During the two weeks course Concept Development, nine teams developed a concept to improve one task of their previously selected user group. User groups were limited to mobile, social or outdoor workers and a tablet had to be involved. Concepts were allowed to be visionary up to ten years ahead concerning technical practicability.
Here is the final concept of team 1: Kiganizer
What is it?
The Kiganizer is platform which helps kindergarten teachers reduce the daily amount of organizational work and lets them focus more on their primary task; dealing with the children. It bundles all the information in a central place, allows easy sharing between the different teachers and also reminds them of certain events. The platform is comprised both of a tablet computer that acts as the central hub and primary input method, and several more mobile handheld devices or smartphones which can be carried by the teachers to access the platform wherever they are.
How does it work?
Whenever a kindergarten teacher gets some new information which should be managed by the Kiganizer, he or she can use the voice recording functionality on the central tablet app to store the data on the device. An example would be information about medicine which a particular child has to take at a given time or that someone else than the parents of the child are going to take the child home from the kindergarten today. In both cases the kindergarten teacher simply has to tell these informations to the Kiganizer after a push of the central button; the Kiganizer helps the teacher by categorizing the information and displaying the chosen categories and reminders as the teacher speaks. After the successful input on the Kiganizer, the kindergarten teacher is free to forget the information and focus on the children as the Kiganizer keeps track of the data, shares the information with the other teachers and reminds some person in charge when necessary.
While the kindergarten teachers are occupied with the children, the Kiganizer stays passive in the background and disturbs neither the children nor the teachers. But when a certain event approaches, the Kiganizer both displays an alarm on the central tablet and also sends reminders to all the mobile handheld devices and smartphones of the kindergarten teachers. This guarantees that both teachers with and without a smartphone are able to access the necessary information. The Kiganizer then waits for someone to accept the task, in which case all the other kingergarten teachers are notified that the event has been taken care of. The Kiganizer thus makes it easy to coordinate between different persons even when these are in different rooms or currently occupied with children.
Values and Potential
The Kiganizer aims to remove as much organizational overhead as possible and allows the kindergarten teachers to focus on their work with the children. It not only eliminates much manual coordination which traditionally had to be done in a personal conversation, but also reminds the kindergarten teachers when necessary. The Kiganizer is furthermore built as an open platform: Many different kinds of information and events can be organized with it; the Kiganizer is not limited to a small number of predefined tasks.
One central advantage of the Kiganizer is that it „pushes“ information out to the persons in charge; it does not require them to fetch these manually. Even though the platform can also be used as a way to access information on demand, it really is meant as a way to „store & forget“: A kindergarten teacher has to input the information once and can then go back to the children, the Kiganizer will take care of the rest.
Next Steps & Future Work
At the moment the Kiganizer closed to the outside world: Only the kindergarten teachers can store and receive information from it. This means that parents have to talk to the kindergarten teachers first and then these teachers have to walk up to the Kiganizer and feed it with the content of the conversation. While such a process will remain the norm for parents with little tech affinity, a considerable improvement would be to open the Kiganizer to the outside world, so that parents can feed in information about their child themselves. This would for example allow the mother of a child to tell the Kiganizer that the grandparent of the child will pick up the child on that day; an information that can be easily forgotten in a personal conversation with the kindergarten teacher if the mother is in a hurry.
More Details on their project can be found in the Concept Development Blog.