iHub’s a small programme — just sixty-two students in our fifth year. Because of our size, it never really made sense to do attendance in classes. Instead, we’d all gather in one main room called the Commons twice a day, and a teacher would read out our names one-by-one, then check us off a list. That was our attendance. Theoretically, it should have only taken two minutes each time, but in practice, it would usually take us ten.
So at the end of our fifth year, Al Soiseth, our senior humanities teacher went up to Laef, a grade 10 at the time, and asked if he’d be interested in creating a solution. A designer and programmer, Laef jumped at the chance and, over that summer, began work on a website to handle attendance.
The website’s interface is simple: When students arrive at the school, they pull out their phones, laptops, or tablets, connect to the wifi, then visit here.inquiryhub.org and tap one single button to check in — the site only works at school. The checkins then show up on a list that can be viewed by the teachers and secretaries. Within an hour, absences are reviewed and phone calls or emails are sent home by the secretaries.
We’ve been using iHub Here full time for the last two years, and Laef is working on finding some students to maintain the service after he leaves. He keeps the website constantly up-to-date, and has worked with artists in the school to add little stickers students can get by checking in on time every day. He also runs little treasure hunts around the Lower Mainland using the Here over breaks.
And this all happened because a teacher knew to ask a student.