Not an App for That? This Creative Kid Is Your Guy!
Editor’s note: Student Profiles
highlight kids who use technology
in creative and authentic ways.
Blake Copeland certainly won’t go down in history as the first ninth grader to be dissatisfied with school. But in Blake’s case,
it wasn’t lack of interest in his studies
or dull teachers that left him disillusioned. Instead, it was a dearth of
technology and expertise available at
his school. All he wanted to do was
develop an app for the iPhone, and
he needed a little help.
“I went to my high school to see if
they offered anything that could help
me create an iPhone app, but they had
no such program,” he recalled in a guest
post on the Innovative Educator blog. “I
was alone in trying to build an iPhone
app, so I went back home and studied.”
He turned to the Internet, where he
unearthed tech bloggers and experts
on Apple’s Development Forum who
were willing to help him. Eventually,
he worked out the kinks and devel-
oped an app called the DayFinder,
which finds trivia about specific
dates in history.
That was a year ago. Today Blake
is creating his third iPhone app, and
he’s no longer alone. With the help of
some impressed teachers at Highland
Park High School in Dallas, Texas,
Blake helped set up a student-led
“When some of the teachers heard
about my app, they were very quick to
listen to some of my ideas,” Blake said.
In fact, Kristen Toney, the school’s
technology director, encouraged Blake
to help create the experimental class.
“We brainstormed ideas
about what kind of tech-
nology class would be really cool,” he
That’s how the animation class was
“We are currently working as a
class to see if we can make an iPhone
game,” Blake said. “It’s fun.”
Blake has a lot of experience under
his belt already. His second iPhone
app, called Iron Sharpens Iron, coor-
dinates events and manages contacts
and calendars. He created it for his
school’s Christian service club of the
“Communication was terrible with-
in the club,” Blake said. “But everyone
had an iPhone, so I decided to make
an app for them.”
Now he’s working on an app that
balances chemistry compounds.
Blake got his start early. His elemen-
tary school had no student computers,
but his parents were supportive of his
interest in technology, so they bought
him a Mac and video-editing software
when he was 11. He started making
all sorts of home movies using a
green screen and special effects.
He filmed school trips to the state
capital, historical sites around Hous-
ton and San Antonio, and a week-
long adventure to Washington, D.C.
Iron Sharpens Iron: http://itunes.apple.com/us/
The Innovative Educator: http://theinnovative
Ultimate Media Technologies: www.ultimate
—Diana Fingal is senior editor of L&L.