Six Year 7 students from Kempsey Adventist School have come first at the state ICT Young Explorers Competition.
The group travelled to Sydney on the weekend and presented their project, a real-time learning app, to a panel of three judges.
Students Ellia, Abby, Joaquin, Josh, Rhy and Alara, looked at the challenge of using technology to improve learning in a classroom.
Their project consists of two apps, one which runs on an iPad is placed at the entry to a classroom and each student is presented with the question 'How ready are you to learn?' the student has a choice of options such as anxious, excited or tired. The app captures their feedback and presents it in real-time to the second app on the teachers phone, the teacher can then gauge whether the class is ready to start the lesson or if the mood needs improving before they open their books.
"We did look into how kids can't focus on class very well when they're tired or anxious and we wanted to look at a way that could help this," Abby said.
The students designed and coded the app themselves, with help from teacher Rum Rajasingham.
Deputy Principal of Kempsey Adventist Primary School, Vanessa Baywood, said the students have worked very hard on the project.
"The girls worked on the presentation and design while the boys worked hard on the coding for the app," she said.
"They gave up a number of lunch times and stayed back after school to work on this project. They really have put a lot of effort into it."
The app was trialed by the students in four classrooms, with positive responses from both teachers and students.
"We piloted the app in two classrooms in Primary and two in High School and everyone was happy with how it went. It was popular with the teachers," Alara said.
The Year 7 students will now work on improvements to the app before they present at the national level of the Young ICT Explorers Competition on December 7.
"We have a few improvements to work on before the national competition. We want to add options for the teacher on how they can improve the mood of the class if there are students who are tired, anxious or angry," Rhy said.
"We're very excited to have come first, we worked very hard and now we want to make the app even better," Ellia added.
The student's plan is to install the app for each classroom at Kempsey Adventist School before expanding to other schools in the area.
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