How can teachers and students have more productive, collaborative discussions? Sally Lee ’23 has an app for that – and it has earned a spot in the finals of the senior girls division of the Technovation app contest finals! The project began with assistance from a Lawrenceville School William Welles Grant.
Her app, ThinkShare, gives teachers a concise and convenient way of tracking the group discussions. It also provides specific and comprehensive analytical insight into the overall discussion as well as individual contributions, allowing teachers to give effective feedback to students.
The app will “contribute to ensure and equitable and inclusive quality education and learning opportunities to all,” according to Lee. “It provides schools, teachers, and students around the world with the essential tool they need to thrive in collaborative learning discussions,” she explained. “I want to assist students in becoming active learners in classrooms.”
As an experienced Harkness learner, Lee said she “realized the value of collaborative learning through discussions and wanted to share this educational opportunity with students outside of Lawrenceville. However, I noticed that adequate resources for monitoring and feedback do not yet exist. The absence of resources presents significant challenges for students to learn and adopt proper participation in the discussions.”
She tested her prototype in Lawrenceville English, History, and Spanish classes at various grade levels, using critical student and teacher feedback to modify and improve the app. “The most rewarding part [of the creative process] was testing the app in classrooms. I love seeing how my work can actually be used and benefit the community,” Lee said. “The most challenging part was the development because the app had a lot of dynamic features and data to store so it was difficult to figure the components out. But in the end, I managed to solve them!”
Problem-solving skills are the area in which she feels she’s gained the most. “From identifying a problem to creating a solution, every step involves problem solving,” Lee said. “This skill will help me as I go through rigorous courses in Lawrenceville and also pursue other goals in my life.”
Her next step is marketing the app outside of Lawrenceville. “I love the intersection of programming and entrepreneurship that the competition offers,” she explained. “I have always been interested in finding ways to solve real-world issues with technology.”
As she awaits the contest results later this month, Lee said that it has been “motivating to see what other teams have been working on because it opens me up to new ideas and opportunities. Technovation is a competition but also a tight community of women programmers and entrepreneurs, so it's nice to be in such a community.”
The competition, she said, “definitely lowers the barrier of entry and inspires girls to dive into STEM. I am happy for such an opportunity where girls can be creative, compete with other teams, and learn through the process.”
For additional information, contact Lisa M. Gillard H'17, director of public relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org.