Seth Kahn, from Oxford, helped develop the SDS MyLearning platform with his mum, Dr Alison Kahn, a visiting fellow in Digital Learning Systems at Loughborough’s School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences (SSEHS).
The dashboard – which is due to be showcased at the ASCL Education Conference, in Birmingham, on March 11 and 12 – lets youngsters access and organise all their homework, coursework, revision, exam preparation and projects from one screen on their home or school computer.
The idea came to Seth when he graduated to secondary school during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.
He said: “I was really disappointed not to be able to celebrate the end of primary school properly and missed some of my friends, who went onto other schools.
"When we arrived in year 7, at our big comprehensive school: there was so much to take in and we didn’t get to see our new classrooms for a long time. It was a bit disorientating.
"We had to wear masks, which I didn’t really like. This year (8) we have had to work from home too, and so I needed some help organising my classwork.”
He went to his mum for help and the pair developed a cloud-based interface that can easily be downloaded and used anywhere by children and teachers.
Dr Kahn said: “It’s been a bumpy couple of years for children, to say the least. The tool helps pupils organise all their work in one place, using one interface. I believe organised pupils do better at school and I wanted to develop a system that is inclusive and makes the learner proactive in setting about managing their school work.
"It’s unique compared to other platforms as it has been developed from a pupil’s perspective - we have got feedback from a few children; so it has been created by children for children and links with any school virtual learning environment (VLE).”
“The pupils decide how to build their knowledge in this personalised digital space and demonstrate what they know with easily accessible key resources, rather than just be given loads of links and information, which they are not always able to curate.”
The digital interface includes access to online images, Google Maps, news feeds. Pupils can record audio and video to help with revision, and upload photos to include in assignments.
Seth added: “I thought if I could make a dashboard on one interface that works for me, it could help other children organise their work. I thought a timeline and a photo archive would be really interesting to be able to access.
“The photo archive we have on this digital organiser is from the World History Archive and we get to access all the photos; they have thousands we can use, which makes lessons like History and English really come alive.
“When it's a Chemistry lesson, I can click on the periodic table for quick access. It’s really helpful having everything in one place so when the teacher gives us links to websites and videos I know where to find them.”