A two-day event sponsored by the University Council for Academic Technologies, Student Government, the Office of Information Technologies and AgencyND helped more than 125 attendees interested in mobile applications, or apps, learn how to look at the programs as tools for the University’s benefit.
The Notre Dame Mobile Summit 2012, held Feb. 24-25 in the Mendoza College of Business, offered brainstorming sessions, discussions and collaboration on the development of and strategy behind mobile apps. Staff, faculty and students discussed the use of apps within higher education and why the development of mobile technology is critical to the future of Notre Dame.
Jon Crutchfield, academic technologies consultant for the Office of Information Technologies, says one of the highlights of the summit was when alumnus Tim Connors spoke to attendees via WebEx on mobile strategy.
“We had what were called lightning sessions. We had three different tracks for those,” Crutchfield says. The topics were mobile devices and apps that people currently use, delivering content and services to mobile devices, and developing for mobile technologies.
The summit also included a contest in which teams presented ideas for apps to a panel of three judges, with audience members submitting their votes. The winning idea, called “S.O.S.” by student Matt Fitzgerald, is an app where users store their medical information before traveling abroad in order for it to be accessible in case of emergencies.
Crutchfield says there were several social networking apps, as well as one that shows the shortest walks across campus and allows users to add information such as whether they wanted to go through buildings or not.
This was the first summit held by MobileND. Crutchfield is in the process of making audio and video recordings of the presentations available at mobile.nd.edu.
Ron Kraemer, CIO and vice president of information technologies, believes the summit was a success. “I was really pleased that in the short time that we had to organize it, we had tremendous engagement from all the different groups that participated,” he says. “Overall I believe this was an extremely successful event.”
“We intend to have future events,” Crutchfield adds. “The next one we’re trying to plan is for the fall semester. We intend for that one to be more focused around development, so we’re having some speakers and workshops getting a little deeper into the development aspect.”
Kraemer says the sponsors will take the summer to tweak their approach to the fall summit.
“We’re seeing mobile evolve into different kinds of things that affect campus life in different ways–how we run the University, how we undertake teaching and learning, engagement in research, and the student experience with mobile in their daily lives. As we look to the fall, we want to evolve these future summits in a way that benefits us broadly but will have great impact on these individual areas.”