At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, schools closed and switched to remote learning. After talking to many teachers, we saw the most common trend for the challenges a teacher was facing, was a lack of motivation. In the classroom, teachers could motivate students with candy and small prizes, but this is not possible in the remote world. So, we built an application that replicates that using a points system.

What it does

Teachers can award points to students for doing miscellaneous things, such as participating in class, turning in their assignments on time, or attending class meetings. When students reach 500 points, they can redeem it for a gift card.

How we built it

For our backend, we took advantage of Vercel's free plan, which allowed us to run serve-less functions for using. Using this, along with Typescript and Firebase, we built our API endpoints

As for the frontend, we mainly used Next.js and React, with TypeScript integration. We also used a variety of other libraries, and notably, this template, created a while back by a friend of mine and I

Challenges we ran into

The biggest challenge we ran into was implementing gift cards. We could not find an API that would be secure enough for students trading in their points for gift cards. Because of time constraints, we ended up using a random number generator for the gift cards.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We successfully implemented a system, which allows teachers to award points to students, and allows students to redeem their points for a gift card.

What we learned

We expanded our knowledge on JavaScript and TypeScript. We also gained familiarity with next.js.

What's next for Educal

We would like to have students turn in their points for gift cards, rather than randomly generated numbers. We would also like to implement a system to send emails to students with their gift card information.

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