GIE - Ikasys

Hugh began working on this project with the project team at GIE (Gipuzkoako Ikastolen Elkartea) in San Sebastian in January of 2009. The focus of the project is the evolution of the applications that make up the Ikasys education platform (Spanish) (for further information about the platform see this video of how schools are using Ikasys or this news report (Basque). Since October 2009 we've been consulting with the project leads Yon Zubizarreta and Oihan Odriozola on a weekly basis.

The Ikasys project consists of a suite of three separate web applications which are developed from the GIE office on the outskirts of San Sebastian (or Donostia as it's known in Basque). More photos of the office and San Sebastian.

In combination these three applications, whose names are Designer, Trainer and Inspector, allow any education centre to use multimedia exercises which are composed of text, images, sounds and video. Designer is the tool that is used to create the exercises and then organise them into groups which can then be associated with specific stages of the curriculum. GIE have a growing catalogue of these exercises which have been developed internally by their team of education professionals and are currently deployed as part of the Ikasys suite. Trainer provides the interface that the students use to complete their exercises while Inspector allows teachers to follow their students progress in real time while they are working, as well as administer the system.

Together with the team at GIE we have taken these applications from unstructured PHP scripts which had no automated testing or deployment to robust, testable and object oriented classes which are organised in easily identifiable layers. As they have evolved we have progressively incorporated some of leading open source libraries and tools (Propel, Zend, jQuery) in order to improve but at the same time maintain, where possible, backward compatibility (particularly with the catalogue of exercises and students results) and short release cycles.

For the second half of 2010 the road map for the Ikasys suite includes further refinements and the introduction of some exciting new functionality.