Back to School Smarts

Sep 05, 2017

Much like the end of a perfect summer day, the hottest season of the year is drawing to a close. Beach days, bonfires, and cookouts are fading into memories, and we can already taste the hint of pumpkin spice on the breeze…

Teacup with leaves and book

Welcome back, Autumn.

 At TechArk, our passion is knowledge, growth, and learning. It’s been an exciting year so far, full of twists and turns, and we recently received some great news:

We are thrilled to announce that TechArk has become an official partner of the Virginia Beach School System, thanks to our work with Old Donation School over the past few months!

This morning as kids in Virginia Beach laced up new shoes, zipped up backpacks, and grabbed lunchboxes, there’s one additional tool in their arsenal that wasn’t there last year. 

Old Donation School app screenshotsIt’s an app, but it is also so much more. It is the spring in the step of your child on the first day at a new school, because they already know the way around. Imagine knowing ahead of time where you needed to go, and sparing your children the mind-numbing mortification of stepping into the wrong classroom (we all did it at some point) or getting lost.

We built the app for Old Donation School, so go search for the ODS Self Guided Tour in the App Store or on the Google Play Store!

Utilizing tiny computers called “beacons,” the app connects to your mobile device when you and your child arrive at Orientation. Strategically deployed sensors located around the building communicate with your smartphone via bluetooth, initiating your digital guided tour.

You and your future scholar can stroll the grounds at your leisure, learning the hallways and classrooms at a pace that’s comfortable for your child, so he or she can feel confident on day one.

Available tours include the Social Instructional, About ODS, and Sustainability. A highly collaborative project, ODS students determined which architectural sustainability features were notable, wrote descriptions and shot video for each, working closely with the team at TechArk throughout development and testing. Descriptions of each feature were written by the students, including non-VOC paint used in the building, environmentally-friendly terrazzo flooring that includes recycled material, solar tubes providing natural light, and recycle bins in the cafeteria.

“Education is something we value highly at TechArk and we are very passionate about it,” said TechArk founder and CEO Pratik Kothari. “My son attends ODS and we’re so impressed by what they’re doing with the curriculum. The new school building is exciting and stunningly impressive. We were happy to give the students an opportunity to work on this guided tour project.”

If you’ve read our post about Smart Stuff (the growing network of datafied objects all around us) then you know this is the way of the future. The Internet of Things is growing rapidly, and we’ve barely scratched the surface.

We’re excited about the next wave of technological advances on the horizon (along with the return of pumpkin spice lattes). After all, your phone is smart. Your TV is smart. Shouldn’t your school be smart?

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