School Office Pal: New Web Tool Built In A Hackathon To Help Administrators

school office pal logoThe folks who built the popular Read With Me app have just unveiled a new app that was built, once again, during a hackathon in Palo Alto. Francisco Neito, friend of Edudemic, and his colleagues built a prototype concept called ‘School Office Pal.’ It’s a web app that tries to “simplify the time-consuming office referral process while simultaneously helping to calm the student using videos on mobile devices” according to their blog.

“We came back to see what great ideas other attendees had,” Bisson said. “We ended up with the idea over the phone and starting building it.”

Nieto and Sofia, two Oakland elementary teachers, and Bisson, a web developer from Mountain View, first met at the AT&T Mobile Education Hackathon held last June at the AT&T Foundry in Palo Alto. They worked together building Read With Me App, an all digital mobile web based reading fluency assessment tool for teachers, parents, and students to use.

“My favorite part of School Office Pal is that it documents exactly what part of the day my students were gone so I know what gaps I may need to fill,” Sofia said. “It also keeps me at ease knowing I can track their progress while they’re away. Its hard to think they’re just sitting in an office wasteland.”

The hackathon was hosted at the AT&T Foundry in Palo Alto. Over 151 developers and high school students formed 29 teams around social good themes from partners including the Niroga Institute, Roots of Success, and One Economy Corp.

“Last time at the AT&T hackathon the team was laser focused on reading literacy, it was great to focus on socio-emotional literacy this time,” Sofia said. “So many students get sent to the office for various reasons, losing precious class time.

“Working so well together, we kept the same team dynamics,” Bisson said. “It becomes very addictive to brainstorm and build a solution in a very short and very fast-paced development cycle. It’s also rewarding to present in front a group of fellow hackers.”

The trio is researching ways of integrating this new product into projects Sleek-Geek, Inc., their company, has in the pipeline. The team plans to use the prize money to support Read With Me App, which is seeking funding.

“Working as an app developer and actually teaching in a school at the same time opens up all kinds of opportunities to fix real problems and bottlenecks in our educational system,” Nieto said. “Nothing beats actually being there day to day with students to drive and inspire your app ideas and projects. These are exciting times.”

Development of Read With Me App has continued since June and is currently in a private BETA. Teachers interested in using it can sign up at http://readwithmeapp.com.

The team is looking for feedback and suggestions, which can be sent via this form .

Here is a short video from the Hackathon:

Screenshots

school office pal

school office pal

school office pal

school office pal

school office pal