Our software is made in Adobe Flash+Flex and makes use of a Tomcat Apache server
The client application is the part of the system which is used by the children. It is implemented in Flex which controls the application, and it shows content which is developed in Flash.
The server is the part of the system which provides services to the client application and
communicates with the database. It acts as an interface between the database and the client
application. It is implemented in Java Servlets which run within an Apache Tomcat server.
The administration application is used by the project coaches to manage users of the application and digest usage information. It communicates with the database. It is implemented as Java Servlets serving a simple website running within the browser.
The database stores all data in the system which can undergo modification. Data which is static and used by the system but never modified is generally not stored in the database. We use the relational database management system (RDBMS) Apache Derby to manage the database.
All software is running on top of a linux OS that has been modified to our needs and which has been made temper proof for the children.
We first used small netbooks in our field tests to see if they would fit the children's need. We soon discovered that the sounds of the outdooor environment were to loud to overcome by small speakers and the netbooks proved to be too vulnerable.
At this moment we use desktops installed in kiosks that are specially made for children. These kiosks are made by Hole in the Wall.
Some of the characteristics of these kiosks are:
- Outdoor Proofing – The Learning Station has a rugged design, so that it can be deployed in tough outdoor conditions. It therefore uses a modular enclosure and special panels that enable mass-market desk tops to be used in outdoor settings with extreme weather conditions.
- Tamper Proofing –The Learning Stations are designed to be tamper proof using specially designed frames and materials to protect the system and peripherals from damage and pilferage.
- Unsupervised Use -To be able to function in unsupervised setting, the Learning Stations are made sturdy with effective fault tolerance systems for software and protective covers for hardware, so as to reduce downtime.