An App/Software Project
By Melissa T, Melissa P, Danna, Carlos
Middle School Students from Mouse & DIIT Design League @ I.S. 145Q
About this Project:
Calestia is an all in one education app. Gone are the days where emails, lessons, grades, video conference and school communication is done through different portals. Calestia connects all stakeholders with the school and provides everyone with an easy way to communicate with each other.
We interviewed multiple stakeholders (administration, teachers, students, parents and alumni) asking them all sorts of questions about their jobs, their connection with the school and just about their lives in general. We noted their answers to our questions and brainstormed what an all in one app would look like and how it could change the course of a school’s stakeholders life. We then came together as a group and combined all our ideas into one super app called Calestia. We knew we wanted to create an app that connected the school with its community a lot easier especially after being quarantined because of the pandemic. We wanted to make sure that the line of communication for all was open and easily accessible.
Feedback from the Judges:
Jonah Brucker-Cohen 👏 Assistant Professor at Lehman College / City University of New York — Emoti-Con Judge
Good work on the interface design! I think this app brings together a lot of the things I already use on my phone. I was wondering if you thought about integrating the calendar with existing calendars like Google Calendar, etc.. that many people already have? It might help to increase your audience.
Nelson Launer 👏 Consultant at Deloitte Consulting LLP — Emoti-Con Judge
Amazing! Having an all-in-one app is a great idea and I could absolutely see this being used in the classroom. I have family members who are educators and I know they would love the idea of having all of their tools in a single application instead of having to connect with their students through different mediums. I also love the fact that you interviewed different stakeholders to ask them their perspectives on what should be included in the design. I do this on nearly all of my work projects, so I'm impressed you incorporated this into your project. Looking through your jamboard - and understanding the process you took to complete this project - was also very impressive. The post it notes to track ideas and task completion is very realistic in a workplace setting. Keep up the good work!
Seth Giammanco 👏 Principal, Technology Lead at Minds On Design Lab Inc — Emoti-Con Judge
Your project description, your pitch, sold me. You tell me what your app is. You share the problem. Then you describe how the app is a solution. This is a great intro to your work. Sharing your process is great. I am curious to learn even more about it and how the Jamboard and details in the slide show that seemed to be around interview questions fit into your process. The app mockups are detailed and showcase the functionality your app would offer very well. As a parent of an elementary school child I did my fair share of helping to login to this service or that service. I had to make sure all the apps were installed on the tablet. It can easily be overwhelming. As a former classroom teacher myself, I can appreciate that my challenge was likely nothing compared to that of the teachers working to weave all these moving parts into a good learning experience. Kudos for thinking through a idea to help and doing it so thoughtfully.
Dan Mehaffey 👏 Senior Account Executive at Microsoft — Emoti-Con Judge
It's wonderful to see students tackling the most interesting challenge those in the Ed-Tech industry are trying to solve for today. Building a 'unified' learning platform for teachers and students, incorporating multiple apps, and communication channels, is a challenge that the largest and smallest Ed-tech companies are wrestling with on a day to day basis.
I thought your design process was excellent, your brainstorm shows a thoughtful approach to features and decision making criteria. Your user research on both students and teachers has informed your insights and you have clearly implemented features resulting from those conversations.
As for the app itself, I like how it mixes practical schooling elements like 'Grades' with more social and emotional well-being aspects like 'music preference'. The user interface is intuitive and the prototype that you built in Slides is a great start to build a proper Minimum Viable Product.
Things to consider:
- How could you personalize this experience for each student / teacher that logs in?
- What would make a student / teacher adopt this app over other digital technologies they are using in the classroom today?
- These are advanced questions which shows the high caliber of work. Well done Team!