Presentation on theme: "DMI: duPont Manual Interactive Application for the Jim Dillmann Award."— Presentation transcript:
DMI: duPont Manual Interactive Application for the Jim Dillmann Award
Overview DMI is a web application – an online website – accessible by teachers, administrators, students, and parents Its goal is to make life easier for faculty and students by taking advantage of computer technology It's been under development for two years and was launched in September It is the main project of duPont Manual's Special Topics in Computer Science class.
Overview DMI is written in Python using the Django web application framework The code we write is interpreted on-the-fly by an Apache webserver running mod_python at www.dupontmanual.orgwww.dupontmanual.org Every student and faculty member has their own account, which they can use from any computer with an Internet connection This offers immediate flexibility: there's no software installation needed – any browser will work
Structure of DMI DMI is divided into several logical components that achieve different tasks: Student Scheduling System Textbook Inventory System Conference Scheduling System Organization Tracking System Calendar/Agenda System Emergency Alert System These components work together and share information – they are all part of DMI
Student Scheduling System The scheduling system gives us a framework to work with student and teacher schedules DMI imports XML data from Infinite Campus and tracks the classes that students take and teachers teach This fundamental framework is invaluable in the other components of DMI It also saves teachers the effort to manually input the classes they teach and the students that take them
Student Scheduling System A sample teacher schedule
Textbook Inventory System Currently, every school tracks the textbooks it issues to a student. Students must return books at the end of the year and pay for any damage done The traditional way of tracking books is done with paper and pencil: Teachers write down the books they issue on paper, and administrators must track down any problems This is inaccurate, burdensome, and error-prone
Textbook Inventory System At the end of last year, Mr. Wooldridge, one of Manual's assistant principals, decided to purchase software to track books electronically It cost $1,200, but the Special Topics class convinced him that we could write our own software for free We had a complete textbook inventory system ready to go before school started
Textbook Inventory System: Database Entry When a new set of books arrives, an administrator scans the ISBN of one of the books with a barcode reader Our system interfaces with the Amazon Web Service to gather the book's title, author, publisher, and other important information The administrator then enters how many copies of the book we have and how much they cost
Textbook Inventory System: Labeling The textbook system then generates a PDF with barcode labels that contain the book's ISBN and its unique copy number This PDF is printed on Avery label sheets The administrator affixes a unique label on each book in the set; barcode labels look like this:
Textbook Inventory System: Labeling Labeling is quick and easy: an ideal task for volunteers over the summer Every individual book is uniquely identified by its label
Textbook Inventory System: Checking out Once all books are labeled, they can be checked out to students Checking out a book is quick and easy The administrator scans a student's ID card and the DMI-generated barcode label on an individual book That book is now checked out to the student This process can be used to efficiently check out many books at once For each of their classes, teachers send a list of books they need and a pack of student ID cards
Textbook Inventory System: Checking out A sample list of checked out books
Textbook Inventory System: Checking out An excerpt from Manual's entire textbook inventory
Textbook Inventory System: Advantages Teachers don't have to waste time tracking textbooks on paper Electronic records increase accountability and accuracy and save money in lost book costs Data is stored in a central location which makes backups easy
Textbook Inventory System: Advantages DMI is accessible anywhere An administrator can scan books anywhere with just a laptop and a barcode reader This makes it easy to check out books at school orientations Nothing about the textbook system is specific to duPont Manual It's very easy to adapt it to other schools
Textbook Inventory System: Advantages Any staff member can look up a textbook they find in the hallway or in class Once they log in to DMI and type in the textbook's barcode, they can immediately see who it belongs to (and their class schedule, so they know where to find them) Students can see the books they have checked out If they see a mistake, they can report the problem without waiting until the end of the year
Conference System Arose out of one teacher's disgust for the old paper-and-pencil process of organizing parent-teacher conferences Parents submitted a slip with their top 3 time choices If all 3 choices were full, the teacher had to send them back a letter requesting 3 alternates If those were full, the teacher had to send them another letter, call them, send a carrier pigeon – ANYTHING that works Parents didn't know which time slots are actually available, which caused problems
Conference System The conference system removes this lengthy paper trail and makes life easier for teachers and parents Parents can see which time slots are available for their student's teachers and sign up online They know which slots are taken, so they can choose from the other times that work for them It's not necessary to ask the teacher – they can do it on their own
Conference System A sample conference schedule (teacher interface)
Conference System A sample conference schedule (student/parent interface)
Conference System Teachers can also schedule students by hand They can still use traditional methods of conference requests like phone calls, emails, and notes from the office They can also reserve slots for lunch Bottom line: Teachers don't have to waste time organizing slots because parents do it on their own Students don't forget which conferences they've signed up for
Organizations/Clubs Previously, service organizations such as Beta Club and National Honor Society had kept paper records of their members' service hours and money points. This was problematic for several reasons
Organizations/Clubs: Problems with paper records Secretaries: Recording and adding up service hours and money points in a big binder was messy and error-prone. It was easy to lose members' hours. Secretaries had to enter all hours and money points at school because the big binder was not allowed out of the room. It was difficult and time-consuming to create lists of who had completed which obligations.
Organizations/Clubs: Problems with paper records Members: To check whether they had completed their obligations, they had to come in before or after school to look up their hours and money points in the binder. If there were problems with the hours or money points, the member and the secretaries had no way of knowing who had entered the hours or money points.
Organizations/Clubs: Digitized! With the organizations module of DMI, service organizations can keep track of their members obligations online! Increases accuracy and accountability for the secretaries while making it easier for members to check their status
Organizations/Clubs: Members List of all members in a club, along with easy ways to add, delete, and view members
Organizations/Clubs: Officers Allows easy addition, deletion, and editing of officers Lets members get in touch with their officers
Organizations/Clubs: Obligations Every obligation has a name, description, date given, date due, and obligated members. Each obligation also has one of two types: Done-or-not-done: ex. 'Turn in your registration form' Must-complete-a-certain-amount: ex. 'Do 15 service hours.' Any obligation of this type also has an amount_needed field.
Organizations/Clubs: Automatically Generated Probations This handy tool lets officers automatically generate probationary obligations for everyone who has not completed a particular obligation.
Organizations/Clubs: Events Another incredibly useful aspect of the organizations module is the ability to create events. Events automatically show up on the calendar. Members can sign up for events online, eliminating the hassle of physical sign-ups. Officers can easily give credit to people who attended the event.
Organizations/Clubs: Events Every event has a name, mandatory status, type (meeting, service project, etc.), start date/time, end date/time, description, signed-up members, members who attended, and contacts. Each event also has optional fields for the maximum number of attendees and the minimum number of hours before an event occurs that a member can remove their name from the sign-up list.
Organizations/Clubs: List of Events This page provides an easy way to add/edit/view events
Organizations/Clubs: Adding Events in Bulk This useful page lets officers instantly create many repetitious events (such as tutoring every Wednesday from 3:00-4:00)
Organizations/Clubs: Signing Up for Events With DMI, signing up for events is easy!
Organizations/Clubs: Email Center Easily create mailing lists and send emails without having to keep track of email addresses!
Alert System The impetus for the alert system came from Manual's trial of the Dynamic Emergency Alert Network (D.E.A.N.). The D.E.A.N. system costs $1,000 a year Over the weekend, one of the students in the Special Topics class wrote a module that replicates the functionality of D.E.A.N. Sending out messages is completely free! Recipients still have to pay to receive the messages according to their texting plan.
Alert System: Home Users must opt-in to the alert system. This user has not yet activated the alert system.
Alert System: Opting in Opting into the text alert system
Alert System: Confirmation After opting in, the user recieves a text message from DMI with a 4-digit confirmation code to ensure that text messages are being sent to the right cell phone.
Alert System: Subscribing to Alerts On the home page, the user can subscribe to email and text message alerts for different types of events. A user will only recieve alerts for which he or she is subscribed. Also located on this page are the subscriptions that determine whether or not events show up on a user's calendar.
Alert System: Sending an Alert To send an alert, the administrator simply chooses which event type's subscribers he wants to notify, selects text message, email, or both, and types the message.
Alert System: Not Just for Emergencies Teachers can also use the alert system to send out alerts. However, they can only send alerts for events of organizations that they sponsor. This makes the alert system ideal for notifying teams about canceled practices, changes in location, and other unexpected occurences.
DMI: Promising We've gotten the majority of this work done after only 9 months of development There's no telling what else we can accomplish