. We created a web app writtern in HTML5 using jQuery Mobile. You can view the app from any web enabled device, whether it be Apple, Android, iPod, iPad, cell phone or computer. If you have internet access you can make a report to BOB simply by going to BackOffBullyApp.com. Specifically, this app give students the ability to anonymousely report bullying within our school. We all know that school is the breeding ground for the terror that is bullying. Our app has three main components:
The Report Feature
Through the report feature, you encounter a form that a bystander or victim is to complete. Upon submission, the school administrators recieve the information in a database allowing them to analyze and view the bullying happening specifically within their school. With this information they can then properly respond to the needs of the building. For example, if multiple submissions record bullying to be occuring in the stairwell during A2, administration would then know they need to put some bodies in that location. They need to create a larger presence in order to prevent the bullying from taking place.
The Get Help Feature
Finding help allows you to to locate places that will support you if you are being bullied. We believe that students who have outside stressors, such as bullying, cannot perform as well in school. Which makes sense! School is already a HUGE stress! You all remember...grades, college, teachers, and friends. Add in, rude tweets being sent to you on a daily basis and you're reaching the tipping point. Do you think students can adequeately learn if they're being tormented on a daily basis about their sexuality, fashion sense, or whatever else there is to make fun of? This is why we created a "Find Help" section in our app. We want students to find the proper resources if they begin to reach that tipping point.
At Metro, the first support would be our in-school clinicians, Ms Kim, Mr Nick and Ms Jodi, just to name a few. You can even schedule an appointment through Back Off Bullym to talk to one of these trained professionals! Not only do we refernce the immense school supports at Metro, but the app links students to outside locations for help. For example, we give them contact information and directions for places like DCF of Connecticut and the Boys & Girls Club residential program.
The Educate Feature
And lastly, educating the community about bullying. It is our belief that a more educated society, that is fully aware of the implications and long lasting effects of bullying, will be less likely to partake in the bullying themselves. Therein lies the motivation behind the education section of Back Off Bully. As of now, this portionof the app displays much information which we don't think will be very appealing to students. In the future, we hope to deliver this same information in a creative medium. For example, through interesting videos or, our favorite idea, a comic series that follows BOB, a super-hero, who teaches about bullying through his escapades.
Bullying is an act that is extremely hard to catch. It can range from a passing glare in the hallway to a forceful shove into the lockers. It is rare that teachers are able to catch this abuse. However Back off Bully is doing just that, bringing the bullying to the teachers attention.
We achieve this by making reporters out of all the 400 students in Metropolitan Business Academy. We are bringing together all those who are now bullies, the bystanders. In the 21st century, Technology is continually at our fingertips making it the best weapon to rise up against the bully. Together we can win this battle, using technology to unite us, as up standers not bystanders.
On May 19th, our class reached the day we had been working towards all year. It was the Innovations Expo. At this competition we not only compete for the best app, but we go through all the steps of creating and marketing a successful product. This included, a booth for people to visit, our social media and websites, marketing materials and "swag" or give a ways, a presentation, a written Design Document, and unannounced conversations with judges. All in addition to the app we created. The day was full of excitement and adrenaline! After all our hard work, the awards came. We won three of the five awards for RD2 classes.
- Outstanding Marketing and Social Media
- Outstanding Mobile App Design
- Outstanding RD2 Project
In addition, we won the largest award at the competition, where we were competing against all the team, not only RD2 classes. It is awarded to the project that best exemplifies the years overarching theme for the entire competition.
- Outstanding Interpretation of the Theme of Adaptability
The competition was not only a great experience for the team, but we talked to many people in the technology and business field making great connections. Even the students in attendance at the Expo responded well to the project. Days after the competition, we saw students from other schools in New Haven wearing BOB pins! Then we got students contacting us saying they wanted Back Off Bully implemented at their school. The New Haven Public School district even showed interest in making our app a district wide initiative. The response was incredible! All these interactions made us even more determined to continue our progress.
The week after the competition, our amazing teacher, Mr Scott asked us all a question. He asked, "Do you guys want to continue working on BOB? Or do you want to let is fizzle out?" FIZZLE OUT?!?! We all scoffed, it was out of the question. Three was no way we were going to let this project go. We all had too many ideas and the problem of billying is too severe for us to even consider giving up.
This is where you come in Meritbooster! We want to bring BOB to the next level. We are asking for $3,500 to improve the app and all other aspects of our project. We can affect change within our schools with your help. We have so many ideas, that we'd love to bring to life. In the coming months...
- We plan to hire consultants to assist in further app development.
- We are going to create a solid start up company, MetBiz, from which Back Off Bully will originate.
- We will continue to improve our marketing.
- We will begin expanding our app, piloting outside of Metro.
- We will introduce the app at Freshmen Orientation, setting a standard at our school as students arrive.
- We will develop the interactive teaching permformance in order to be rolled out with the App when entering other schools.
So join us as we work with BOB to end bullying!
Read our articles in
New Haven Independent
New Haven Register
View our videos on
Email us: [email protected]
Visit us: spontaneoustech.com
Follow us: @SpontaneousTech
Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/spontaneoustech
$5 or More Become a Friend of B.O.B, we'll put your name on our website!
$10 or More Become a Friend of B.O.B + we'll send you buttons to support the anti-bullying campaign!
$25 or More Become a Friend of B.O.B, we'll send you some of our buttons + you'll recieve a B.O.B magnet!
$50 or More Become a Friend of B.O.B, we'll send you some of our buttons, you'll recieve a B.O.B magnet + one of our coveted B.O.B t-shirts!
$100 or More Become a Friend of B.O.B, we'll send you some of our buttons, you'll recieve a B.O.B magnet, one of our coveted B.O.B t-shirts + an invite to our Launch Party in early December!
$500 or More Become a Friend of B.O.B, we'll send you some of our buttons, you'll recieve a B.O.B magnet, one of our coveted B.O.B t-shirts, an invite to our Launch Party in early December + the B.O.B creators will speak at you school or event. For CT, NY, MA, or RI in person, and any where else, virtually!
$1000 or More Become a Friend of B.O.B, we'll send you some of our buttons, you'll recieve a B.O.B magnet, one of our coveted B.O.B t-shirts, an invite to our Launch Party in early December, the B.O.B creators will speak at you school or event + bring B.O.B to your hometown, for the 2013-2014 school year!