Features & Functionality
User creates an account with a username, email address, password, zip/state, avatar and they tag themselves by their interest declarations with regard to their subject, grade, and topic interests. Many social networks look empty because they don't default their users with a unique icon. MySyllabi gives the user a selection of avatars to choose from based on their subject/grade/topic interests as well as the ability to upload their own. Upon registration, the user is given an @mysyllabi.org email address.
The registration process is made up of four steps. The first step is made up of the details mentioned above. The second step involves decorating the user's default classroom. The third step involves linking the user up with her company just in case another co-worker has already set up an account on the site. This matching process is done using the email address of the user as well as their grade and state data. The fourth step involves creating accounts for co-workers. go to top
The users inbox/profile is made up of the username, the user's avatar, the description of the user, a listing of her interest tags, all the public resources and messages she has created intermingled with resources and messages received in her inbox. Users can click on the calendar on the left in order to display a set of listings in the past or future. By toggling among the hyperlinks at the top of a user's Inbox, that user can see her subscriptions, her sent messages, and her private resources. She can also filter postings by category, subject, and grade. By toggling among the hyperlinks at the top of a user's Profile page, you can see her favorites folder of resources, her colleagues list, her classrooms list, her list of subscriptions, and statistics on how active the user is. These affiliations are also featured in boxes on the left sidebar along with additional boxes for her schools list. If a teacher keeps her profile public then other teachers are free to browse through all the components of a user's profile. go to top
Vendor/Sponsor users are given a default classroom page upon registration. A classroom page is like a blog. It is a collection of resource contributions made on behalf of the classroom. A classroom page has a profile/description, an avatar, subscribers (teachers, parents, & students), permissions and user roles for those subscribers, a list of contributions made on behalf of the classroom, resources relaid to the page from other classrooms, a favorite folder and sub-folders therein, a calendar view of all resource associated with the classroom, privacy settings, category tags (subjects, grades, topics) so that similar teachers can find the classroom and subscriptions so that the classroom can be put on “auto-pilot” and thereafter dependent on the contributions of another classroom. A vendor/sponsor can create and be administrator of as many classroom pages as she wishes. Administrators and those subscribers with privileges have the ability to reorder/reschedule contributions however they see fit. All classroom subscribers are featured in the Subscribing teachers box in the left sidebar or by clicking the subscribers hyperlink in the top of the classroom profiles page. go to top
Permission functionality for teachers, students, and parent scales for the vendor experience and allows us to create a foundation where purchase packages can be created in a future development date. We have access to keep resources and classrooms private so that a limited amount of select user have access. In phase two of development, we will scale this technology to allow teacher, school/district admin, parent, and student users to subscribe to classrooms or buy individual content by piece. For phase one, vendor/sponsors will user this functionality to draft resources and stage them for their intended user base. go to top
Users can create resources that are stored within particular classroom pages. The authoring template to create resources is dynamic and dependent on the type of resource the user wants to create. These types include weblink, folder, video, chat, slideshow, image, learning game, assessment, or audio. Authors can also attach files or url address to a resource. Resources can be kept private so that only the user can see them in draft, permissions can be set so that only a particular group of users can see the resource (like a group), or they can be made public so that they can be seen by the entire MySyllabi community through search, what's new, or inbox feeds. If a resource is made public, it must be tagged by subject, grade and topic so that it can be displayed to the right users in the MySyllabi community. A user can only author resources on behalf of the classroom page, not on behalf of herself (her profile). go to top
Individual messages and group messages can be sent, delivered and received on MySyllabi. Message authoring can be initiated by going to someone 's profile page and clicking the "send message" button or the user can click the create tab and select "message" in order to create. A message has a title, body and attachments. It has a list of recipients that the user can select from her contacts list (made from her classroom subscription affiliations or from her colleague list). You cannot send unsolicited messages to someone within the MySyllabi community. You must be affiliated by classroom or colleague list in order to send a message to someone within the MySyllabi community. A message can be created on behalf of a user, or on behalf of a classroom or school. Messages can be sent to outside email address using the MySyllabi tool. Emails from outside address can also be received within the MySyllabi tool if the user either configures their primary email address . Future business opportunities may allow us to sell email packages to vendors CEO's just as much as our core intends for us to sell them to school/district administers. go to top
To add someone to your colleagues, a user visits that user's profile and clicks the “add to colleagues” button. That potential colleague must confirm the request in order for the two user's to be colleagues. Benefits of my colleagues is message control against spam and convenient access within the colleagues box on the left sidebar in order to forward listings. You must be affiliated by classroom or colleague list in order to send a message to someone within the MySyllabi community. go to top
Upon sign-in, a user is presented with a view of the most popular resources scheduled today on classroom pages throughout the entire MySyllabi site. The list of resources that the users sees is filtered by the same subject, grade, and topic interest tags as the user originally declared upon registration. The list includes all types of resources. The order for which the resources are ranked is dependent on how many classroom pages a particular resource is scheduled on. The algorithm takes into consideration how many classroom pages the resource is scheduled on today as well as how many classroom pages the resources is scheduled for any date. Users can click on calendar days on the box on the left in order to view a set of listings from the past or future. User can filter the list of resources by subject/grade/topic tags or by state standards. If she does so wish, the user can click on the customize hyperlink and further filter the daily output she sees under her default what's new tab. On this what's new customization page, the user can map out what topical resources she'd like to see in whats new throughout the calendar of the year. By sequencing & scheduling these topics, the user is qualifying what topical resources she sees over various time segments throughout the year. Technically speaking, this page controls the default topic filter of the resource feed and changes it accordingly by date. The user can also toggle to see the most recent teachers to join the community, the most recent classrooms created within the community, and the most recent schools to sign up for the community; all relative to the users subject, grade, and topic interests declared upon registration. These additional queues are ranked chronologically. go to top
A vendor/sponsor user's display is made of a series of tabs on the right, “body”, portion of the screen. These tabs include the the What's New, Inbox, and Creation tabs mentioned above as well as a Classrooms, Teachers, and Resources tab where users can browse through the MySyllabi community.
Under the Teachers tab, the user can view an output of teacher profile listings. At the default screen, three folders are featured at the top of the list allowing the user to browse within the top three teacher categories. Underneath is a list of the top, most active teachers across the nation according to the user's subject/grade/topic interests. The user can filter by subject and grade, state or by category. These categories include teachers, administrators, librarians, professors, curriculum coordinators, tech coordinators, and educational publishers. Users can toggle to see the most active, “top”, colleagues or toggle to view a list of my colleagues.
Under the resources tab, the user can browse through terrific resources stored in our database. At the default screen, three folders are featured at the top of the list allowing the user to browse within the top three resource categories. Underneath is a list of the top, most active resources according to the algorithm mentioned above and the user's subject/grade/topic interests. The user can filter by subject and grade, state standard or by category. Users can toggle to see new resources or toggle to view a list of my resources.
Under the classrooms tab, the user can browse through terrific classrooms active within our community. At the default screen, three folders are featured at the top of the list allowing the user to browse within the top three classroom categories. Underneath is a list of the top, most active classrooms according to the algorithm mentioned above and the user's subject/grade/topic interests. The user can filter by subject and grade, state or by category. These categories include educational publishers, pre-schools, middle schools, high schools, colleges & universities, schools of education, private schools, home schools, charter schools, department of education, professional development, teacher associations, technology groups, and vendors/sponsors. Users can toggle to create a new classroom or toggle to view a list of my classrooms.
Similar functionality surrounds the experience when a user clicks on the browse schools hyperlink featured in the schools box on the left sidebar. Here, the user can browse through terrific schools active within our community. At the default screen, three folders are featured at the top of the list allowing the user to browse within the top three school categories. Underneath is a list of the top, most active schools. The user can filter by subject and grade, state or by category. These categories include pre-schools, elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, charter schools, private schools, secondary schools, grad schools, colleges, universities, training schools, and summer schools. Users can toggle to see the most active “top” schools, toggle to see new schools, or toggle to view a list of my schools.
Similar functionality also surrounds the experience when a user clicks on the EDU+AID logo featured in the sponsors box on the left sidebar. Under the sponsors screen, the user can browse through terrific sponsors active within our community. At the default screen, the most active sponsors are featured according to the amount of dollars donated to teachers. Users can toggle to see new sponsors according to category: entertainment, clothes, equipment, food, travel, & misc. Each listed sponsor offers a merit based pay raise opportunity for a teacher as well as a promotional discount/give-away. Sponsors on these toggle pages are ranked by the amount of available sponsorship opportunities. go to top
All public resources, teacher profiles, classroom profiles, and school profiles are crawlable and ranked because they must be tagged. Messages are not crawlable. Through keyword input, a user is returned a queue of listings ranked by the either the amount of activity within the classroom, the amount of calendars/classroom posting pages a resource is posted on, or the amount of activity a teacher or school is involved in. go to top
Every listing in MySyllabi is mobile, meaning that it can be forwarded to the inbox of either a classroom or the inbox of a user. If a resource is relaid, then a duplicate copy of the record is stored on the classroom page or inbox and "parent" data is stored within the new record. Users are free to delete the new record if they wish but if they choose to edit the listing, then the original "parent" data is retained. If a classroom, user profile, or school is relaid to a classroom or user inbox, then an agent record is stored on the classroom page or inbox, which points to the particular profile. To relay a listing in MySyllabi, a user can drag and drop the icon to its left towards each of the boxes featured on the left. Users can also relay resources, by opening them up and clicking on the hyperlinks featured at the bottom of the hover box (which opens a according menu). Listings relaid to an inbox go to the top of the inbox's stack for the day. Listings relaid to a calendar day on the left go to the top of the inbox for the according day selected. go to top
Classroom administrators can set permissions determining who can view affiliated items. One of those permissions is the right to subscribe to a classroom. Classroom subscriptions allow users to receive an automatic feed to their inbox every time a new contribution is added to a classroom. Similar to a relay, this feed automatically creates a new record in the user's inbox. Users are free to delete the new record if they wish but if they choose to edit the listing, then the original "parent" data is retained. Depending on the permissions of the classroom, subscribers may be able to contribute collaboratively to the classroom as well. This is a great way for a vendor/sponsor to build a relationship with teachers. Notification feeds consolidate records stored in a user's personal inbox when the user contributes to a classroom that they subscribe to. When viewing the classroom page queue, the user can see who authored each contribution, while non-subscribers only see the classroom avatar. Private resources can only be seen by classroom subscribers. Future iterations of the site will relegate the visibility of paid subscription content using this same rule-set. Resources relaid to the classroom page feature the avatar of the originating classroom. To subscribe to a classroom, a users visits the profile page of the classroom and clicks on the "subscribe" link featured within the classroom description. All classroom affiliations are featured as a thumbnail in the classrooms box featured in the left sidebar. go to top
If a user likes the entire contents of a particular classroom page but wants to customize it to her own classroom calendar, she has a unique tool called a digital syllabus. A digital syllabus is sequence of classroom postings that a teacher can insert into her calendar, starting on the day of her choosing. The contents of the blog are then-after dripped according to the subscriber at the pace for which they are originally authored/scheduled (with weekends taken into consideration). Teachers can edit digital syllabi before they insert them into their calendar. This is valuable not only for curriculum spanning an entire year but also in smaller spitz such as a few weeks covering a unit or a few days covering a lesson. A teacher can create new digital syllabi by clicking from a classroom posting page that she has created or one made by other permitting teachers in the community. Digital syllabi can also be converted from filled folders or from classroom pages. They can also be created from a blank slate by dragging resources from the resource box on the right to the calendar days featured on the right. After opening A digital syllabus up to see in month calendar view, the teacher can also rearrange and delete resources scheduled. go to top
A teacher user can browse through opportunities to have her classrooms sponsored. Underneath the Main Classrooms tab is a folder full of class sponsorship opportunities. A teacher can visit the classroom profile page of these sponsors and click on the "sponsorship request" button. That vendor is then represented as a sponsor for each classroom that the teacher is an administrator of. By selecting a sponsorship, a teacher is eligible for rewards provided by the sponsor depending on the listed requirements associated with the particular sponsorship program she selects. These requirements are tied to the statistics of the classroom which focus on consumption rates of subscribers. Classroom sponsorships are brought to light with a banner ad featured in a box on the left sidebar. Classroom sponsorship is also highlighted with a thumbnail next to every resource sent home from that classroom. Clicking this thumbnail travels the user to sponsor's classroom page. Teachers may opt-out of sponsorship for any of their classrooms, but they only receive reward from the sponsor if they fulfill the listed statistical requirements. go to top
To the left of all output is a contextual side bar that facilitates easy navigation and organization around the MySyllabi website. The different types of affiliation boxes include Classrooms, Calendar, Teachers, Resources, Parents, Students, Schools, and Sponsors. The thumbnails featured in these boxes are in the same order as the user defines them on their full blown sisters. There is an additional vertical scroll bar positioned to the left of the window as well. This scroll bar allows the user to vertically scroll and position the boxes for optimum drag n' drop efficiency. Ideally, we will be make this scrolling action a cycled loop so that when the user navigates to the bottom of the scroll bar, it automatically restarts from the top. All listing featured throughout the site can be dragged and dropped into the thumbnails of these boxes. By simply rolling over the thumbnails within each box, the title of the thumbnail's destination is interchanged with the caption of the box. The sidebar does not reload when the user navigates from the right side and takes advantage of framing technology. The sidebar also takes advantage of variable window size among different monitors and screen resolutions. Users can expand the sidebar horizontally and expand the horizontal length of each box. Each box can also be expanded vertically. In both cases more thumbnails are possibly displayed and any spill over is compensated with a mini scroll bar positioned on the right of each box.
While the sidebar does not reload when the user navigates from the right side of the page, it does take cues upon these hyperlink clicks commissioned on the right side of the page. These cues send reload instructions to particular boxes within the scroll bar, allowing them to reload individually with ajax technology. These boxes are dynamic depending on where the user has found herself navigated on the site. If a user is browsing or situated in front of My Profile content, then the content featured within the boxes is relative to my affiliations. However, if I am viewing the profile of a particular classroom, teachers, parents, student, school, or sponsor/vendor, then the contents in each of these boxes is relative to the affiliation of that particular profile. What is unique about these boxes is that they serve for ample navigation on their own. By clicking on the caption of each box, the user is able to toggle between particular affiliations that are relevant at the time. For example. If I am on a school profile, then I can click on the caption of the calendar box to toggle between sets of calendars representing each of the classrooms of the school. Same true if I am on a my profile, and I click on the caption of the teachers box. I default with thumbnail content relative to my colleagues, but if I click on the caption, I can toggle through teacher subscriber collections for each of the classrooms I am affiliated to. This tool is extremely useful when relaying great listings, especially when I want to relay a listing to a particular day in the future on the calendar of one of the classrooms I am either administrator or subscriber of. go to top
Resources can be opened from numerous locations throughout the site. To open a resource, a user can simply click on the title. By doing so a hover over box opens and resizes according the containing content. The rest of the screen grays out when a resource is open and it can be closed by either clicking the “close” hyperlink in the menu at the top of the hover over or by clicking anywhere in the gray area. The layout of the resource hover over is made up of a menu of hyperlinks at the top and bottom as well as content located in the middle. Controls to navigate the content is featured within the content itself and depend on the type the resource represents (eg. Play button within a video). The hyperlinks in the bottom menu allow for relay without having to drag and drop. These controls include adding the resource to a classroom calendar, directly forward a resource directly to the top of a classroom stack, and forward a resource to a colleague. In addition, controls here include the ability open the resource in a new tab, the ability to flag the content as inappropriate, and the ability to edit or delete the resource. Hyperlinks belonging to the menu at the top of the hover over window include controls featuring information about the resource. These include a toggle to see usage and consumption statistics of the resource itself, a toggle to see who has viewed the resource and when they viewed it, a toggle listing the permissions set by the original author, a toggle listing all comments left from consuming users, a toggle featuring tags set by the original author, and a toggle featuring all the classrooms that the resource has been scheduled on. go to top