At schools around the world, students are taught as groups.
Above average skilled students will get bored by the slow speed of the group, and below average students will not be able to keep up.
The focus is to keep up with the ordinary student.
But no students are ordinary. They are all different.
Teachers around the world are doing a great job, but sadly there's not enough time for them to individually follow every students progress.
Students have different educational needs, but teachers don't have time to help everyone individually.
Learning is easiest when put in a context of ones interests, but not enough teaching material is available to please every student.
It contains millions of questions and answers in different languages and skill levels. Students can ask for questions regarding a special topic, or teachers can assign them to the students. Statistics are kept for all students and subjects, and this data can be used to adapt the learning to each students needs.
Questions in Spring are input by teachers and made available to all of Spring's users. Each question is marked with appropriate tags related to both its subject and theme, and the difficulty level of the question is constantly updated as users answer them. Questions that are often answered correctly are regarded as easy, whilst often falsely answered questions are regarded as difficult.
Both students and teachers can put together themed tests or practice tests. A student practicing for a maths test might be interested in testing themselves with some questions regarding a specialized subject like algebra, whilst a teacher might put together a test consisting of questions with the tags "spelling" and "animals" for young animal loving students. The difficulty of the tests can also be adjusted, but defaults to a level just above the current skill level of the student.
Teachers using Spring will have access to the statistics and skill levels of all their students. Students have access to their own stats, but not those of their fellow students. This way the teachers know which areas to assert, and the students can focus on their own progress not being afraid of other students monitoring their current scores.
A set of good questions might be available in one language, but relevant also for another. Multilingual teachers may easily take a set of questions in one language and provide a translation in another to use with their students. Good sets of questions will quickly be available in a vast amount of languages for students and teachers all over the world to use.
Game mechanics are a recognized way of capturing peoples interest. By applying a layer of game mechanics to Spring we are able to capture extra attention from our users, and giving them another incentive of using the service to educate themselves and others.
Students are challenged to improve their score in the different courses, and teachers are awarded points for submitting quality questions. Questions used by other teachers and students are give their author a higher score on their profile.
The database of questions, answers and statistics are the foundation of Spring. All this data is made available to the users via the standard apps for smartphones, tablets and through the web interface, but the data can also be made available through an API for developers to use! The possibilities of uses for a dataset like this are vast.
We are interacting with objects, people and devices all the time. They way something interacts with us is very important. We can like or dislike anything within a second of the first interaction, and prolonged use calls for a pleasant interaction experience.
Different digital devices demand different ways of interacting with it. Smartphones are used in another setting than laptops, and tablets are in another category of themselves.
Spring had several of these different ways of interaction.
The increasing popularity of tablet computers enables us to stay connected, powerful and mobile even when leaving the workspace or home.
Added connectivity and the easy access to powerful tool allows us to stay productive even when one the move.
Spring can be used by students and teachers on the way to or from school, without the fuzz of large notebooks, laptops and books.
Teachers can track their students progress, and students can do their homework or practice for an upcoming test, anywhere and anytime.
Some simple arithmetic questions might be a nice way to refresh some knowledge while riding the bus to school, or a teacher might check the current homework status of their students to prepare for todays class.
Using apps available for all smart phone platforms, Spring-users are always connected to their tests and homework.
Schools are important. So important that we need to keep focusing on improving them. By making Spring, a cloud service connecting both students and teachers to each other and vast amounts of knowledge we hope to help doing so!
We believe that letting students access targeted and relevant information based on statistics from their previous performances can increase effectiveness for both teachers and their students. The solution we have come up with is both possible to make reality, and a potentially useful tool for students and teachers both inside and outside the classroom.
We believe that the schools of the future will be digital, integrated and tailored to the needs of their students. Effective and engaging learning for the students is key to achieve the goal of better schools in the future!
The fact that our solution enables independent students, or students without the access to teachers on a regular basis, to learn from an ever increasing database of knowledge curated and written by skilled teachers and customized to fit every students needs is a major step towards our vision of the future of schools.
Interaction is made on different levels all across our answer to the brief, and we have decided to focus on, and explain in detail, the most important of them — the interaction between people and knowledge. The tools we use to interact with our data are secondary to the data itself, and they should exist in different forms according to the contex in which they are used. Tools for accessing Spring can be apps for smartphones and tablets, a web interface for desktop- and laptop-computers, smart boards for classrooms and even devices not yet invented!