There’s an app for UAF

Elika Roohi / Sun Star Reporter
March 1, 2011

There is an app for everything.  Including UAF.

UAF Mobile is an application that has been around since the beginning of this semester.  It allows students to access the UAF directory, look up courses, view a map of campus, watch videos, browse the news, call the shuttle, and more.

The first college campus app was originally developed by students at Stanford, according to Karl Kowalski, the Executive Director of User Services at OIT.

From there, Blackboard, the UAF online class supplement, started working with the students at Stanford to develop a standard interface for college apps.

The UAF app is far from being finished.  OIT has some big plans on what will happen next.

“We’re currently working with the library and incorporating the catalog,” said Kowalski.  OIT is also working with on-campus dining services to get menus to be a part of the app.

Another future addition to the UAF mobile app will be an app designed by John Pender, a junior computer science major.

OIT held a contest in the fall to design the best UAF-related app.

“There was a lot of feedback on it,” Kowalski said. “But there ended up only being two submissions.”

The first was Pender’s app, which presents a searchable course catalog that allows students to save the schedule of potential classes to their phone.  The other app was submitted by the drama department, and gave a virtual tour of the department.

Pender’s app should be a part of UAF Mobile soon.  “It’s not ready to go against live data yet,” Kowalski said.

For students that want to check Blackboard from their smartphones, there’s a Blackboard mobile app. The app only works with certain platforms at the moment, but it should work with everything by spring break.

Anyone with good app ideas should get in touch with OIT.

“By all means, bring it forward,” Kowalski said.

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