EduPal gets major overhaul to be a better pal

EduPal gets major overhaul to be a better pal

Jasir Qiydaar

Technology Writer

jaqiy1@umbc.edu

 EduPal, the program created by Markus-Allen Proctor, a UMBC student, has recently received a major overhaul. This overhaul includes improvements of both aesthetics and performance

EduPal, which launched in August of this year at UMBC, is a tool used by college students to manage their busy schedules.

Students and professors are able to upload their syllabi to create a calendar that keeps track of due dates, as well as school-related activities.

This educational tool, created by Markus-Allen Proctor, interdisciplinary studies major and member of UMBC’s Class of 2016, has recently received a major overhaul that includes new features that streamline the user’s experience with EduPal, as well as aesthetic improvements, like color-coded schedules.

Apart from the aforementioned features, EduPal also offers coupons that can be used at UMBC’s Bookstore. For Homecoming Week, all EduPal users received an extra 10 percent off all UMBC logo merchandise.

To find one of these coupons, a student would simply need to sign up for EduPal and look under the “Timeline” section for a piggy-bank icon. Then, after clicking on the icon, a digital coupon which is to be presented at check-out will appear.

Proctor wants students and staff to know that EduPal is, “a stakeholder in the community,” as evidenced by the time and effort he and his team continue to invest in EduPal, and by their support for UMBC events like the Hackathon.

Proctor partially attributes the need to revamp EduPal to comparisons to Google Calendar. He knew that he would have to take steps to differentiate EduPal from comparable services by improving EduPal in such a way that comparisons wouldn’t be made.

To do this, he and his team had to not only evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of EduPal, but also those of other services. One step taken was rewriting “a large amount of architecture” for the website.

This overhaul includes the addition of a feature called Timeline, designed to simplify students’ schedules. The Timeline feature replaces the calendar-only system that was present in EduPal’s previous iteration.

According to EduPal’s website, Timeline allows students to, “View upcoming assignments, assessment dates and personal events the moment you log-in.” Timeline also comes with a task manager that can function as a to-do list.

Another major addition to EduPal is the development of an EduPal app. Though in its current version EduPal is easy to use, the creation of a mobile app will maximize functionality for the students who use it.

The app, which is expected to be available in Winter of 2015, will allow students to access EduPal on their smartphones and tablets with even more ease. Though this may seem like a long time to wait, an email sent by EduPal says, “In the meantime, you can add EduPal to your device’s home screen and open it just like any native application.”

 

To sign up for EduPal, click here: http://edupal.co