Videoprototype, WS1112

What is it?

The Kiganizer is platform which helps kindergarten teachers reduce the daily amount of organizational work and lets them focus more on their primary task; dealing with the children. It bundles all the information in a central place, allows easy sharing between the different teachers and also reminds them of certain events. The platform is comprised both of a tablet computer that acts as the central hub and primary input method, and several more mobile handheld devices or smartphones which can be carried by the teachers to access the platform wherever they are.


How does it work?

Whenever a kindergarten teacher gets some new information which should be managed by the Kiganizer, he or she can use the voice recording functionality on the central tablet app to store the data on the device. An example would be information about medicine which a particular child has to take at a given time or that someone else than the parents of the child are going to take the child home from the kindergarten today. In both cases the kindergarten teacher simply has to tell these informations to the Kiganizer after a push of the central button; the Kiganizer helps the teacher by categorizing the information and displaying the chosen categories and reminders as the teacher speaks. After the successful input on the Kiganizer, the kindergarten teacher is free to forget the information and focus on the children as the Kiganizer keeps track of the data, shares the information with the other teachers and reminds some person in charge when necessary.

While the kindergarten teachers are occupied with the children, the Kiganizer stays passive in the background and disturbs neither the children nor the teachers. But when a certain event approaches, the Kiganizer both displays an alarm on the central tablet and also sends reminders to all the mobile handheld devices and smartphones of the kindergarten teachers. This guarantees that both teachers with and without a smartphone are able to access the necessary information. The Kiganizer then waits for someone to accept the task, in which case all the other kingergarten teachers are notified that the event has been taken care of. The Kiganizer thus makes it easy to coordinate between different persons even when these are in different rooms or currently occupied with children.

Values and Potential

The Kiganizer aims to remove as much organizational overhead as possible and allows the kindergarten teachers to focus on their work with the children. It not only eliminates much manual coordination which traditionally had to be done in a personal conversation, but also reminds the kindergarten teachers when necessary. The Kiganizer is furthermore built as an open platform: Many different kinds of information and events can be organized with it; the Kiganizer is not limited to a small number of predefined tasks.

One central advantage of the Kiganizer is that it “pushes” information out to the persons in charge; it does not require them to fetch these manually. Even though the platform can also be used as a way to access information on demand, it really is meant as a way to “store & forget”: A kindergarten teacher has to input the information once and can then go back to the children, the Kiganizer will take care of the rest.

Next Steps & Future Work

At the moment the Kiganizer closed to the outside world: Only the kindergarten teachers can store and receive information from it. This means that parents have to talk to the kindergarten teachers first and then these teachers have to walk up to the Kiganizer and feed it with the content of the conversation. While such a process will remain the norm for parents with little tech affinity, a considerable improvement would be to open the Kiganizer to the outside world, so that parents can feed in information about their child themselves. This would for example allow the mother of a child to tell the Kiganizer that the grandparent of the child will pick up the child on that day; an information that can be easily forgotten in a personal conversation with the kindergarten teacher if the mother is in a hurry.

Concept: Kindergartens

Concept, WS1112

Once we had conducted all the different interviews, we proceeded by collecting the different information using the affinity diagram as outlined by a guest lecturer from Google. This helped us clarifying our thoughts and come up with several meaningful categories for the chunks of information.

We then discussed in the group which of the discovered problem areas provided the best opportunity for a significant improvement. In the end we settled on supporting the kindergarten teachers during their daily organizational tasks. This includes the centralized collection of important data, simplified access by different kindergarten teachers and adding reminders for time critical tasks.
To validate our first draft of the concept, we picked out one probable and exemplary scenario. The visualization was done by setting up a swim lane diagram.

After the first sketch of the scenario our idea was further refined by splitting the interactions into different tasks. These were grouped into six different keyframes which served as the basis for our storyboard.

User Research: Kindergartens

User Research, WS1112

Foto...Once we had decided to do our research within the field of social work it became clear, that kindergardens would be a rather interesting area to look for new development ideas.
This branch of profession is often neglected when it comes to technological advancement.

So we went out to do our interviews within the first two days. Our goal was to get to know about the daily work in a kindergarten and to achieve some insight into the communication, both within the institutions as well as between the employees and the parents or other persons involved.

We interviewed two kindergarten workers/teachers and one administrative authority, so we could gather information from two different points of view.

All the interviews went very well and we are exited to see, what conclusions we will come off with after evaluating what we have got now after these first two days.

Thanks to our interview partners for their detailed descriptions and helpful information!