Teaching assistants are a valued part of the education system, bringing fresh perspective and inspiring learning and curiosity. However, for students it can sometimes be intimidating to ask for help, or to even know where to find it.
The goal of “Teaching Assist Cast” is to have a central system that tracks when a TA becomes available to help students. We wanted to build a system that would allow TAs to swipe an ID card or RFID dot to indicate they are on the clock, and this action would dynamically update the website in real time to reflect which TAs are on duty. We also wanted to integrate features that would utilize Google's calendar API to let students easily add office hour time slots to their school calendar.
The majority of team did not have experience using the technologies we set out to use. For our members that were handling the back-end, it was difficult getting Node.js running on the Google cloud platform and communicating effectively via websockets. Many features that we used on App engine were in beta, making it difficult to find solutions for problems we experienced. In the end, we were only able to achieve communication on local machines but not through the internet.
Libraries credits: Arduino library for listening to RC522 chipset RFID readers - https://github.com/miguelbalboa/rfid