Sorry this took so long to post (we needed a nap after all the excitement):

AND THE WINNER OF THE US NATIONAL FINALS for the Imagine Cup Software Design Invitational


Team ECESIS from Virginia Commonwealth University!
Congrats to James Barrett, John McKeon, and John Sells!
See the press release here.

ECESIS is a Tablet PC - targeted .NET application that helps young kids learn how to write, and also provides some great tools for their teachers and parents.

James, John, and John next have a couple months of working on their app before taking it to the Imagine Cup World Finals in Yokohama, Japan at the end of July. There they'll represent the US and compete against students from dozens of other countries for big cash prizes and some massive bragging rights.

Here's their project abstract (get it and their bios here, in Word):

ECESIS is an application that runs in the Tablet PC environment and that can be used in early-childhood education classrooms to facilitate writing instruction. Using the application, students will complete a series of lessons that have been created with help from education faculty members from Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of South Alabama. These lessons will be stored on the application server and distributed to client applications by way of Web services. Data collected on the client machine will be stored in the Microsoft® Data Engine (MSDE) when the Tablet PC is not connected to the network and transported to a centralized server running Microsoft SQL Server™ 2000 and using Web services when connectivity has been re-established.

The ECESIS system will provide objective feedback and scoring of student progress, and includes a Web reporting interface using SQL Server Reporting Services that will be accessible to parents, teachers and school administrators. The ECISIS team has modularized the Web reporting interface and the writing instruction application to facilitate the development of additional instructional modules that will provide feedback through the common Web reporting interface.