Friday, 9 October 2009

Smarter phones

Yesterday was our User Group, and I was able to report that our migration of student email accounts to Google had gone really well - and today Google announced it in a press release. Nice to get some good publicity. We had a very good discussion on the use of web 2.0 technologies in teaching and learning and how we will be supporting and facilitating them in the future.

As part of our commitment to providing applications to mobile devices, we gave a demo of our CampusM application which will be launched to students in the next couple of weeks for the iPhone, and then later to other smart phones.

It has some very nice features, including a directory linked to our University phone and email system, and friend locator (so that you can see where your friends are and meet up with them), news and event feeds, and course details.

It also has a powerful location application linked to GPS and Google maps. We are using it to show our student computing rooms - their location on the campus map and on Google maps and how many PCs are free. Exam venues are also listed, as well as all other buildings on campus. Over time we'll be adding a lot more functionality to this.

There's also information drawn from other systems including the Library so that students can see what books they've got out, their reservations and fines! Eventually they'll be able to extend loans and carry our other transactions. Other features include personal lecture and exam timetables.

We're impressed so far, and will be interested to see what the students think, and get their views on what is missing. How it performs on other platforms will also have to be carefully monitored as it looks particulary good on the iPhone - but then most things do :)


Mike Nolan said...

Hi Chris,

I'd be interested to know why you chose to go with CampusM as opposed to, say, deploying a mobile website which would be compatible with a far greater range of devices.

Chris Sexton said...

Hi Mike - apologies for not getting back to you sooner - been asked the same question a number of times and have just written a new post which I hope explains.