This project was inspired by the unicef tap water project. Unicef has a website where they will donate a day of clean water for every five minutes a person would stay off of their cell phone. A growing issues in middle and high schools are mobile phones. Students do not pay attention and teachers cannot stop it, even if they try harsh punishments.
What it does
Phones Down measures phone movement from sensors built in to most smartphones, and reports it back to a teacher portal where teachers can reward those who have not been on their phone. This benefits students and teachers because teachers no longer have to police the classroom for phones, and students because it can be an opportunity for extra credit and force them to pay more attention resulting in higher grades.
How I built it
Their are two parts, the mobile app and the teacher website. The mobile app is made using hybrid; running websites as a native application. It was made using the Ionic Framework. The teacher portal is angular, bootstrap, and some material design CSS. The backend is Parse.
Challenges I ran into
Using Parse as the backend provided some challenges because it does some very odd stuff sometimes and it is very hard to troubleshoot what is wrong with the application so it usually ends up just trying random things out until it works. Also getting both the web portal and the mobile interface to sync and talk to each other using the same data scheme was challenging.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
Finishing the project :) Getting both the mobile app and the site to an acceptable state. Getting a little bit of sleep. An application that will work and have an impact in education.
What I learned
Keep it simple! I tried to make it really complicated at first and it blew up in my face. How fun hackathons are. The importance of commenting code for later....
What's next for Phones Down
Trying it out in the real world! Talking to teachers to pilot test it and evolve it further with items like training and documentation. This can change education.