NSU develops iShark app

Sometime this month, the Office of Information Technologies and Digital Media will launch iShark, a series of modules that streamline several services, activities, and events at NSU into one single online application. The free application will be available for download from both the iPhone App Store and the Android Market.

The application is a variation of iStanford, which Stanford University uses to learn more about services, activities and events, including maps, course offerings, student life calendars and university news.

Hugo Alvarez, executive director of Development and Software support at OIT, said work began on iShark in summer 2011 and cost approximately $60,000 to develop. Alvarez said George L. Hanbury II, NSU president, named the application iShark after the prototype was presented to him by OIT.

“In designing iShark, it was important that we create something that is easy for students to use and creates a unified university identity. In everything we do at OIT, we try to do it with Vision 2020 in mind,” said Alvarez.

“The main campus is like a maze, but an app that is specific to the NSU landscape would be great to help people navigate the campus,” said Walker.

Alvarez said the app will only initially provide access to Blackboard. However, iShark will be updated to include: the Shark Shuttle bus schedule, more detailed student life calendars and access to SharkLink.

“Currently, iShark, as it will be released, is not transactional, meaning that students can only view general information. Once we make iShark transactional, students will be able to use the system to do more things, such as apply for admission, register for classes and check the status of their financial aid,” said Alvarez.

Aaron Hackman, assistant director of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement, said he is excited about the amenities that the application will provide.

“I’m not the most tech-savvy person, but from what I have seen and what my colleagues have told me about iShark, it is very user-friendly and achieves the objective of the use of technology to make life at NSU easier,” said Hackman.

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