After some paper prototyping in class and a few brainstorms between my group we've generated a few more things:
Personally I've never seen or heard of anyone doing a chart like this (though i'm sure it's common) and we found it very very helpful. Lifecycle vs. stakeholder chart. We plotted intersections where a stakeholder interacts with the product, and tried to think of ways to add value to those interactions.
My favorite idea that came out of this exercise: Rewarding students who keep laptops in good shape! example: student A doesn't have any maintenance issues with their laptop for a year (doesn't lose a charger, no broken parts, etc.) they are rewarded with a discounted accessory to personalize the device. Externality based economics (subsidizing good behavior!)
And a screenshot of refined OS aesthetics. I have clickable prototypes, but those aren't too thread-friendly.
Thanks for all the feedback and help so far everyone. It's really having an impact on the project in a big way and I appreciate it big time.