US colleges learning from student-developed apps

September 4, 2014

Many universities and colleges have released apps to help students navigate available resources and services. But in some places, students are identifying unmet needs and creating their own apps to fill the gap. The New York Times profiles a number of students who created apps that perform tasks such as query their university’s registration system for open spots in courses or help students identify good electives. Other programs help students sort through course catalogues to find classes that meet scheduling needs, or identify when friends have free periods. Colleges and universities are learning from these unofficial tools. Student-created apps not only help demonstrate what students really want, but expose inefficiencies and weaknesses in school systems. Some schools are working to collaborate with enterprising students by giving them jobs rather than punishing them for crashing IT systems. “It turns out if you give students the power they’ll do some pretty great things with it,” said Alexey Komissarouk, who founded a student group called PennApps at the University of Pennsylvania. New York Times