The key is simplicity. We've seen them all: Canvas, Blackboard, Haiku, all the management systems that were meant to make our school lives easier, only to overcomplicate and confuse those involved. Our goal was to create a classroom management system that purely for elementary schools to use, from someone as young as a kindergartener to their parent to a teacher that's just getting started.
What it does
Our websites connects parents with their child's classroom. By joining our website and pairing to their student, parents are able to see their kid's progress in school. Parents are able to access resources, documents, homework assignments, past work, announcements, and more. On the student's end, they are able to only access four features: assignments, grades, announcements, and classroom resources. We aimed to remove all the complicated features in many management systems such as discussion boards, messaging, and online homework submission. This was the ensure our website was as user friendly as possible for all parties involved.
How we built it
Hero Labs was programmed in Java using Spring Boot to create our own Rest API. For our database we used Hibernate and SQL.
Challenges we ran into
Time was our biggest challenge. We had features we weren't able to implement simply because we took on a full stack project. On the frontend, there were a lot of pages to implement, so generally just copious amounts of work. On the backend, it was some members' first time dealing with databases and SQL, so we had to take time out of working in order to learn how to implement those.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Our team is mainly proud of the fact that we were able to one, actually complete the project on time, and two, have full functionality. On the frontend, we implemented a lot of stylistic properties, chose color schemes, and overall just made the website pleasing to look at.
What we learned
Our group learned how to set up a full stack application. This was also the group's first time working with React alongside Java Spring Boot. This was some members' first time working with an actual database. We also practiced software engineering principles such as, layering and MVC.
What's next for Hero Labs
Our group would want to implement a messaging feature for students and parents to contact teachers. This way, if a parent had any questions about an assignment or the progress of their child, they could easily contact the teacher without needing to email or exchange contact information. Students would also be able to have an easy way to communicate with their teacher if they had any issues they felt uncomfortable talking about in person. We would also want to implement a photo feature where only teachers could upload photos of the classroom throughout the day so parents can see what their child is up to at school.
In the future with our full vision in tact, we would love to bring our idea out to elementary schools and have teachers test out our website.