UC San Diego Offers Free iPhone App
- By Dian Schaffhauser
The University of California, San Diego (UCSD) has begun offering an iPhone application that provides mobile access to information about its courses, faculty, athletics, and videos from the university's YouTube channel.
In a statement the university said the free application will be most helpful to students, who will be able to touch the screen of an Apple iPhone or iPod Touch to access information about current and next-quarter course listings; an interactive campus map that pinpoints the location of each course's classroom; and the ability to telephone, e-mail, or send a text message to instructors.
"It's going to provide so much information in such a sleek interface that it's going to add a whole new dimension to students' day-to-day experiences on campus," said Elazar Harel, assistant vice chancellor of administrative computing and telecommunications. "By the end of the year, many of the students will also be able to use the application on a wider variety of handheld devices and use those devices to listen to audio podcasts of previous lectures while they're going to that day's class."
"Students are excited about the new application, and their emails and Facebook and Twitter messages have resulted in more than 2,100 downloads of the application the first two days it was available," said Emily Deere, executive director of the administrative computing and telecommunications applications group. "We were caught off guard when our application shot up to one of the top-10 educational iPhone downloads of the week."
The new application was developed by Terribly Clever Design, a company that had previously created similar mobile applications for Stanford University and Duke University.
By the end of 2009, the institution expects to also offer a version of the application for Research in Motion's Blackberry.
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.