Teacher’s helper

Videoprototype, WS1112

Teacher´s Helper is an easy and fast tool for teachers, which runs on a mobile device, for example a tablet. It´s built to improve and ease the daily routine of a teacher. Furthermore this tool centralizes documentation, communication and organisation on one single device. As we learned during our interviews, that the main problem of the teachers at SchlaU-Schule is that all information flow is not well organized and happens on a random basis. Teachers only working a couple of hours a week, don’t get important information, because they do not participate in the grapevine.

Our solution covers serveral fields of a teacher’s needs. Personal planning, creation of a class schedule, the “class book”, personal and public communication as well as an archive of all data, the school collected. The virtual “class book” is one of the main features, we focused on. Pupils can report themselves sick via a cell phone interface, then the teacher can use our app to check attendance in his class. He will get informed if absence has a conspicuous pattern. All internal communication of the school’s teachers and social workers can be done using our application. The virtual teacher’s lounge will present important notices and reminders for all teachers. A private communication channel can be used for one-to-one-communication.
Scheduling an appointment was never that easy: Having insight in the calendars of the colleagues even the complex fill-in-planning for sick teachers can be done by a simple touch. By far, this are not all fields we can improve with our solution.

Our aim is to reduce the amount of time and complexity for teachers in their everyday workflows. Especially because this one solution covers a big field of problems. The greatest effort of Teacher’s Helper is probable the automation of single tasks to help and support the person, who uses Teacher’s Helper. As a result of this, teachers could have more time to focus on special things like the progress of the pupils.

The first logical step would be to point out all key the key features of our software. As there are many tasks the software should accomplish, more in-depth reasearch is needed to point out concrete problems in the single tasks. After the first prototype is built an evaluation in a real class is mandatory. With the feedback the tool should be evaluated more times, until it gets to a final stadium.

Concept: SchlaU-Schule

Concept, WS1112

With the results of the research we started working on the analysis. First step was creating an affinity diagram. We found it kind of hard to break such a complex situation down to a single core problem. After picking out some interesting points we split it up in four main categories: communication, planning, documentation and data processing. Once we had those diagrams, it was a lot easier to do the task analysis and create the swim-lane-diagram.

It was relatively hard again to think of just one scenario, that fits all our ideas we came up with so far. Finally we found a nice story that covered a lot of details of our concept and that allowed us to ‘cook it down’ to a neat 6 frame storyboard. Our concept includes unifying communication, planning and documentation, thus making it easier to collect, create and find information. That means saving time by having important information at your fingertips, accessible for everyone, everywhere.

User Research: SchlaU-School

User Research, WS1112

Interview 3, Team 9Brainstorming for suitable fields of research, we soon came up with the idea of interviewing teachers. We had a personal contact to a teacher working at “SchlaU-Schule”, a school for fugitive youth that don’t have parents – at least not with them in Munich. It appeared to be particularly interesting to us to examine the working conditions, workflows and challenges of a school that highly depends on the ambitions and good will of the people involved. Although being supported by the government, the school itself is private and it’s funding widely based on donations. We were lucky enough to get a chance to interview the two deputy-heads and a math teacher. All of them took their sparse time to allow us to get into interesting and intense interviews, or rather guided conversation. As we can deduct from our interviews so far the main problems lie in the areas of organization and communication. At the moment those problems can still be handled, but when the school is going to expand to double the size of today in september, they will become more immanent.Interview 3, Team 9Interview 1, Team 9