an e-learning IoT solution
5+months of collaboration
4weeks to build a proof-of-concept
1successful e-learning platform
problems to solve
The U project is an educational application funded by EU institutions, like Lux Innovation and European Space Agency (ESA), to improve and explore new learning models (such as interactive multi-touch whiteboard) to teach sciences in Primary and Secondary School.
The key challenges were:
- designing the complex software-hardware-networking platform that will be user-friendly and technically-reliable,
- performing integration of two applications (i.e. whiteboard and Android ones) so that teachers’ actions on the whiteboard are seamlessly synced and reflected on students’ tablets.
The whole development was twofold - firstly, the prototype that let us evaluate the design, functionality and user interface; then, the second version that empowered the app with new features (a core milestone was enabling remote online lessons) and introduced improvements.
The overall development brought a powerful HTML5/NW.js desktop app that redefined a way of conducting lessons. This provides teachers and students with the possibility to draw, sketch, import media files (like images and videos), and have interaction via multi-touch gestures. Example: after selecting the lesson by the teacher, it is automatically loaded on all connected tablets. Moving to the next slide of a presentation with the help of Web Sockets is synchronized with all devices. This means that students with connected mobile devices can see the same slide as the teacher has chosen on all other tablets in the class.
The app contains four core functional elements such as:
- the U brain - the system logic stored in cloud environments that includes digital content, users profiles data and the template repository. The U brain defines and manages how content fills the templates and how these are presented on the frontends,
- the Android App - a tablet application that can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store,
- the rich frontends - the interactive software-hardware tools created to improve the experience in the classroom by interactive multi-touch whiteboard and table,
- the U transport layer which includes: Satellite connectivity dedicated to the interconnection of enhanced classrooms and remote users living in digital divide areas, 3G/4G, ADSL and Satellite connectivity for personal use, WiFi connectivity dedicated to the local interconnection into the enhanced classroom between tablets and the rich front ends.
Throughout the over 5-month ongoing app development, we relied on Agile methodology staying in close cooperation and maintaining transparent communication with all the stakeholders.
allowing teachers to run on-line teaching sessions i.e. connecting with students, video conferencing, screen sharing, etc.
an ability to import images, videos, audios file
an online set of devices allowing teachers to visualize and mock traditional classroom boards. This includes pencil tools (e.g. pencil, pen, arrow, line, proportions) and shapes (e.g. square, rectangle, regular polygon, triangle, circle, ellipse, pie, properties)
saving and exporting
an ability to save and export lessons’ output for students and teachers