Cloud Computing Platform to Structure Students
Educative Time after Schools Time
Habib M. Fardoun
, Daniyal M. Alghazzawi
, Antonio Paules Cipres
King Abdulaziz University, Faculty of Computing and Information Technology,
Information Systems Department, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
University of Castilla-La Mancha, Polytechnic School, Information Systems Department
02071 Albacete, Spain
Abstract. Nowadays, new information technologies near to Cloud Systems are
being applied on Educative techniques for primary and secondary students.
These have been following established attributes to facilitate and support inter-
action with other Clouds where the needed services are hosted, providing the
system flexibility and capacity to add more and new services. In this paper we
present a study related to the minimum platform necessities aiding at support-
ing teachers and parents to help students structuring and organizing their time
after the school classes. Other than managing students’ free time, the platform
is also designed and developed so to study techniques for scholar centers ac-
cording to departments’ orientation and to aid everyday students’ homework
1 Introduction
Nowadays, primary and secondary education students are focused on the learning
process as such [1]; therefore, Classroom Assistant Techniques (CATs) forefront new
study habits consecutions used along their lives outside school activities. This is of
great importance as in the current Spanish society; we may find an elevated rate of
academic failure in the Obligatory Secondary Education [2]. Since the use of ICTs in
schools, we find a striking improvement in the students’ ways to pass their courses
[3]. This suggests that the creation of educational platforms that make use of such
ICTs are appropriate and necessary; most importantly, exactly those that young peo-
ple utilize in their schools so to facilitate CATs within Obligatory Secondary and
Primary Education. Current teachers are qualified in the ICTs utilization in their
classrooms, The goal of our educative platform is to create a system for the teachers
to implement and control CATs with their students; thus, students can obtain better
academic results. We also include foreign languages platform translations because
they currently exist as pendent subjects within the Spanish educational curriculum.
On the other hand, one of the most commonly used ICTs is the inclusion of Cloud
systems in the current educational systems so to provide flexibility to its users. The
architecture within the Cloud where the included needed features by the students are:
M. Fardoun H., M. Alghazzawi D. and Paules Cipres A..
Cloud Computing Platform to Structure Students Educative Time after Schools Time.
DOI: 10.5220/0004607301660171
In Proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on Interaction Design in Educational Environments (IDEE-2013), pages 166-171
ISBN: 978-989-8565-65-5
2013 SCITEPRESS (Science and Technology Publications, Lda.)
Distribution of time slots, Parents’ tracking, Teachers’ tracking, and foreign language
CATs are carried out through a distribution of student’s time and specific exercises
implementation towards the improvement of their personal work as well as associated
methodology, additionally taking into account the English language improvement
inside the platform. Consequently, we propose a platform that facilitates and supports
the educative content reinforcement as well as the curriculum support as such. In this
development we took into account the hardware devices appearing in the market and
increasingly becoming part of students’ daily life. Thus, the students improve their
scholar performance using specific CATs to provide a solid ground also for foreign
language subjects. In this paper we conducted a study over the minimum necessities
for an educative platform design and development aiming at providing teachers and
parents the tools to help students to structure and organize their time after school.
This platform does not only manage students free time, but it also provides orienta-
tion through CATs so that scholar centres, and specifically orientation departments,
based on an initial associated to each student curriculum analysis, can help to estab-
lish the reinforcement of learning activities and homework that the teacher assigns
each student. These CATs have the potential to improve students’ academic results,
as they in turn reinforce the curriculum content through each student’s deficiencies
related to the curriculum.
2 State of Art
Classroom Assessment Technique (CAT) is both a teaching approach and a set of
techniques. The approach is that the more you know about what and how students are
learning; the better you can plan learning activities to structure your teaching. The
techniques are mostly simple, non-graded, anonymous, in-class activities that give
both you and your students’ useful feedback on the teaching-learning process. Class-
room assessment differs from tests and other forms of student assessment in that it is
aimed at course improvement, rather than at assigning grades. The primary goal is to
better understand your students' learning and so to improve your teaching [4]. The
current CATs emphasize that in order for the students to success in studies a good
educative process plan and a good study method has to be in place [5]. In this study
planning, teachers and students must take into account:
- The material to take over in the exams or in the practices to evaluate.
- The performed effort to achieve this knowledge level.
- The available preparation time.
With it we determine students’ daily study rhythm that the teachers have to estab-
lish from the beginning of the course, as for example the lessons content, organization
and structure as with the Personal Learning Environments (PLEs). Adell and
Castañeda (2010) define PLEs as “the set of tools, information source, connections
and activities that each person usually use to learn” which “it is configured with the
tools and services that permit us the access and the relation with the information and
other people” [6]. However, in our search we couldn’t find any platforms directly
linked to CATs and students’ organization for their daily learning activities and
homework linked to the associated reinforcing activities. We found Web pages or
applications oriented to conventional resources or English resources. Results from our
own previous studies [7], revealed that Cloud systems provide a place to store such
PLEs so it is easy to be adapted to the everyday educational and organizational neces-
sities [8]. We have also taken into account the scholar organization and the planning
structure to improve the student’s curriculum [9], work at home and interactivity with
the teacher in the class [10].
Also, we couldn’t find any type of specific software in the market to aid tutors
work improvement by using CATs for a conventional academic course. As a discrep-
ancy was identified, we decided to create a new educative platform designed to in-
clude day-by-day related CATs. In this platform, we take into account the new cur-
rently hardware devices such as devices for the time control (clocks) and interactive
glasses (Google) [11].
These hardware devices include students’ daily interaction with each other via the
platform. So, students can perform their learning activities in any moment and at any
place. For this paper, we suggest the following research question: Do Google Glass-
es facilitate students to realize learning activities in a guided excursion or in an or-
ganized skill-based environment following the clues in CATs?
3 System Architecture
To finalize the platform architecture, we added more attributes to those presented in
[12][13][14], plus those the Spanish legislation indicates:
Curricular Elements: listening, speaking, writing, reading and oral interaction.
Distribution of Times: such functionality facilitates the teachers to realize the
learning activities distribution times. It conveys the planning form a teacher acti-
vates and submits to determine the time to do each activity.
We have designed and developed associated and appropriate system architecture in
the Cloud covering platform’s technical needs so the users (parents, teachers, stu-
dents...) acquire a place to first, meet each other and thus, realize CATs work on any
determined environments (school, home, etc.).
Usually the educational platforms, like Cschool [7], provide official curricula
supporting the students in their learning activities; these are formed by their
knowledge, abilities and skills, the level of consecution of the goals and the basic
associated competences, see Figure 1. To include the necessary data to CATs, we
designed an interoperability layer between the educational platforms. This is only a
set of Web services connected with each other so to support interoperatbility by
providing each educational platform an access and communication point. The next
layer supports system actors (teachers, parents and students) and their access through
the applications in order to work on the recommended tasks. In a dark green colour
CATs are th Study Techniques where the students are anchored for working on their
homework (i.e. learning of a foreign language such as “English”). We also add to the
system reinforced activities so that teachers can select activities according to the
needs of a specific student. These personalized activities have a linear time structure
to organize the homework.
Fig. 1. System architecture.
The collaborative work is feasible through social networks (almost all spanish
students in schools has an account in at least 1 social network [1]) near to current
interactive devices to faciliate us so to work collaboratively. This form of interaction
supports the teachers to prepare interactive sessions with the students. The cloud
“Time Control” is a system that provides the alerts for students, teachers and parents.
It works as a scheduler and as a reminder. Thus, students can organize their times,
and teachers and parents will be able to observe the time use for their children inside
the system. This system activates an alarm when receiving alerts from the CATs
4 How to use the Platform
Next we present a study case on creating CATs for students using interactive devices
through a graphic generator that we developed for this purpose. This editor is based
on the “drag and drop” events functionality and aids the teacher to compose the steps
necessary for the students to make at home; the teacher controls the application, as in
Figure 2.
Figure 2 shows an example of a teacher proposing CAT to a student in the first course
of ESO; lesson 1 “language and literature area”. As we observe in the middle of the
interface, the teacher creates activities and steps the student has to perform. In this
case, the student’s work starts at class taking notes; then studies the given educational
material. Afterwards, the student has to perform compressive reading about the stud-
ied contents. At this point the teacher inserts a break time as “Time” within which the
student has a break; after he comes back, he continues his work and finishes his
learning activity. The teacher will be notified once the student leaves the work and
Fig. 2. Classroom Assistant Techniques generator using interactive devices and time distribu-
the time he returns back. Parents can also have control of the system when using
Google+ and other interactive devices like an Android clock, which is connected to
the application through the Cloud, so to display their children’s study hours.
5 Conclusions
Nowadays educational systems are capable of supporting students’ personal needs on
their everyday learning activities. The presented research shows the importance of
implementing Classroom Assistant Techniques initiating at the beginning of the
course, and to integrate them within the new ICTs and interactive devices currently
available in the market, like Google glasses and Android clock, supported by interop-
erable technologies, and Cloud Computing.
This tool is being used by a set of professionals, teachers and students, to study its
application and improve the uncompleted sections. After talking to the students’ par-
ents they are in favor to make use of such tool that helps them to control their chil-
dren time dedicated to their studies.
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