Education plays the most vital role is an individuals’ life as it carves the future and character of a person. Education is primarily imparted in colleges and schools. However, quality is not consistent due to several apparent reasons. Big cities are often homes to better teachers and facilities and thus the residents are likely to get better education. Remote education is a promising solution to this problem but even today, most of the remote education systems are handicap in one way or the other. Some are paid and not within the reach of normal people, some lack good teachers, some are bound within their own ecosystems and some lack collaboration etc. Today, we have multiple tools which can be used to impart high quality education remotely but most of products derived from these tools fail to pave a perfect path to proper remote education. Eduheap is a big step towards a free, reliable and feature rich system which will allow anyone from anywhere to get/impart access to high quality remote education.
The Eduheap desktop application will be a port of the Eduheap Windows Store App and will be developed using C# and XAML, Silverlight 5. Backend will be a MSSQL database exposed using a WCF service. The reason to use Silverlight instead of WPF is to exploit the ability to also deploy it as a rich web application which will also prove a worthy alternative to www.eduheap.com (currently being overhauled).
As far as this contest is concerned I’m targeting the Lenovo Tablet and the category is Education.
Proposed System’s Logic
The name of our solution is ‘Eduheap’. Eduheap is a system built using the YouTube API. The idea is to harness the video and live streaming capabilities of YouTube by integrating it into a system that is solely designed to facilitate remote education. A teacher/institution willing to contribute simply needs to authorize the use of their YouTube account and add the videos of their existing YouTube channel in the system. Eduheap can then enable sharing, live event reminders, messaging, chatting, taking notes, and even private/public sessions. Thus, a contributor is able to obtain all of the features plus more at no cost and the students can utilize this material for free. Eduheap will also distribute its advertising revenue among the contributors which will be a great motivator for the contributors.
In short, a social educational network is formed comparable to a virtual school where students and teachers can interact, students can learn, talk to others and take notes. By including monetization opportunities Eduheap rivals all paid solutions in every respect but it’s free!
The potential users of our software fall in two broad categories: Users and Contributors (or, Publishers). Users are, generally, students looking for online/remote education and publishers are the people looking to publish educational content and making money out of it (mostly).
User will find nearly every educational video in one place. He would be able to comment on videos, chat with other likeminded users and see personalized suggestions based on the videos he is watching. After deployment of Stage 2 the users will have social features as well.
As a publisher, the person will have: full-fledged media controls, quick search with statistics and feedback system. A publisher will be able to maintain a profile, a channel and their personal educational course. They will be able to live chat with their viewers. After Stage 3, the publishers will also be able to monetize their videos.
The deployment of this project can be done easily since the technology today is capable enough to handle this project and, most importantly, available. The main factors are as follows:
- Once completely setup, the project will mostly be self-sustaining and thus it will be very cheap.
- Since the YouTube’s embedding feature is used, the need for bandwidth is reduced since the actual connection is directly between User and YouTube.
- The project has a potential to reach a huge number of people since its website is also available.
- Availability of Windows 8 app will help in marketing through Windows 8 marketplace.
- People don’t need additional tools or devices to be able to harness the benefits of the projects.
Role Of Tablet
The tablet is the perfect device for this application. The best part of tablet is that it is very portable and the touch performance is outstanding.
The target users can enjoy the application because it has been greatly optimized for touch capable devices. It will also be great with a mouse and keyboard but out first priority was touch.
Using the code
Well, I can't share the code of this application but what I will do is that I'm going to talk about the main code change the app requires to move to Silverlight from WinRT.
On WinRT we use the async APIs to interact with WCF services. Example:
private async void getData()
Service1Client client=new Service1Client();
var dataItems=await Task.Run(()=>client.getDataAsync()); }
Async functions like this help in simplifying application structure. Unfortunately these APIs aren't available in Silverlight. So, we have to do something like this:
getDataFinished(object sender, getDataCompletedEventArgs e)
var res= (MyModel)e.Result;
Using services this way will need an architecture change.
Innovation and Screenshots
Eduheap is all about providing an innovative user experience to students who want to view video lectures online but also want more thus, we bring to them a user experience that is productive, efficient and supports education.
Note: Screenshots included here are from the Windows Store Application.
Eduheap Software Innovation:
Eduheap allows users to view educational video lectures at one place, since all the content will be at one place there’s not need to hunt multiple websites.
Eduheap also allows teachers/uploaders to host their video content through YouTube on Eduheap very easily. When user watches the video, content is put first and all the unnecessary details are abstracted yet available if user wants to see them like video description etc.
Every video lecture is a group chat as well which means that you get to ask questions to the people watching the same video. If the teacher/uploader posts some answer you’ll be able to identify it (Software takes care of that);
Students are allowed to take unlimited number of notes for every lecture and they can share/print them.
With all this we also provide a Windows 8 integrated search which will let you search even if the app is not running!
During classes students often need wikipedia, periodic tables, calculators etc, all these tools have also been integrated into Eduheap so the student doesn't need to skip or pause his lecture to use these tools.
We have also simplified reviewing content with a feature called Superview, it enables a student to quickly play a previous video to recall concepts and resume the current lecture. No need to Stop, Play, Stop Play!
Eduheap offers all functionality at one place but if you’re not watching the lecture you also have dedicated sections for Favorites, Notes etc to help you manage this stuff easily.
We believe colors represent people and affect your mood thus we didn’t enforce a particular theme color to Eduheap, we gave that choice to the user.