Two co-founders of a mobile application that includes academic and campus information traveled to New Haven Monday in an attempt to jump start their launch at Yale.
About 80 percent of students with smart phones at Pennsylvania State University currently own the free One School application, which compiles data about courses, local dining options, news and transportation services at select college campuses. As its founders plan their expansion to Yale, Brandon Levin ’13, president of the Yale College Council, said he is open to meeting with them, but he added that YCC is already working with administrators and Information Technology Services to develop a similar comprehensive application for the Yale community.
“Although we’re very much in the early planning stages, we anticipate that the [YCC’s] Yale App will aim to aggregate the existing dining and transit apps along with possible other apps for course selection, career services, and other campus constituencies,” Levin said.
David Adewuni and Kathleen Warner, the co-founders of One School who visited campus, passed out flyers Monday as part of a tour of 25 campuses over the course of two weeks.
The One School application, which has garnered positive reviews from publications such as the Wall Street Journal, launched features specific to Yale today: the Yale Shuttle tracker, a campus map, a list of courses offerings and a link to the News’ website. Adewuni said the application’s “wall” feature is its best component since it provides a forum for registered members engage in a continuous stream of conversation.
In addition to Penn State, where Adewuni and Warner had studied, the application has gained particular popularity at three universities on the west coast, with almost 150,000 total downloads between those four campuses. But the lack of security has drawn criticism from students, according to an article in the Penn State Collegian. All content, including wall posts, is available to any Android or iPhone user who downloads the application, regardless of whether or not they are affiliated with a university.
“I really think the security needs to be tightened before students would be willing to share that much information with the public,” Sofia Knutsson ’14 said when shown the One School app.
Adewuni stated that all information included in the application is already available to the public, but he said One School plans to restrict access to individuals with a university-specific password by spring 2012.
Although One School has not contacted the administrators at Yale, administrators at 65 other universities have contacted One School about bringing the application to their campuses, Adewuni said.
Adewuni attributed the success of the application, which peaked in August at number 17 on Apple’s education App store, in part to students’ need to access a wide range of information quickly.
One School, which is based in California, currently has 14 employees.
Correction: Nov. 29
A previous version of the article incorrectly stated that 80 percent of students at Pennsylvania State University currently own the free One School mobile application. It also incorrectly stated that the app has nearly 150,000 users between Penn State and three other schools. In fact, that number refers to the total downloads at the four schools.