Phase Two of Queens College Mobile application has been released with additional features and services to bring students and faculty what they want and need with just a tap of their finger on a mobile device.
“In essence, QC Mobile basically has information that students, faculty and staff would need in the palm of their hands,” Angel Arcelay, director of Enterprise Application Services said. “It keeps the students connected.”
The new releases include browsing the library catalogs at QC and CUNY, receiving the latest news from The Knight News, following QC on Facebook and Twitter and for iOS users, exploring campus with augmented reality.
Users of the application are able to find the books that they need for class and articles that they need for research without having to go to the library and searching it on the computer.
“With the library catalog you know where the book is down to the stack and you know about the other CUNY campuses, [like] if other CUNY campuses have a similar book or something else that may be of interest to doing research,” Arcelay said.
The augmented reality feature allows students to locate where they’re going on campus with the map service and not only shows students where a building is located, but how long it would take them to walk there as well.
It also has a “places” feature where students can find the hours of dining services, the library and computer labs and it shows if these places are opened or closed on the day of searching.
Arcelay and other members of the Office of Converging Technologies believe that this feature is a great hit for incoming students who aren’t familiar navigating through campus.
“I have to say, I have only demonstrated this for only one orientation so far — for new students — and it was a hit for them right away as I was sitting there walking them through the app, a lot of them took out their phones and would go and download it immediately,” Despina Kouvaros, assistant manager of training and technology solutions, said.
Although this application would benefit incoming students, many of the features on it would benefit other students and faculty as well. The creation of this application came with the thought of what students wanted in a university, how to make things easier for the students and how students can receive the information that they need without having to take out their laptops or constantly be by a computer.
Some features that were introduced in Phase One of QC Mobile were the courses feature, where students receive a detailed look at all the courses that are offered at QC, from the times and days the classes are offered, to what professor is teaching it, where it is located and when it is offered each semester.
There is also an emergency feature that provides quick access to not only public safety on campus, but to the closest precinct if students or faculty are not in close proximity to a public safety blue emergency phone.
QC Mobile is available for iPhone, iPod, iPads, Blackberry, Androids and if students or faculty don’t have a smart phone, OCT has even provided a web-version for those users. The application is free for download on respective phone services to purchase applications.
“How many apps do you have on your phone that you really don’t use? This is one that you would actually use,” Liza Torres, deputy director of user services said.
Since many of the mobile devices are different and have different software that enables users to use applications easily, some devices may work better than others.
“We of course want students to visit the Help Desk and come in with their device and say it’s not working for me, that way we can actually have a one on one conversation with the student at the Help Desk and help you figure out how to fix the problem,” Arcelay said.
OCT encourages students to visit the Help Desk or contact them with any questions or concerns that they have with the application. They are also open to hearing feedback to help advance and add more features to the application.
“We want it to work for them [the students] and in essence we want them to use it,” Arcelay said.
Phase Three of QC Mobile is set to release sometime before the fall semester with new features such as a QCard feature where students are able to check balances and add more money to their cards, as well as BlackBoard Learn, where students can have easy access to Blackboard and course information and assignments from teachers.