We had wanted to create something simple that could help people around the world and we decided that a program that would allow the teacher to control the classroom with subtle but effective ques to redirect the classroom and retain focus as well as communicating with students who don't know the language of the teacher would help teachers and students become more involved and focused in the classroom environment. This was designed to be used, but not limited to, elementary and possible middle school classrooms.
What it does
Allows the teacher to control the classroom atmosphere with this website by changing background music and lighting with one click. Currently, we have three settings for the environment, attention, work time, and refocus. There are also simple games on the website for the students such as Hangman or a few arithmetic games. The last main function of the website is served as a catalyst to allow teachers to communicate with a language a student uses as it displays on an iPad (or reads it aloud to the student through the iPad or tablet). We found this to be a useful feature because our city is a refuge city and we have many people who can't speak English. Many ELL teachers can't cope with all the different languages, and this would help break that language barrier. The lighting and music would be an easy way to passively control the atmosphere of the room.
How we built it
Using HTML, PHP, and IBM-Watson, we were able to make the website, games, and programs to control the environment and translate speech.
Challenges we ran into
HTML compatibility with IBM-Watson, not enough hardware, sleep deprivation, getting the mini-games to be compatible with the website, and just about every other problem you could think of. :)
Accomplishments that we're proud of
How the website looks, we came into this only knowing how to code in Java. Everything we have done, we have learned in the last two days.
What we learned
The IBM system was something that was extremely confusing that we can now somewhat use. Website programming, PHP, Java Script, and everything else we have used is what we have learned here.
What's next for SmartClassroom
With more time and equipment. We could use SmartClassroom to fully integrate our system and improve the learning environment of classrooms everywhere.
We would use IBM-Watson with wireless controls to handle lights and music from the teacher's computer. The teachers would be able to display problems on the students' iPads. And help break the language barrier between students. SmartClassroom has a lot of potential and could be greatly improved outside this competition with more time.