February 07, 2011


By Julia Ferrante

LEWISBURG, Pa. - Students, faculty, staff and other visitors may access course schedules, dining menus and other vital information on their Internet-enabled devices with the launch of Bucknell Mobile Web.

The site, m.bucknell.edu, offers up-to-date information on subjects ranging from athletics to the academic calendar in an easily readable form as well as links to the University's online directory and an interactive campus map. Some of the features, such as the campus Message Center and course schedules, require users to sign in.

"Our most popular items so far are definitely the course schedule, menus and the online directory," said Lisa Veloz, the assistant director of online services. "After that is the library services and e-mail. One of the most popular student requests was to be able to check for the availability of computers in the library from anywhere."

Bucknell Mobile Web is specially configured to fit the screens of the iPhone, iTouch, iPad, Android phones or any mobile phone with Internet access, Veloz said. Course schedules, for instance, are available in a calendar view with links to the faculty teaching the classes, course location and a list of text books required for the course.

Among other features, users may:

  • Find students, faculty and staff at Bucknell through the directory and e-mail them or locate their office.
  • Check to see when the library is open or reserve a book or DVD.
  • Browse campus events or academic calendars.
  • Look at menus from dining halls across campus.
  • Browse the day's campus headlines and find out what the media is saying about Bucknell.
  • Contact public safety and medical and other emergency services.
  • Locate a building on campus or check to see how far a building is from the downtown bookstore.

The mobile site was officially launched in January after beta testing during the fall. The site received nearly 4,000 hits in the first few days of the semester.

Many universities are developing mobile websites to meet the needs of students, faculty and staff and other visitors who rely on Internet-enabled devices for information, Chief Information Officer Param Bedi said.

Bucknell is part of a consortium of colleges and universities whose mobile sites are built on an open-source framework developed by the Massachusetts Institute for Technology. Bucknell-specific features are being added regularly, most of which are based on suggestions from the campus community.

"Our mobile strategy is to provide access to our students, faculty, staff, alumni and visitors independent of the mobile device," Bedi said. "The University's move to Google Apps for Education and Bmail also tremendously enhances our mobile offerings, with e-mail, calendar, contacts, Google docs and much more. It's pretty neat that I can create and edit documents and collaborate with my team using my phone."

Also this month, a professor and student launched the University's first "native app," iBucknell, for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. || See related story

Contact: Division of Communications

 

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