Our Meeting with Val Has been re-scheduled to Wednesday at 1:30.

Currently we need to:

  • Connect our web cam to stream from one computer(student) to another computer(parent).
  • Finish the timer to record data(time spent studying) and send it to the parents Account.
  • Edit the design and layout of the information, (eg, Use more of the white space).
  • Create a media rich MCQ quiz.
  • Make the content for studying more media rich.
  • Make a help system (video tutorial of how to use study buddy).

I have been working on getting the timer to count to 30 minutes for the study period and then ask the student if they need more time to study as not all teenagers have the same study patterns. They will also be able to stop the study before the 30 minutes are up and move onto the quiz if they feel they are confident enough with their own study.

Also for pedagogical reasons the timer will count up to 30 minute and not down from 30 minutes as counting up will give the user a feeling of accomplishment so they can say that they did 30 minutes of study, rather than they count down the so many minutes they have left of study has a negative attitude on the study period.


by Brendan Canty

So far I have been working on the design and interface of the product. I wanted to develop a brand that captured the essence of the product and the target audience. Kids at that age are into cartoons so I wanted to use an animated character. I chose this studious frog as I felt it would humour and appeal to them. I bought a series of the images off istockphoto.

I also chose the frog because the colours are so colourful, vibrant and visually appealing. I decided to base the colour scheme for the product and interface around this.

Interface Design: Here are some example of the pages I have designed. I have been working with John on developing the prototype.

Intro Page:

Subject Page:

Study Page:

Quiz Page:

Geography, Tectonic activity.

1. What is an earthquake?

- An earthquake is the shaking and vibration of the crust due to plate tectonics (movement of plates).

2. What is the name of the point at which the earthquake occurs deep underground?

- The focus.

3. What is the Richter Scale used for?

- The Richter Scale which goes from 1 to 10 is used to record the strength of an earthquake.

4. Give an example of the ‘secondary effects’ of an earthquake.

- Fire, tidal waves, disease and landslides.

5. Which type of plate boundaries are fold mountains formed along?

- Destructive and Collision Boundaries.

6. What economic activities are likely in an area of fold mountains?

- Tourism (skiing and walking), forestry, pastoral farming or arable farming where terracing has been carried out.

7. What tectonic plate do we live on in Ireland?

- The Eurasian plate.

8. Which are thinnest – the oceanic plates or the continental plates?

- The oceanic plates are much thinner.

9. What is the link between the convection currents in the mantle and the tectonic plates?

- The convection currents make the plates move. The solid crust rides on the moving mantle.

10. The convection currents make the plates move. The solid crust rides on the moving mantle.

- The San Andreas Fault is an example of a conservative plate boundary.


I have been doing research into how we may achieve some of our goals using Flash. As the Main core of the product is the two users (parent/admin and the child/student). The question is how to allow the parents make changes to the system but prevent the children from doing so. This may simply be achieved by having a login at the start of the program. depending on the log in name more options can be made advalable to the parents. This may allow the two login’s to have different styles do meet the level of the user.

These are some ideas for what we may be able to do in terms of the interactive style of the product.

Interactive time line  :http://incomplet.gskinner.com/index2.html# and http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/interactive/timelines/british/index.shtml

Interactive calender : http://www.flashscope.com/blog/free-flash-interactive-calendar-components/

web cam posted by rebecea earlier  :  http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flashmediaserver/articles/beginner_live_fms3.html

we researched how to make a motion tracker using flash and from research we decied that because it was so complex that it would take to much time to do and would effect our overall time management giving other areas less time to work at.

A quick MCQ at the end of the study period will be esentail for evaluating if students have been studying or not.

Capturing the screen of the student and saving it as a video can be another idea rather than the web cam. http://www.swftools.com/tools-category.php?cat=929

John Hayes

A Survey that I’ve handed out to a number of parents

1. How many children do you have?

2. Does supervising your child’s homework take up a lot of your time?

3. Name some of the problems that you face in trying to get your child to do his homework?

4. Would you use a multimedia/computer program that helped you monitor and assess your child’s homework tasks?

5. Would you find a webcam that recorded your child working on his/her homework (so you can make sure they are working) useful?

6. Would you find such a system unethical? Explain

7. Would you like to see a system that organises your child’s homework into timeslots and then times and records them working on each subject? Telling them to move on when a certain subject’s time is allotted.

8. Would you like to see a system that quizzes the child on the subject they have studied after the study time has allotted?

9. Is your child easily distracted by computer games when playing the computer?

10. Would you like the system to be able to disable computer games during homework?

11. Does your child often use the internet to help with his/her homework?

12. Do you think a system which contains such things would save you time?

13. Do you have any suggestions that you would like to see implemented in a such a program?

by Brendan Canty

Every school will have its own policy in relation to homework. Similarly, every home should have one! The best policies are those that are worked out jointly, between all interested parties. The key is to establish a routine and stick to it, with no or few exceptions to the rule. If you have concerns about your child’s progress, or if there is a persistent problem for your child in doing certain homework, you should always discuss it with the teacher.

The following tips might help:

  • Agree on a set time for homework with your child. Give them some element of choice e.g., homework is done between 5.30 and 7.30 each evening, but the children start and finish at a time of their choosing, within that time frame.
  • When you’ve made decisions together, stick to them until they need to be reviewed. This applies to everything, not just homework issues!
  • Make sure they’re sitting comfortably at a table
  • Be consistent. Discuss, monitor, check and sign homework every night if possible, but at least very regularly. Better to spend 5 minutes every night than to leave it for three weeks and then spend 2 hours at it!
  • The child should be encouraged to complete the homework, working independently
  • It is best, though not always possible, for both parents to be involved in a child’s school life and homework, but not at the same time. Children should see that both parents are interested and involved in their education. It may be more difficult for one parent than the other to be available every evening but effort should be made to find some participative role suitable to all parties
  • Try to avoid confrontation with children over homework. If you’re getting impatient, it’s best to stop and try to come back to it a little later
  • Allow children to make mistakes. Rather than correct them all the time, encourage them to find and correct their own mistakes. Children must be able to accept that making mistakes is part of the learning process and it’s important that they are willing to go back and try a different method or approach.
  • If your child is having genuine difficulty, try to help them but don’t exceed the allotted time. Make contact with the teacher, explaining that your child honestly worked for the allotted time. If you can, point out the child’s specific difficulties.
  • If you display undue anxiety about children’s schoolwork or homework, it creates tension within the child. Acknowledge and respect their effort, honesty and enthusiasm. This way, children will progress and develop at their own pace, in a safe and relaxed environment.



I’ve looking for some published materials on the subject of ICTs , and I noticed most of the results are pretty generic company policies and completely uninformative corporate jargon. As Gearoid pointed out, the term ICT is kind of outdated so more widely used phrases like e-learning and LMS produce better search results.

Anyway, I’m reading a paper called ICT in Education by Victoria L.Tinio that’s mostly pretty irrelevant (and reeeeeally boring), but there are a few sections that may be of interest, like this:

How can ICTs help transform the learning environment into one that is

Research has shown that the appropriate use of ICTs can catalyze the paradigmatic shift in both content
and pedagogy that is at the heart of education reform in the 21st century.19 If designed and
implemented properly, ICT-supported education can promote the acquisition of the knowledge and
skills that will empower students for lifelong learning.

When used appropriately, ICTs—especially computers and Internet technologies— enable new ways
of teaching and learning rather than simply allow teachers and students to do what they have done
before in a better way. These new ways of teaching and learning are underpinned by constructivist
theories of learning and constitute a shift from a teacher-centered pedagogy—in its worst form characterized
by memorization and rote learning—to one that is learner-centered. (See Table 2 for a comparison
of a traditional pedagogy and an emerging pedagogy enabled by ICTs.)

Active learning. ICT-enhanced learning mobilizes tools for examination, calculation and analysis
of information, thus providing a platform for student inquiry, analysis and construction of new
information. Learners therefore learn as they do and, whenever appropriate,work on real-life
problems in-depth, making learning less abstract and more relevant to the learner’s life situation.
In this way, and in contrast to memorization-based or rote learning, ICT-enhanced learning
promotes increased learner engagement. ICT-enhanced learning is also “just-in-time” learning in
which learners can choose what to learn when they need to learn it.

Collaborative learning. ICT-supported learning encourages interaction and cooperation among
students, teachers, and experts regardless of where they are. Apart from modeling real-world
interactions, ICT-supported learning provides learners the opportunity to work with people
from different cultures, thereby helping to enhance learners’ teaming and communicative skills
as well as their global awareness. It models learning done throughout the learner’s lifetime by
expanding the learning space to include not just peers but also mentors and experts from different

Creative Learning. ICT-supported learning promotes the manipulation of existing information
and the creation of real-world products rather than the regurgitation of received information.

Integrative learning. ICT-enhanced learning promotes a thematic, integrative approach to
teaching and learning.This approach eliminates the artificial separation between the different
disciplines and between theory and practice that characterizes the traditional classroom

Evaluative learning. ICT-enhanced learning is student-directed and diagnostic. Unlike static,
text- or print-based educational technologies, ICT-enhanced learning recognizes that there are
many different learning pathways and many different articulations of knowledge. ICTs allow
learners to explore and discover rather than merely listen and remember.

If we use topics like this, we might be use general guidelines and published studies to better define our goals and keep the usability user-based.

I haven’t read all of this joyous publication yet, but I’ll post more if I see anything of use.


Some general notes and suggestions I wrote down recently.

•    Program allowing logging and recording of tasks
•    Child completes scheduled homework and study tasks
•    Progress and time spent logged
•    Database storing schedule with break planner
•    Simple interface confirming item completion and next task
•    Activity logged and progress viewed by parent
•    Seperate child and parent accounts with different features;

o    Child – planner (read only), tasks completed, tasks in progress, deadlines

o    Parent – planner (read & write), tasks completed, tasks in progress, deadlines, review topics


Homework Basics:

In order to make a automated or semi-automated system to ensure children are doing their homework, we first must understand and outline key factors. Such factors as a regular time each evening for the subject to do homework in. Problems such as defining the amount of time to each task and the amount of over all time that a subject spends on homework will vary depending on what class or level in education they are at.

I found a website that gives information on how homework should be done (no distractions, regular time for doing work, ect,). This site is mainly aimed towords parents and how their involvement is important with doing homework but it will be very useful to reference and learn from its ideas.

URL:  http://www.kidsource.com/kidsource/content/homework.html


For our project we were asked to develop a computer solution to help parents to better monitor their child’s homework and study tasks.

Our idea is to develop a program that takes the child’s homework schedule, breaks it into time slots and then using a webcam it records the child working on his homework. When a time is allotted for a certain subject it ticks that it is done and the child can move on to the next task. The parents can then observe the child doing his homework through a live stream to another computer or by checking the program later on the original computer. We want the parent or the child to be able to input the work schedule into the program and allocate a time to each subject. Then the computer sets a timer and records the child spending a certain amount of time on the subject before finishing and telling the child to move on to the next subject. The parent can then check the program to see if the child has spent the correct time on each subject. We also have an idea where the program can disable the use of computer games until the allotted work is completed.



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