Ball State University releases Android application

Ball State released an application that would allow students to have a wealth of information at their fingertips.

During Welcome Week at the beginning of the Fall Semester, the university debuted a new application called bConnected for mobile devices.

The app contains information that any student might need while on the go. With the program, students can access their class schedules, semester grades and information relating to student organizations.

The university wanted to create a service that would contain information that was relevant to students, said Kyle Parker, senior software engineer for Developing Technologies, said.

"We tried to look at using meaningful student services, not just the directory or things like that," Parker said.

The app was originally developed with a focus on helping freshmen and transfer students become familiar with the people they would be around on a regular basis.

One aspect of the app is that students can view their class schedules, classmates, instructors and tutors that are available for each course.

For students who live in residence halls, they will be able to see their on-campus housing information, residence hall director, roommates and everyone who lives on their floor.

Parker said although the application is not integrated with Gradebook or Blackboard, Blackboard does offer an application that is available both in the iTunes Store and the Android Marketplace.

The features available on the bConnected app are very similar to the information on My Education Gateway.

Although the app has been available on the Android Marketplace since August, the iPhone compatible application has not yet been released.

"These are just prototype apps, so it's just a way to gauge student interest," Parker said.

So far, the feedback from the application has been postitive and around 1,100 students have used the app this semester, Parker said.

Parker is hoping that once the word gets out about the app and the iPhone version is released, that number will increase.

"Really, we're just interested in getting some feedback from students," Parker said. "What else can we provide and what else can we work on?"

Students who would like to experience the application can visit the tech center in the library where there is a television that is connected to GoogleTV, Google's version of internet television.


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