Number.fy: Learner Centred Development 1

In a two-part series of blog posts Flurrish CTO, Mike Brown, describes some of the design considerations and technical hurdles that Flurrish have had to overcome in developing the Number.fy app:

E-learning technology is the new buzzword; the proliferation of low cost, personal, touch-enabled devices has lowered the barrier to getting personalised learning in front of pupils. At Flurrish, we wouldn't pretend to buck that curve - it is very much (exactly!) what we do - but we have carefully observed how traditional interfaces and systems work, and been then made sure to take the right design decision at each stage. The following are a few examples of our features we think make a difference to enabling technology like this work in the classroom.

Problem 1: Getting the children signed in...

It's generally understood that usernames and passwords don't work with young children..... in fact they often don't work with adults! Visual login systems are becoming more common as the human brain has a remarkable capacity for memorising complex visual cues. It is for this reason that the Flurrish approach is to use a simple combination of two visual images to replace entering a username and password. By selecting a picture from a list of animals and a drawing a picture with the finger (known as a "gesture"), a two-phase "password" is created; we believe the system surpasses the security provided by a traditional username and password, and is even more effective with young children. Not only that, but it ingrains the use of good security from an early age. Not only is it more secure, but the visual cue is much easier to remember which means fewer password resets. Should a child "lose" their gesture, they can be shown an image of their gesture to remind them which shape to draw.

Part 2 to follow shortly......