Hollywood often presents technology as a force of evil. There are the killer robots in “iRobot,” Whiplash in “Ironman 2” and the first terminator sent to kill John Connor in the “Terminator” series, but at NSU technology is a force of good – unlike those robots. It helps students with their research, their communication and even their laundry.
The Office of Facilities Management at NSU has used technology to make it easier for the community to get around campus. The Shark Shuttles now have GPS, which allows the NSU community to track the shuttles via NSU’s main Web site. Through the Web site, one can see where the shuttles are and how long they will take to reach a given location. The shuttles may also be tracked via text message by texting a bus stop number to 41411. When this is done, a message is sent with the approximate time of the bus’ arrival.
Tronia Smith, freshman early childhood education major, said the tracking system was very convenient.
“I get dropped off at the front of my destination and I do not have to worry about finding a parking space or losing the one I have,” said Smith.
Residential students can also take advantage of Laundry View™, a way to check if washing and drying machines are in use or available at their dorms. Laundry View™ is an Internet-based application that students can access at any moment. It is also capable of sending a text message to the student’s phone when the laundry is done.
Taylor D’Elia, freshman education major, said, “I love it. I use it when I do laundry. I hate when I go down with all my clothes and all the machines are filled.”
The Alvin Sherman Library is also using technology to eliminate the stack of post-its filled with research results. Instead of writing down the call numbers, author names, and book titles, students can receive all that information via text message from the library.
Students log on to NovaCat, the online library catalog, to search for materials. Once a desired source has been located, the student can click on “send details to your phone.” A text message with the results is then sent to the phone. This service works with most carriers, which are available in a drop-down menu on the site. Regular text messaging fees apply and only one result can be sent at a time. Click here to find out more information about this service, or to use it.
Another technological addition to NSU is the CAPP report. This report allows students to view their progress in their program of study. Students can view their required courses for the program, highlighting what requirements have been met and which have not. Students can also see their GPA, credits and grades. This allows students to verify whether their academic record is accurate.
Jamila Adams, academic adviser in the Fischler School of Education and Human Services, said, “The CAPP reports have been useful in catching any discrepancies in a student’s record. Students have been using the system and advisers have made sure to report necessary changes.”
For students wondering what changing their major would entail, the CAPP report has a feature called “What-if Analysis” that generates an analysis detailing what courses would be required for the new major. Students are able to see if previously taken courses will apply to the new major and which ones they would still need to take.
NSU also has several web portals where students can gain access to their personal information. WebStar and WebMail grant students access to personal information, but they contain different kinds of information. Students have to log on to different portals depending on what information they are seeking.
WebStar contains registration information, an account summary, tax forms and personal information. WebMail is NSU’s e-mail system.
Then there is SharkLink, which allows students to view all the information that is in WebStar and WebMail as well as other features. Students can manage their calendars, view their CAPP report and also find out about news and events around campus. SharkLink has consolidated information from the other web portals so that students may view everything with one log-in.
Ibis Vento, second year M.B.A student, said, “It is nice to use a system that centralized all of a student’s resources in one area. SharkLink includes a search component not available in WebMail, allowing the e-mail to be more efficient and user-friendly.”
Students taking online courses can view all information related to their classes on WebCT. There, students participate in chat rooms, post discussions, view their course work and view their WebCT e-mail.