The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

St. John’s Releases New Smartphone App

Need to check grades? There’s an app for that.

The University has released two applications to make normal school tasks, such as checking homework posts and or Stormcard balances, more accessible – all while on their iPhone or Droid.

The STJ Mobile and Blackboard Mobile Learn apps are the latest push from the University to use technology to its full capacity, said Joseph Tufano, vice president of Information Technology.

STJ Mobile allows students to check their Stormcard balance, schedule, grades and the cameras at the Laptop Shop and Student Financial Services.

Tufano explained that the STJ Mobile app is based on a framework created by Sungard, who controls the St. John’s Central platform. The University then had the ability to combine features it thought would be beneficial to students.

The Blackboard Mobile Learn app allows students and faculty to view course content and update throughout the semester.

The University also has similar phone apps, including one for Red Storm Sports.

The executive board of SGI was asked to test the app at the end of the Fall semester. Ellen McBurney, senior senator, explained that members who had a smart phone were asked to try the app and voice what they believed would be beneficial to students.

IT and SGI have both been promoting the app to students this semester. Tufano said fliers are available at IT tables on campus. The fliers explain what capabilities both apps offer and how to download them.

SGI has been informing students at meetings about the apps’ capabilities. Some students have already downloaded the STJ Mobile app and said they found it convenient.

Jessica Shah, a freshman, said she recently  downloaded the app and enjoys its features. “It’s definitely worthwhile. For the money we pay for this school, it should be something we can use,” she said. “It’s really pretty. It does crash a lot though. There could be a few bugs.”
Tufano explained the University will continue to advance the technology of the STJ Mobile app.

Martha Hirst, senior vice president for Operations and Treasurer, has pushed for the newest technology to be integrated into the learning experience. “St. John’s has made technology a high priority both day-to-day and as part of the University’s Strategic Plan,” she said in a statement. “We continue to identify and support technological advances such as STJ Mobile to better equip our students with the tools needed to succeed in college and embrace today’s real world experiences upon graduation.”

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