My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: MSBM Mobile App make UWI Orientation Easier - How the MSMB may be Developing Research and Business Apps

Monday, August 31, 2015

MSBM Mobile App make UWI Orientation Easier - How the MSMB may be Developing Research and Business Apps

“In order to continue to deliver an exceptional teaching and learning experience to our students, MSBM has provided a solution that will meet the information needs of its students in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. Our mobile App will provide the students with real-time information on developments in the school and will allow our students to always be in the know. It is the first of its kind anywhere in the university system in Jamaica”

Executive Director of MSBM, Professor Densil Williams, commenting on the MSBM launch of the MSBM Mobile App

UWI (University of the West Indies), it seems, is finally stepping into the 21st Century as it relates to the use of smartphones for more than just games.

The MSBM (Mona School of Business Management) recently introduced a mobile App called MSBM Mobile for Tablets and smartphones as part of the start of the orientation process at the UWI as reported in the article “Mona School Of Business Launches Mobile App”, published Monday August 31, 2015, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Uploaded on Thursday June 4th 2015, the App, dubbed MSBM Mobile, also packs in their orientation video to help students register seamlessly for their classes since Monday August 24th 2014. 

As anyone who's been through the UWI knows, finding things on that gigantic campus is like travelling across the Sahara Desert. The UWI website is no less helpful and can be as difficult as finding as needle in a haystack.

Available only on the Google Play Store, it's also a lot more convenient than the website, as most student by now either have a smartphone or Tablet and can access the Internet via UWI's free Wi-Fi Internet.

The MSBM Mobile App, which is based on the Kurogo Open Source Platform, was developed by the MSBM in conjunction with the Computer Science Department.

This is the same Department that was behind the updating of Google Transit on Google Maps to include JUTC routes as reported in my blog article entitled “JUTC Google Transit from UWI Computer Science Department - Why Google Maps is the next step towards an AVL”.

So how does the MSBM Mobile App help to make a UWI student's orientation that much easier?

MSBM Mobile App - How a UWI Orientation App makes UWI like Dora the Explorer

It does so by making everything super-easy to find!

The interface for the MSBM Mobile App is very linear and intuitive, with the following options in the menu section:

1.      Courses
2.      Booking
3.      Directory
4.      News
5.      Calendar
6.      Dining
7.      Social
8.      Map

The built-in GPS tells you exactly where you are on the Mona Campus and what's closest to you. You can also search the MSBM Mobile App in order to find information and have it displayed on a map of the campus.

New Students to the UWI and more specifically the MSBM can easily parse the Menu options within the MSBM Mobile App and find the following information:

1.      Class schedules
2.      Faculty and staff directory
3.      Events
4.      Campus News
5.      Reservations/scheduling for study spaces
6.      Videos/photos
7.      Social media
8.      Maps of the Campus
9.      Dining options on Campus

So with so many things done right, save for a little lag in the interface, what does this mean for the MSBM and App development on the UWI?

MSBM Mobile App – Why MSMB may be Developing Research and Business Apps

Personally the only problem I have with this App is that you cannot complete your registration via the App, which is still a problem for most UWI students. Also, it's only available for Google Android users; Apple peeps have been shafted yet again!!!

Still, anything to make navigating the harsh realm of the University of the West Indies easier is always welcome. It's also an initiative that other Universities such as the MICO University College, could do to help students complete their orientation on time.

But more interestingly, is this the start of a UWI Developer push, where every month we'll hear of another App being developed by the Computer Science Department in collaboration with other Faculties and Department on the UWI Campus? 

Possibly Apps for Research, Data Capture, Gaming and even Business App in partnership with a certain Telecom Provider?

Only time will tell if my sources are spot on...but this is definately now on my watchlist!!



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