Title

DIAPLASIS: Development of Online School-Parent Collaboration Platform

Abstract

Resent research, especially in the area of Cumputer Mediated Communication, has shown that many educational districts in Europe, USA, Canada, Australia and other countries, use various technological solutions for communication with parents. Most schools, even in Cyprus, have their own web site showing information, while other schools employ online student management (or information) systems with specific levels of access by teachers, students and parents. In many cases, schools (or even teachers) use blogs, Facebook and Twitter accounts or even forums and email to communicate with families. All these approaches, even though commendable and with good results (according to research), take into account that (a) all parents can purchase or have access to a computer (b) all parents have the basic skills required to navigate through student management systems, reply to emails, post to forums or even navigate basic web pages. This research project will create an integrated online platform providing cloud-based serivces including an operating system and an optimised Graphic User Interface that will enable people with little to no skills and experience in using a computer, to collaborate and communicate with school personnel and other experts (ie psychologists), as well as participate in events organized by the school or by the Parent Teachers Association, in case it is extremely difficult or even impossible to attend the actual at-school event.
Additionally, by deploying a thin client connected to a centralized point in the house – the domestic television, the project manages to minimize the cost of maintenance, almost elinimate the need for updates and upgrades, and offers a significantly lower Total Cost of Ownership compared to a normal ‘fat’ computer.

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