About

Share My Day - Overview

Share My Day is a project focused on developing a mobile application allowing children who are unable to speak the opportunity to have a voice.

The project is centred around creating stories about a child's day at school using sensors, voice recordings and pictures about their day. The aim of the project is to be able to share the child’s experiences.

The project aims to create an Android application in which a child, their parent and their teacher can use.

Briefly, the project will use Near Field Communication (NFC) cards as sensors. NFC cards are used to transfer data between a device. It has many applicable uses, most commonly used for contactless card payments.

Teachers will be able to create voice recordings to be able to add a personal narrative of the child to conversations. Furthermore, it is hoped that they will also be able to take pictures of the event, allowing the story to be even more personal.

The children will be able to give their opinion on the story, whether it was positive (they had fun and enjoyed it) or negative (they did not enjoy as much). They will also be able to mark stories as their favourite allowing this story to be accessed easier. When requested, the child will be able to have their story read out, allowing them to have an answer to the question: "How Was School Today?"

Child and Dad laughing

Share My Day - Details

"How Was School Today?..." 10 Years On is a final year project undertaken by Jay Bennett. He is supervised by Norman Alm, Rolf Black and Chris Norrie, all of which are experts in the field of assistive technology. The project is based from the original project "How Was School Today?...". Since the original project was initialised in 2009, technology has come on a long way since then. Now with the rise and development of smartphones, it seems sensible to bring the project to the mobile platforms. In order to make the application identifiable, the name "Share My Day" was adopted.

The project will use an Android Smartphone with a large screen to allow ease of use. It is vital that the system is designed for the users. With the challenges of designing such an application, a user focused approach will be taken.

This involves research into who will use the application, as well as first-hand experience with the users themselves. It has been discovered that children with complex communication needs and their teachers will be the primary users of the application. The child's parent or carer will also be able to use the application if desired.

By interacting with all the users, I will be able to understand their different needs and capabilities. This in return will allow me to create an application that will be more suited to the user’s needs, therefore making it useable. If the application is unusable then no one will want to use it.

Teachers will be able to create voice recordings to be able to add a personal narrative of the child to conversations. Furthermore, it is hoped that they will also be able to take pictures of the event, allowing the story to be even more personal.

The sensors used in this project are Near Field Communication (NFC) cards. They are used to transfer a small amount of information such as a phrase or a word. In this project, it is hoped that these will be used to record what the child has done. For example, if they are making cakes in Home Economics, they would place the Home Economics card and the cake card on the back of the phone to record the event.

Moto Z mobile phone with pen for scale

Share My Day - Project Schedule

In order for the project to be a success, several deadlines and goals have been set.

The table below details the task, its deadline and whether it has already been completed.

Task Deadline Completed
Research 30th April 2019 Ongoing
Ethics 9th November 2018 Completed and Approved
Design 1st February 2019 Completed
Implementation 22nd March 2019 Completed
Mid-Project Report 25th January 2019 Completed
Testing 29th March 2019 Completed
Complete Portfolio 30th April 2019 On-going

Share My Day - The Story So Far

In order for the project to be a success, several deadlines and goals have been set.

First, ethical approval from the University of Dundee was required. After the submission of the ethical materials, ethical approval for the project was granted.

Next, approval from Dundee City Council to carry out research in schools was required. This also required a PVG certificate. After receiving my PVG and completing the application for Dundee City Council, I was given permission for the project to go ahead.

The next step is to visit Kingspark School. Here I will meet the staff and children. This will allow me to understand both of the user's capabilities and be able to create an experience that is easy and intuitive enough for them to use.

After this, designs will be created and reviewed to ensure that they are fit for purpose. Next the implementation of the application will occur, following the designs that were created. Finally, the application will be tested, hopefully by participants within the school.

Update(07/02/2019): I have moved onto the implementation period of the project. So far, I have implemented NFC card detection and the ability to take and save photographs. I'll update this section as the implementation progresses!

Update(30/03/2019): I have completed the implementation and have had the chance to test the application. I spent the week at Kingspark School, where I worked with staff and the children to record their day. I had a great week and the results from the testing are very positive! Stay tuned for more soon.

Update (24/04/2019): Now that I have had time to review the evaluations, and work on my final portfolio, I can say that the project has been a success! Thank you to all that was involved and hopefully more exciting developments will come in the future!