How it all started…

Back in October, I was watching my daughter create her birthday wishlist.  Like most preteens, she spent a lot of time ordering and reordering her wishlist, adding new items, removing items she no longer wanted, rejecting items that she knew her parents would never approve.

Watching her, I thought “there should be an app for that”.

I’ve built several apps on the iPhone/iPad platform, and several on Android, so I understood the complexity in building that app.  In addition my engineering team and I built several parental control products for Windows PC (McGruff SafeGuard), and the Free McGruff SafeGuard Child Safe browser, so we knew how to create an app that would kid friendly.

At first I thought we could build the app, and have a focus group of my daughter’s friend’s help with the design.  After speaking with the Head of the Cushman School in Miami, FL where she attends, we determined that this would be a great learning opportunity for students from 4th to 8th grade to actually design the app.

This blog will first recall the events of how we built the app (WishToList) over two months, and how we teach students that apps are more than just games.  We’ve found that students can learn to design software, and develop analytical and creative skills that extend beyond the computer screen.

This blog describes how 5th-8th grade students helped build the free iPhone/iPad/iPod app WishToList; info at

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