St Aloysius' College Embraces Digital Diaries
St Aloysius’ College, an independent Sydney school actively embraces technology to deliver structured learning. One tradition resisting change was the college’s printed diary, supplied to students at the commencement of the school year. The College’s IT Department had investigated digital alternatives, but the cost and complexity of implementation precluded these from selection.
Antares was asked to review the problem and propose a remedy that was cost-effective and easy to deploy. Antares collaborated with the College’s IT staff and developed a proof-of-concept that justified the business case meeting the scope and budget of the project’s goals.
The solution was made up of the School’s existing Microsoft SharePoint software and a custom iPad application tailored to the cognitive skills of the students who use the system. The two organisations are collaborating to develop further the system’s capabilities with the College providing valuable insights and feedback on ways to enhance operational functionality.
Calendars are published in real-time, instantly updating students and staff of changes to their timetable and improving productivity.
The College found the annual cost of a producing a hardbound printed diary prohibitive. The IT Department were reviewing how the student’s Apple iPad tablets could be adapted to replace the costly diaries but found that off-the-shelf applications suited older students but were too complicated to meet the needs of the younger pupils.
Adapting commercial software posed further challenges because Apple’s tight security model demanded that any modifications undergo added certification and digital signing.
A solution was needed that could provide live access to schedules using the existing SharePoint collaborative software. Antares Solutions were asked to help solve the problem and develop a cost efficient system.
Antares Solutions began the implementation by prototyping the diary application for the iPad tablet.
The iPad was used by all students, but the College and Antares were mindful of building a solution that was “operating system agnostic” and could be migrated to other hardware platforms in the future.
Connectivity to SharePoint was at the core of the solution with careful design considerations made to ensure the system was flexible and secure.
Adding the right connector “hooks” would build a framework that could be developed for future needs. Building an iOS “app” entailed designing and configuring a “touch” interface that presented a view based on the users’ age and cognitive skills.
Tight cost controls and milestones were an essential part of the system delivery to ensure budgets and deadlines were met in spite of the complexity of the project.
Electronic diary awarded top marks for increasing student productivity and helping St. Aloysius’ College meet their green sustainability goals.
- Albert IQ
- SharePoint 2010
- Custom application