Mobile UX/UI: STEM Innovation Cloud App
Awarded 2013 Women of Color Technology Rising Star. Won sole-source contract for an education technology pilot and public-private partnership with a Maryland government agency.
A county school system that has historically underperformed in STEM enrollment, graduation, and post-graduation achievement rates, in comparison to neighboring county school systems, was looking for innovative programs to increase shared access to STEM resources and stimulate improved STEM achievement metrics.
The county school system partnered with Lockheed Martin, Cisco, and Bowie State University to develop a technologically experience and program to close this gap.
Problem to Solve
Students need a way to increase access to shared resources and connect with STEM experts to enhance the curriculum of their school system, which in turn could improve academic metrics and build students' awareness and confidence in pursuing STEM-focused learning opportunities.
Understand and Observation
After a series of interviews and classroom observations with teachers and county education authorities, we identified a need to provide a central location to access shared STEM content to all county teachers. There was no system in place to synchronize and distribute the most effective, results-producing curriculums and other materials developed and delivered by individual teachers to other teachers across the school system.
Design and Iterate
I developed wireframes for the project owners to produce a guiding concept for the application design. This app would need to leverage familiar technology to the targeted school-age group.
I designed a tablet mobile app that could fit into the classroom ecosystem that would allow students to access content created to enhance their STEM learning. We conceptualized the components of a pilot with enterprise and mobile technology features including video conferencing, curriculum enhancement resources, and cloud-based file sharing. The mobile app would offer teachers a way to incorporate more technology into their curriculums.
These features would enable shared access to STEM content and provide a real-time collaborative environment with STEM experts and peer mentoring among students from across the school system. The layout was designed to be simple and familiar with well-known search, communication, and conferencing functionalities.
Prototype and Test
The high-fidelity prototype was demonstrated at a press conference with the County Executive of the state of our client. We received "applause awards" and comments of anticipation to use this type of solution in the classroom from teachers and students.
I managed the deployment of a pilot project implementing Cisco enterprise technology across 7 schools, 1 college campus, and 1 local state government office. We used several types of technology that would be included in the STEM Innovation Cloud App to determine their usefulness with the students and teachers. During the pilot, we identified the following key features that would be the most helpful for the student-teacher-expert partnership:
- Inter-classroom telepresence connectivity
- Video recording and video sharing
- Shared curriculum content and rating of curriculum effectiveness