We were inspired to create Down Write Smart by our own dislike for writing at a young age. We knew it would be a good fit for modern classrooms because kids are being exposed to technology at a young age and find it engaging.

What it does

Students using the site can post their own stories or add to stories other students have created. Students receive 5 points for creating their own story and 10 points for adding to a story (to encourage collaboration). Students can track their points from a profile page and compare their score to their classmates on a leaderboard page.

How we built it

We handled all of the back end using Amazon Web Services, using EC2 for the server and RDS for the database. We used a combination of php and MySQL to interact with the database. For the front end, we used a bootstrap, html, and css.

Challenges we ran into

One of the most challenging aspects of the project was getting the server, database, and git hub to work together. This was our first time working with a database driven website outside of a local development environment. Another challenge we faced was learning the necessary javascript elements to make the leaderboard work.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We're very proud of the site as a whole, but we particularly like the login system and the leaderboard. The login system uses sessions to allow you to login, leave the site, and come back without having to log in again. The leaderboard represents the cumulation of our newfound javascript knowledge.

What we learned

We learned how to use AWS, javascript, and bootstrap. We got a lot better at using php, MySQL, html, and especially git.

What's next for Down Write Smart

Teacher Accounts: Teachers can create a virtual class for their students to join. Teachers can set requirements for their students, read their stories, and remove inappropriate posts (the poster loses points). Improve Story Management: Show the original author of a story and add an email notification function for when someone adds to your story. Point Redemption: Redeem points for a prize, possibly an online game. Animations: Add animations to make the site more exciting. Comments: Add a comment section for complete stories. Avoid race condition: Make it so that no two people can edit the same story at once.

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