About AppTech

Faculty-in-charge: Prof. Kenji Irie 
Course Facilitators: Arvin Valderrama, Sayaka Suzuki
External Organizers: Learning Initiative Inc.

This subject (AppTech) is a course conducted at University of Tsukuba under the School of Integrative and Global Majors (SIGMA). It aims to give its student a holistic experience of developing a simple and low-cost technology for their target community. The activities include preliminary research, establishing connection with target community, field research, prototype development, and implementation.

Introduction to Appropriate Technology (1-credit)

These classes focus on group work dynamics and developing preliminary and field research skills. Some of the topics covered in this subject are:

  1. Appropriate technology for developing countries
  2. The concept of Quality of Life (QoL)
  3. Project notebook and record keeping
  4. Conducting of preliminary research
  5. Communicating with target community
  6. Persona-Empathy analysis
  7. Iceberg Model and Systems Thinking (mind mapping)
  8. Preparing a blueprint and the prototyping process

Course contents:
[Week 1]
[Week 2]
[Week 3]

Appropriate Technology (5-credits)

These classes focus on finding issues related to QoL and designing a possible and appropriate solution. Some of the topics covered in this subject are:

  1. Field research and consolidation (identifying your target users)
  2. Prototype development and testing
  3. Financial Management
  4. Developing a possible market (business model generation)

Course contents:
[Week 4]     
[Week 5]     
[Week 6]     
[Week 7]     
[Week 8]     
[Week 9]     
[Week 10]
[Week 11]

Advanced Appropriate Technology (10-credits)

These classes focus on product development and its deployment to target community. This subject serves as the application of everything that was learned in the course. Some of the topics covered in this subject are:

  1. Project management
  2. Product development
  3. Entrepreneurship Training
  4. Technology transfer and marketing