First of all it's nice to be here. I took a peek around and there are some good discussions going on. My particular niche is Early Childhood Education. I'd like to implement some ideas that I have on my website and offer them free to classrooms.
One of my priorities is finding someone that can help create an application that would allow centers to track children, as well as enter information on forms online and have them stored on the database on our server. An example would be the VPK O3L Long Form required in the Florida program to track children's attendance. I know that as someone that did auditing for an ELC, that would be a big boost to centers. I would of course make the service free.
Please contact me here or at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have expertise in this area. I suppose it would be written in java/coldfusion or php, allow center managers to input their attendance data, then store it in our database and retrieve it. If software like this already exists and is open source please let me know.
Just an idea, you might want to check out SchoolTools: http://www.schooltool.org/
You can download it and get started. It sounds as though you could try it out yourself. Install Ubuntu/Linux on a desktop or laptop and then install this software. It is kind of an out of the box solution, but it seems as though most people know someone with an older Windows computer that they don't use. I took the plunge back in 2008 and never looked back. All the technology that I use is Open Source in one way or another, even in my classroom and all upper grade classrooms at my school.
Classroom Website: http://hawaiianfifthgrade.weebly.com/linux_lab.html
Ubermix: http://www.ubermix.org/ ...a five minute flash drive installation that erases your hard drive and installs an education Ubuntu suite.
I am not an expert in this area, however you might want to include the server operating system that your organization is running, unless you want to create a dedicated server for this service... Linux, Windows, Apple
I didn't frame the post properly. I made the subject too broad when it is really a much smaller topic.
Just to clarify, here is an example of one form I want to make accessible online
I am not personally in a classroom setting most of the time, however I am in an administrative role. I do the audits to make sure that the rules for the VPK Florida State grant for 4 year old education are being followed. Payments to the centers and intermediate non-profit entities are based on classroom attendance, so this is very important. If the kids don't show up or if the forms are filled out incorrectly people lose funding. I'd like to take the chance of losing forms or completing them incorrectly out of the equation with an online application.
The attendance sheets I linked must be filled out and signed by parents. Our state is now forcing registration for this program to take place online - therefore I think that hosting the forms online, storing the information in a database on my server in a redundant RAID1 set-up to avoid data loss would be a step forward for anyone who chooses to use it. Classrooms could simply enter the attendance for each child through a web portal set up in a subdomain, maybe "vpk.earlylearning.guru", obtain a log in and update/revise the forms as required. Parents could have their own log ins to validate the children's attendance as required. Ideally. I don't know java or php so this would be hard for me to implement personally.
Then again, many parents and even program managers still like to do things with pen and paper. I'm not sure how widely adopted an approach like this would be. They had a hard enough time getting parents to send in their children's birth certificates online in March for enrollment...
Very useful information shared. Thanks for your ideas.
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