Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Inventing My Own iPad Application for Maxis

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Schools have been using tons of paper every month.  But it is time to look ahead and drop the pen!  The age of pen and paper is now behind us.  Today, technology will save tomorrow.

It is internet well-known fact that hundreds and thousands of trees are chopped down yearly to make paper related materials.  In schools, tons of wood have been used for paper, books, notebooks, posters, notices, school tables and chairs and many more.  Many say it is for educational purposes but that is no excuse to be environmentally-ignorant.  They say we can recycle but unfortunately is not anywhere near effective enough compared to the exorbitant logging rate.

Now, we shall march into a new era.  No more frustrations from flipping pages, no more heavy school bags and no more complaining of dried-up pens.

Today, iStudy, or i will study, is the mother of all education!  Used on an iPad, education is made easy!

Paper, pen and books are history.  It’s time for a change.  John F. Kennedy said, "Change is the law of life.  And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future."

So how does iStudy work?  Just like any typical application, it has a button to go to its app(lication)s. When it opens, it will list down each and every level of education from Standard 1 to Form 6 (Grade 1 to High School and Pre-University), maybe even college.  After selecting a level, the subjects can be selected.

Top left icon (paper and pen): Notepad
Top left icon (Number 9): Homework and quantity. 
iSearch: to search for keywords
iMap: for location maps, including educational details
iCalendar: list all the activities to come
iRanking: your position in class, #1, or 2 etc.. 
weStudy: wireless hub for group study
iTools: for other tools
iLost: a link to clearer explanation of subject

It has a memory function which remembers where you left off, saving time flipping through pages over and over again.  The application even has a search bar that allows you to easily search terms and keywords of subjects.

Homework can be assigned to students through the school own system application.  This application can also be linked to Twitter allowing teachers to tweet the homework to students. 

There are also quiz and exercise sections for students to do from anywhere they are.  Past year questions for the UPSR (Primary School Assessment), PMR (Lower Secondary assessment), SPM (Malaysian Certificate of Education) and STPM (Malaysian Higher School Certificate) are also available. With this function, students can have never ending practice and exercise in order to excel in their studies.

It also has a notepad to type down notes or practical reports.  Homework scores or the homework itself can be submitted to the teacher via wi-fi, email or 3G.  The teacher will have an application of his or her own to do reviews on students and have the ability to double check if the answers marked by the iStudy are correct or wrong.  If the answer is wrong, an email will be sent to the developers of the application to rectify it.

The iStudy also has essential tools such as a scientific and graphic calculator.

If students don’t understand a lesson, all they have to do is hit the iLost button. The iLost button is an option that offers students more in-depth explanations on a specific material, using a more graphic-based instead of text-based interface.

iPads  can also be linked with other iPads to have quiz challenges among students.  A mini-competition of "who can answer 20 questions the fastest" can be done via wi-fi.  It could be played tournament style among classes.

For arts students, iStudy also has an interface to do 3D designing and ordinary sketching.  It has most of the tools available in an arts laboratory and even creates graphical sculptures with it.

iStudy also has weStudy.  It’s an option where a group of students can collaborate on a particular subject in the library or anywhere else via wi-fi.  In the library, they can communicate through their iPads and because of its touch screen, there is no tapping sound of the keyboard that will disturb others.

iStudy is not just for academic purposes.  It can also be used in co-curricular activities.  For example, during a track relay competition, time can be taken and recorded with the iPad.  It will include names of the participants and the time taken by each participant.  While jungle trekking, it has a map which informs which type of tree is around you and what species they are from. 

iStudy is not just an application, and the iPad is not just a device, it has become a system, a tradition, a utility!

In schools, there is wi-fi access, but how to let the flow of education continue outside school? Well for Malaysia, maxis have awesome mobile internet plans.

You may think RM 70 a month is expensive! But have you calculated properly? Tuition fees a month for 1 subject is an average of RM 90, and you dont send your child for only 1 tuition, there are more. Lets say an average kid goes to 5 tuitions, you have to pay a total of RM 450 a month for education.

Yes, you may say teachers are experienced. However, the teachers setting up the syllabus for iStudy are a group of experienced teachers where you send your children for tutoring. So, you actually save alot by using iStudy! And from the RM 90, you can also use it for surfing the net for more information or socializing. Well, kill 3 birds with 1 stone. You get education, information and connection (in social networks) for 1 price.

iPads are so easy to get from Maxis stores in Malaysia. Why is iStudy amazing? It will reduce the usage of paper and other school paraphernalia; it will eliminate the problem of heavy books and make education easier and more interesting at the tip of one’s fingers.  It will transform education into a communication that will expand the networking among students and just about everyone will benefit from it.  Let’s make an iPad generation and start connecting to learn more!

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Im open to comments, do comment.. thx.. =)

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