Service meets Social

In 2010, Microsoft Research proposed the design challenge “service meets social”.  Our team drew inspiration from the current state of the California education system and we asked ourselves the following questions:


  1. How do we update and integrate relevant technology into the classroom?
  2. How do we allow teachers to feel comfortable to share their ideas?
  3. How do we allow students to get the most out of their education?


Our solution was STEPS.


STEPS is an online resource and community for educators. With lesson plan databases, member profiles, and a series of expandable integrated applications and devices. STEPS brings networking to K-12 education and allows innovative ideas to be shared beyond the classroom.

Other Team Members: Kevin Kwok, Rachel Thai, Winnie Yuen, Wayne Tang

Microsoft Design Expo 2010 Sponsored by Microsoft Research

IxDA 2012 Finalist

Project website:

Teacher Sharing Website

Teachers are able to share knowledge and lesson plans.

Teachers can review student work.

Teachers can update/synchronize their schedules with their tablets.

Teacher website/Bookshelf Prototype


Educational apps can be downloaded for use in the classroom.

Build reputation and earn money by creating new applications.

Schools will be rewarded when the apps are downloaded.

Tablets for Teachers

Teachers can update their lesson plans and schedules on the fly.

Teachers can monitor the students’ progress in real time.

Teachers can communicate with parents quickly and easily.

Tablets for Students

Students can easily read, write, draw and paint digitally.

Students can learn social skills from interacting with other students in group activities such as puzzles.

Teacher Tablet Demo

Student Tablet Demo

Feedback from Microsoft Research Panel (If you’re short on time, skip to the 3:00 min mark)