We’ve all seen the headlines: Demand for mobile apps is booming. From booking travel and making dinner reservations to scheduling doctor’s appointments and staying in touch with friends, people of all ages just can’t seem to get enough of apps. This is especially true of Millennials, 39% of whom say they interact with their smart phones (i.e. apps) more than people.
As a 22-year-old student at the University of Alabama, I am a typical Millennial in many ways. I am highly dependent on apps, especially when it comes to getting through the school year. And while I have a number of educational and organizational apps on my phone, including the Mybama app, which allows me to message my teachers, check to see if classes are open, and keep track of assignments and test schedules from day to day, I have yet to find a single app to meet all of my school-related needs.
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This said, I’d like to humbly suggest that educators – universities and otherwise – consider more feature-rich apps that students, like me, would really make the most of. Here are a few features I’d personally like to see in a single mobile solution:
- Multi-channel communication capabilities. One problem I’ve experienced throughout my college career is finding a way to effectively communicate with my teachers outside of the classroom. Email is okay, but when you have a homework question or need to clarify something the day before a big test, it’s often just not fast enough. An app with multi-channel communication capabilities, including instant messaging, video chat, and group chat, would be really helpful.
- An easy way to scan and print. I mentioned this idea to a friend the other day and he said, “Why not just take a picture? You don’t need a scanner.” But I do, especially when I want to capture text detail accurately and be able to easily pull information from paper into a Word document or .pdf – all from my phone. And to be able to print to any number of university printers –without having to walk over to the library and wrangle a desktop computer – would be dream.
- A better way to take notes and collaborate with my classmates. There are lots of apps out there that make it easy to take notes and share and collaborate on files, but to have both of these capabilities in a single “everything school” app (that we all already have on our phones) would make my life so much easier, especially when working on a group project.
My app feature “wish list” could go on and on, but, suffice it to say that most of what I want – what the vast majority of students want – is a one-stop-shop: my calendar, my deadlines, my notes, my communication channels, my maps, and my campus financial accounts all in one place…all on my smart phone.
Brady Lowery is a Marketing major at the University of Alabama, who interned with PointClear Solutions this summer.
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