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ISC Delivers Mobile Apps: m.upenn.edu

April 21, 2011 :: Jim Choate, Information Systems & Computing

ISC Delivers Mobile Apps: m.upenn.edu Information Systems & Computing is proud to deliver m.upenn.edu, a major initiative to provide a mobile culture to Penn’s campus that will meet the needs of Penn’s highly diverse and technology-demanding community for “anytime/anywhere from any device” connectivity.

Mobile technology is transformational, reshaping the basic ways in which people live and communicate. Mobile technologies are evolving rapidly. Whether it’s an iPad in a classroom, a GPS navigational system, or browsing the web and whether it’s an iPhone, Droid, or Blackberry, Penn is a “mobile” community.

m.upenn.edu is deceptively simple: With one click on a screen icon, students, faculty, employees, and alumni and friends can call up any number of applications which provide valuable information as diverse as, for example, Penn News, information about Penn’s libraries, athletics, and public safety as well as the University calendar, the Penn directory, the campus map, and most of the functions available from the full site Penn InTouch.

For example:

  • The Penn community and Penn alumni and friends can click on the Penn News icon to access headlines and brief summaries of articles about Penn. The full article is accessed by clicking on the headline. News about a specific School can be accessed from a screen that contains links to all 12 Penn Schools.
  • The Penn Directory allows search either by University department or by individual person.
  • The Penn Libraries icon includes icons to connect to catalog search, reference works, Blackboards Mobile learning, new books available, library events, and the ability to ask questions of a librarian.
  • Other icons link to information about University athletic events – when, where, opponents, scores, etc. – and to cultural and academic events on campus – performing arts events, nationally-known guest speakers, book signings, etc.

The Penn InTouch app provides course, academic, and financial information. Students can view their schedule and their grades, update emergency contacts and address information, share academic and financial information with others, request a transcript and their GPA, contact their advisor, request an update on their financial aid status, provide student health information, and conduct a course search for the next semester’s courses that includes information on time and place for each course as well as a course description and syllabus.

m.upenn.edu also provides mapping information by accessing geolocation information, enhancing the experience of mobile communications for the entire Penn community and campus visitors.

For example:

  • m.upenn.edu provides students with information regarding their daily course locations and gives them detailed directions to and from classes, as well as a map displaying the paths they can take
  • By typing in the “from address” and the “to address” students, faculty, employees, alumni, and visitors can find directions to any building on campus; they can also find directions simply by accessing the Buildings Menu and clicking on the building they want to go to.
  • m.upenn.edu exposes data regarding campus features previously unavailable on mobile devices, making it easy for users to easily search and view detailed information regarding art, buildings, parking, bike racks, etc.

m.upenn.edu leverages existing application investments and uses web technology, not device-specific applications, to serve the wide array of devices in use at Penn and by alumni and friends. It provides an excellent mobile experience with a fraction of the expense required for device-specific development.

New applications will be added over time to the initial m.upenn.edu offerings.

For more information, please contact Jim Choate at choate@isc.upenn.edu.

 

 



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