Videoprototype: SmartDesk

Group 09, Videoprototype, WS1718

In primary school, kids need to learn many basics, such as writing single letters, words or complete sentences. With increasing class size, it can be challenging for the teacher to help every kid separately without leaving others behind.
SmartDesk is a writing pad that supports children in those tasks individually, while also preserving the look-and-feel of real handwriting.

Instead of writing on the SmartDesk directly, it is placed underneath a sheet of paper. It recognizes writing on the paper, and thus can give instant feedback about typeface and spelling by projecting through the paper. Mistakes are marked locally, and if a child is stuck, the correct answer is given to trace it. New Elements can also be introduced by showing animations of e.g. a letter’s path which can then be traced by the children.
When the input fulfills the specified requirements, the children will be rewarded with a star. Collecting stars as a gamification element further motivates the children, and may relieve the teacher from correcting the children’s notebooks.
The teacher can also monitor the input of every SmartDesk in the room, which enables him/her to track each child’s progress and help specific children that need further support.

A major benefit of this approach is that, while the use of a digital medium enhances the learning process of individuals, the haptics of traditional handwriting are preserved.
The SmartDesk offers numerous possibilities. This showcase covers handwriting skills; other use cases might be a more interactive and visual approach to math and geometry lessons, animated elements, and more.

A next step might consist of building a functional prototype for usability studies. Additionally, concrete use cases of the SmartDesk need to be elaborated.
To supply all classrooms with SmartDesks once successful, financial support will be needed, either from the kultus ministry or from private investors.

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