A little while ago, I blogged about a university competition I had entered, where I submitted a couple of ideas about how we could use technology in the uni to improve the student experience.
I submitted two ideas – google maps for uni campuses and personalised timetables. Unfortunately neither of these got voted for in the end but I did get some good feedback from the judges. The more detailed feedback I received was focused on the uni maps idea. In my submission I had highlighted a use case in particular for using an app to locate plug sockets nearby, which seemed to be very popualr amongst the judges.
The idea had strong support, and gathered positive comments which noted the fact it was solving a common problem for staff and students, and visitors (e.g. parents, alumni, business partners, etc) alike.…There is a technical challenge with this idea which is that google maps are not 3D and you would need to locate people in 3D to know which floor someone is on. I am sure it could be done using internal wifi. Jisc are looking at the smart campus – so another way to do this would be to have smart technology that told you where the plug sockets are located etc. This point was reiterated by a Learning technology Advisor who is currently investigating the use of ibeacons.Comments highlighted that the idea had many useful themes, and indicated similar ideas being successfully delivered at institutions like Manchester Met, and indeed a Hogwarts style Marauders Map at Lincoln (Wes in the SU has experience of this and may be a good contact). As with many services collecting data sources and keeping them current may prove time consuming and problematic.There was universal praise for the simple plug socket locator element, and information on whether study spaces are full.