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Author Topic: PROJECT: Children's home store server  (Read 3253 times)

Josh

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PROJECT: Children's home store server
« on: December 20, 2013, 04:09:08 PM »
OK, if you are reading this, then you must be immediately killed because this project is top secret...no, just kidding.

Anyways, this idea came to me after my wife and I implemented a "store" in our home to help reward our daughter for appropriate (desirable) behaviors. This allows her to earn fake money for things that we add to the store. It is based around a central catalog which we maintain. Unfortunately, maintenance and printing this catalog has become quite tedious and I have decided that I want to take a stab at digitizing the store.

Enter the new project. So, we have a media server running on an old dual core laptop. For what we use it for, it works well (DLNA to our PS3s). I have since installed a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP) suite on the laptop in hopes of setting up an "ecommerce" site for my daughter. This would help us by allowing us to more easily add items to the store, while also re-enforcing memorization of things like her address, birthday (birthday specials), family birthdays, etc.

The need: Here is what I am looking for. Right now, I have installed and have actively running a copy of Zen Cart, Open Cart, Presta, and soon oscommerce. I am looking for an ecommerce solution that is simplistic enough to where I don't have to edit every conceivable attribute for a "product" in order to add it to our catalog. I would like for her to be able to submit orders, payment type of "check", and check the status of these orders. This will not only help us re-enforce proper money use, but it will eventually allow us to involve "fake checks" and a "fake credit card" system that we want to implement as well.

So, I am looking for suggestions on potential open source products I can implement to help get this under way. One shortcoming I have found is the lack of page editing capabilities without having to modify TPL files. I would like some form of basic WYSIWYG editor.

Other than that, I am open to other ideas.

I am open to any and all suggestions. What does everyone think?

mouser

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Re: PROJECT: Children's home store server
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2013, 04:12:04 PM »
I love this idea -- it would be great to see this developed in a way that others can set it up for their households too.

kilele

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Re: PROJECT: Children's home store server
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2013, 05:42:45 PM »
After a few searches I've run into this software with a checkout sandbox to simulate payments
https://developers.m...m/sandbox?lang=en_US

wraith808

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Re: PROJECT: Children's home store server
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2013, 08:37:58 PM »
I actually like this a lot... I'll have some time next week (when I'll be working on my NANY entries) so I had a question in terms of implementation- did you set up your items on a LAMP stack and as a web application because that was easiest?  Or were you looking at that's how you wanted to implement it?  Or were you open to other implementations?

mouser

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Re: PROJECT: Children's home store server
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2013, 10:05:05 PM »
it might be useful for you to start a list on that thread of features required. some examples:
  • 1. needs to support multiple user accounts, so each child can have a login of their own
  • 2. for each user account, it must be possible for the admin to add money to the child's account easily
  • 3. user must be able to build a shopping card, and then "checkout" to purchase
  • 4. admin's must be informed when child makes a purchase of something, and then the money subtracted from user's account
  • 5. must be easy for admins to add "products" with pictures and prices

mouser

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Re: PROJECT: Children's home store server
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2013, 10:06:42 PM »
Someone should do this for NANY -- by that I mean not coding the whole thing from scratch, but writing any necessary tweaks to modify or configure the open source components of a LAMP setup, and writing a step by step tutorial on how to set it up.

TaoPhoenix

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Re: PROJECT: Children's home store server
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2013, 11:22:49 PM »
Just a generally-supportive post with a little giggling here ... this entire concept strikes me as a little funny. Talk about raising children in the digital age!

But what I do want to know is a bit about why they're not straight cash sale transactions, and why they have to be "fake". Why not give the daughter "store credits" that she can then cash out like any other "easy" store transaction?

In other words, it's not clear to me why stuff in the "store" can't just have a dollar value, and the daughter "earns store money" doing chores. Then it's just a regular cash-out. She can't be buying stuff daily, I'm betting she only gets stuff at most once a month or even once a week. So just use a typical store-cart.


Josh

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Re: PROJECT: Children's home store server
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2013, 07:04:01 AM »
<explanation>

Tao, let me preface this explanation below with the fact that our daughter is autistic. We use fake money because this started as a physical catalog-based store that we created in publisher and printed out as it was modified. The original intent was to teach monetary concepts and help her learn to save while also helping to enforce desirable and positive behaviors in place of certain non-desirable behaviors or actions. We are simply trying to move this one step further. Store credit would not give her the physical representation of money that she requires to fully understand these concepts. Think of the physical money as an immediate reward for her when she engages in a desirable behavior.

As a person living in the digital age, I can already tell you that I've watched many people (including myself as a teenager) get into trouble with things like non-physical money (debit cards, digital currency accounts, etc.). The reason for this is the idea that you are spending money diminishes as you use just swipe a card or login to an account. This is what we eventually want to lead up to with our daughter, but the physical money helps to enforce these concepts, and gives her something to represent how much she actually has. A big issue we have encountered is her lack of impulse control. Teaching her to save her money for the larger items in the store (A game she really wants, something of choice at the local stores, etc.) has proven difficult.

We will eventually move to all digital when we feel she has a grasp of money concepts (which isn't that far off as she is only very recently beginning to understand "a lot" VS "a little"). Additionally, we don't want to jump ship too quickly to all digital until she is able to better exhibit impulse control.

So, needless to say, she earns money in a lot of different ways throughout the day. At night, once per day, she is allowed to buy something out of the store. We include lots of little things for her as well, not just big ticket items. However, we do include things she wants that are higher priced in hopes that she will save, or learn to buy something little every now and then vice HAVING TO buy something every night.

</explanation>

Does this help?

wraith808

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Re: PROJECT: Children's home store server
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2013, 07:31:37 AM »
It does, and makes a lot of sense even for non-autistic children. I've done the same with my kids, but didn't have the catalog aspect.  That's why i asked about the LAMP aspect; I have te start of my solution to build out- but its a desktop application

Josh

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Re: PROJECT: Children's home store server
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2013, 08:05:04 AM »
I was getting to you next wraith :) I just needed coffee, first.

The solution does NOT have to be a LAMP solution, it was just my preferred method based on the information I had. I am still playing with various ecommerce suites in an attempt to find one that fits the bill. I like the idea of an ecommerce solution as it provides a great deal of flexibility and can also help me teach our daughter about online shopping, how things work, etc.

I am open to any and all ideas, however :)

Innuendo

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Re: PROJECT: Children's home store server
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2013, 11:32:58 AM »
This is a brilliant concept. Lots of kids have a hard time grasping the concept of the value of money and I could see this being useful for all parents trying to teach their child the value of a buck.

The best part of this, though...exhibiting a near evil genius level of brilliance is the part where Josh's wife talked him into doing all the work.  ;D

Josh

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Re: PROJECT: Children's home store server
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2013, 12:03:29 PM »
Josh came up with this concept all on his own! (checks to see if the wife is looking)

Vurbal

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Re: PROJECT: Children's home store server
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2013, 01:03:02 PM »
<explanation>

Tao, let me preface this explanation below with the fact that our daughter is autistic. We use fake money because this started as a physical catalog-based store that we created in publisher and printed out as it was modified. The original intent was to teach monetary concepts and help her learn to save while also helping to enforce desirable and positive behaviors in place of certain non-desirable behaviors or actions. We are simply trying to move this one step further. Store credit would not give her the physical representation of money that she requires to fully understand these concepts. Think of the physical money as an immediate reward for her when she engages in a desirable behavior.

As a person living in the digital age, I can already tell you that I've watched many people (including myself as a teenager) get into trouble with things like non-physical money (debit cards, digital currency accounts, etc.). The reason for this is the idea that you are spending money diminishes as you use just swipe a card or login to an account. This is what we eventually want to lead up to with our daughter, but the physical money helps to enforce these concepts, and gives her something to represent how much she actually has. A big issue we have encountered is her lack of impulse control. Teaching her to save her money for the larger items in the store (A game she really wants, something of choice at the local stores, etc.) has proven difficult.

We will eventually move to all digital when we feel she has a grasp of money concepts (which isn't that far off as she is only very recently beginning to understand "a lot" VS "a little"). Additionally, we don't want to jump ship too quickly to all digital until she is able to better exhibit impulse control.

So, needless to say, she earns money in a lot of different ways throughout the day. At night, once per day, she is allowed to buy something out of the store. We include lots of little things for her as well, not just big ticket items. However, we do include things she wants that are higher priced in hopes that she will save, or learn to buy something little every now and then vice HAVING TO buy something every night.

</explanation>

Does this help?

As someone with lots of experience with my own autism and my daughter's it makes perfect sense.

The only thing I would add is to make sure and include however much of a cognitive behavior element as possible - however much that may be based on your daughter's functional level. With autism it's important to get an intellectual handle on the why of things, especially knowing at some point in the future you will probably have to adapt your behavior as your circumstances and the world around you changes.
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Deozaan

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Re: PROJECT: Children's home store server
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2013, 04:27:40 PM »
It might be easy to use something like Square Register and only take "cash" payments.


TaoPhoenix

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Re: PROJECT: Children's home store server
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2013, 06:08:13 PM »

All that is fascinating, Josh!

It's all so different from the way I and most kids of my era were brought up - before the internet was "always on" with digital shopping, etc. So there were perhaps only three stores I wanted to spend my weekly allowance at, and the allowance was at a point where at worst two weeks worth was enough to buy some toy or book. So at that level I had a decent handle on what money is.

As for "fake money", what about using Monopoly money as the physical counterpart of it all? Then you get to go into themes like "a fist full of single dollars is less than two twenties" and all that.


Josh

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Re: PROJECT: Children's home store server
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2013, 08:48:18 PM »
Tao: We have been using fake money that looks like real money in order to help her associate it with the real thing. It has been working very well and I am actually quite happy with the progress we have made so far.

Right now, I am playing with magento CE which actually offers a nice page editor that does not rely on TPL file editing. I am still open to ideas thou!