Mobile Applications for Higher Education


With the growing presence of smartphones, modern colleges have been presented with a powerful new platform to deliver specialized content to the campus community. From creating customizable study tools to concentrating the core functionality of a college website, mobile applications represent an opportunity to remain at the forefront of cutting edge technology while creating unique tools that are most useful outside of traditional computing environments. During this session, we’ll take a look at two of the mobile applications that NKU has developed for the iPhone/iPod Touch. During the first portion of this session, we’ll discuss the development of NKU’s flagship mobile app, iNKU. With the development of iNKU, we’ve consolidated some of the most useful content that our online presence has to offer, such as our campus directory and schedule of classes. We’ve also created tools which are new with iNKU, like our TANK bus schedule app and streaming radio. During the second portion of the session, we’ll talk about NKU’s flashcard application. Intended to encapsulate the same functionality as paper flashcards, this app is a promising digital version of the time-honored study tool. Users can download specialized ‘decks’ of study questions with which they may quiz themselves.

Thomas Barker, Northern Kentucky University and Curtis McCarney, Northern Kentucky University


My Notes

This is the NKU approach to mobile.

The iPhone, Blackberry, and Windows Mobile where the top 3 in early 2009

They chose iPhone.

They used modular app design.

They used student workers; many came from a iPhone course at the university.

They have 14 apps in all.

Students made one solely by themselves: flashcards.

iNKU is their flagship app.

It started as a native app (compared to mobile web app).

In march 2010 they added mobile web to it.

Released spring 2009.

They made their own map (Google was too old)

They have SAP portal for student information system.

They tied in more app features to SAP in successive versions.

They use Flurry to collect stats.

Next for them: social media, photo gallery, more SAP integration, virtual tours.

Authentication for at least 3 features. They use secure connection to LDAP.

They use a central services server for RSS and SAP features and other services.

They used the Cocoa Touch framework.