The Assignment Observer

By: Dylan S.
Year: 2023
School: Lakeside Middle
Grade: 8
Science Teacher: Lauren Feng

In the era of digital education, platforms like Canvas have revolutionized the way students and parents engage with homework assignments. While these platforms offer the convenience of real-time updates and accessibility from anywhere, they have also introduced new challenges. Keeping track of homework content and due dates has become increasingly difficult, leading to frustration and tension within households. To address these issues, Dylan has developed an ingenious solution called the Assignment Observer (AO), powered by a Raspberry Pi micro-computer and Python programming language.

The Assignment Observer not only simplifies homework management but also promotes mental well-being for students and their families.

Canvas and similar platforms have provided unprecedented flexibility for teachers to modify homework requirements and due dates. While this benefits educators, it places additional responsibility on students and parents to stay updated. Constantly logging into Canvas or relying on email notifications can be overwhelming, with important information getting lost amidst numerous emails. As a result, surveys conducted by Dylan indicate a negative impact on mental health, as reported by parents and students alike.

The Assignment Observer (AO) is an innovative solution designed to address the challenges of dematerialized homework management. By providing a real-time homework assignment status, the AO eliminates the need to interact with portals or clutter email inboxes. This Wi-Fi-connected device can be placed anywhere in the house, providing an easily accessible overview of the number of homework assignments due and unsubmitted for various time periods. Leveraging the Raspberry Pi micro-computer and Python programming language, the AO ensures that the displayed information is always up to date.

How the Assignment Observer Works

Using the power of Raspberry Pi and Python, the AO fetches and updates homework assignment information without requiring direct interaction with Canvas or other learning platforms. The device continuously communicates with the online platform, retrieving data on assignment deadlines and submission statuses. The AO then displays this information in real-time, offering students and parents a clear snapshot of their current homework situation. With its user-friendly interface and effortless integration, the AO simplifies the process of staying on top of homework assignments, due dates, and content.

Following extensive testing in various households and gathering feedback from families, the Assignment Observer has proven its effectiveness in diffusing tensions and improving homework management. By providing real-time updates, the AO ensures that students and parents are always aware of their assignment status, eliminating the need for constant logins or sifting through overwhelming email notifications. Families using the AO have reported improved communication, reduced stress levels, and a more harmonious learning environment. Ultimately, the AO not only streamlines homework management but also promotes mental well-being.

With its utilization of Raspberry Pi and Python, the AO revolutionizes the way families engage with homework, alleviating frustration and tension within households. Dylan’s OCSEF project has successfully demonstrated the benefits of the Assignment Observer, improving communication and fostering a positive learning environment.