The Homeworker App - Connecting students, parents and teachers

By Cyber-Duck, Posted 3 years ago

The 'Grange Hill Gang' created a new app to replace school homework diaries, increasing the transparency for teachers and parents and ensuring clear instructions for pupils about their homework tasks.

The aim of the app was to bridge the communication gap between teachers, students and parents regarding homework. The new app will allow teachers to easily set, track and mark students’ homework tasks, whilst also enabling parents to check what work has been assigned and monitor its progress.

After speaking to both teachers and parents, the ‘Grange Hill Gang’ identified the current flaws in the homework diary system. It is easy for students to misinterpret the assigned homework tasks or note down incorrect information in their diaries meaning homework is forgotten, incomplete or not handed in. The Homeworker app looks to solve these problems and looking forward, could replace homework diaries!

Technologies

The ‘Grange Hill Gang’ use what has been referred to as the MEAN stack (MongoDB, Express.js, AngularJS and Node.js). The other technologies used in the project are listed below:

How the app works

The application was written using Node.js for the Server and API. The team used the Express module for Node to handle the general server behaviour allowing Mark to direct time to focusing on how the API itself will work. All of the data is stored in a MongoDB (NoSQL) Database with the help of Mongoose node module. Matt built the front-end website with HTML5 and CSS3 for the interface design of the app, and used his expertise to coach Siji through an introduction to coding. Interactions with the site were then built using Angular JS, a JavaScript Framework and the CSS was compiled and minified from SASS.

The team started by designing the app for tablet to work on the desired core and interface primarily for tablet screen sizes, before making the app responsive and enabling it to be scaled up and down for smartphones or larger desktop screens.

The Homeworker App

The pre-registration website for the Homeworker app.

The app would be accessible to users before launch, to encourage sign-ups. We believe this has huge potential to expand and scale outwards as it caters to the needs of schools around the country.

Looking forward, Mark intends to open source the server as a Node framework for creating APIs. By the end of the weekend, the Grange Hill Gang had created a fantastic prototype, which the team plan on developing into a finished product. This project was created as part of the "Quack Hack" Hackathon, where the team created 6 projects in the space of 32 hours.

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