Smith College Releases App
Published: Friday, September 14, 2012
Updated: Friday, September 14, 2012 14:09
The Smith College Office of College Relations recently introduced Smith Mobile, an app that enables students with iPads, iPod Touches and iPhones to access the course catalog, dining menus, directory and Smith news on their devices.
A little over a year ago, Smith College introduced two separate apps for the dining menus and campus directory. Sarah Moriarty ’72, director of administrative technology, explained that the dining app was extremely popular with students, and that the school felt it would be best to combine the apps. This enabled them to add new features, including news feeds, iTunesU and access to the alumnae directory.
As iOS is the most dominant operating system at Smith College, the school decided to go with an app for Apple devices first. However, the college plans to introduce the app for other mobile devices in the future. “We are already working on the mobile web version of the app, which will support other devices,” said Moriarty in an e-mail. This will make the app more widely available to the student body.
One of the completely new features is the alumnae directory. Moriarty believed this feature is one of the best and most useful aspects of the app. “I can search by senior house, graduation name and class year, and immediately find the phone and address for Wilder House classmates,” said Moriarty. This is a secured feature for the app, and gives alumnae an easier way to keep in touch with their fellow classmates.
The inclusion of the course catalog is one step Smith is taking to reduce the number of paper copies printed each year. Smith Administrative Technology, College Relations, the Office of the Registrar’s Office and the Provost’s office are all working together to achieve this goal. “The catalog module in Smith Mobile is a step in that direction,” said Moriarty.
Students are generally excited about the app. “I would definitely be interested in using this app, especially since I already have the directory and dining ones,” said Ellen Gunzel ’13J.
However, some students have reported problems with the new version. “It’s a cool idea. Certain features are very useful, but there’s a big glitch in the dining hall menus,” said Sarah Barstow ’13. The dining menus are often incorrect, and are not consistent with the original Smith Dining App, which matches the menus online. Barstow resorted to using the old dining app for this reason.
The course catalog and directory occasionally fail to work as well, but students remain generally positive about the fledgling app and future developments. “I would support the idea of the Smith Web site offering more apps, like one that lets you see all the lectures going on that week, because that information is more scattered and hard to find on the Web site,” said Laurel Bryggman ’13.
The app is free and can be downloaded in the Apple App Store.