At larger schools and institutions, keeping up with upcoming events and sharing information across campus can be challenging. Communicating notices, updates, and reminders for classes, deadlines, and upcoming events is often laborious and inefficient. Thus keeping students engaged with their school outside of the classroom is always difficult. Most schools have a wide range of channels for sharing various types of information, but since they are disconnected from each other and centrally managed it is easy to miss an update or for information to be lacking.
A team of college students and recent graduates aims to make information sharing and accessing smoother by creating an intuitive and beautifully designed platform called Flypost [http://flypost.com/]. Any member of the school can upload a poster and details for a relevant event. Since all events are created by members of the community, Flypost utilizes the powerful knowledge of crowds to give users a more complete informational picture of their community. These posts are subject to administrative approval before they become available for anyone to see. Students, faculty, staff, and guests can view events on mobile apps, the school’s website, and info screens around campus.
Letting students know about all the happenings both on and off campus keeps them engaged with their school and community. And engagement generally leads to better performance in the classroom and higher levels of satisfaction with school in general. It also fosters the creation of new friendships that might not have been formed otherwise.
For example, finding out about clubs and their meetings can be difficult outside of a club fair, but Flypost makes it simple for club members to post meetings times and locations and let others know about them. The goal is to make it so easy to let others know about events that even small events for, say, five people are worth sharing. Just in case someone new happens to see the post and decides to come.
Flypost can also replace or augment email lists for recurring events with groups. Groups allow people to reach each other on their phones, which most students feel more is more natural than email, but still keeping communication professional since phone numbers or other private accounts are not required.
New people can join those groups in a way that involves less effort than joining an email list. Students can, for instance, create study groups on the platform and share meeting times and other relevant resources with those in the group. Others are able to see those groups and join if they want. With groups for class sections or class years, Flypost lets students, faculty, and staff stay connected to one another.
The creators ran a small test at their own university, where users could feel the impact. Students used Flypost to keep up with lectures, club events, sports, and performances. “Figuring out what events to attend and how to find event information has been simplified and made functional by Flypost and I couldn’t be more grateful.” — Talena G., Class of 2018.
Their university—home to 2,500 undergraduate students— prints around 30,000 posters per year. The team seeks to increase sustainability by reducing reliance on paper posters and advertising materials by making digital information sharing more efficient and effective on campuses.”
“Flypost reduces how much paper we’re using in an area that really needs improvement. It also reduces the clustered look on our walls across the campus, yet still allows us to reach more people in a way that’s faster, easier, and more effective than using traditional posters.” — Ti A., Administrative Secretary.
Paper posters are not only wasteful, but they can also be ineffective, as passersby develop ‘poster blindness’ from walking past the same wall covered in posters everyday. In essence, the clutter makes it difficult for new postings to stand out, and since people can often be in a hurry as they walk past, they do not take the time to visually separate the new from the old. Ideally, only the most important, large, or urgent notices would be posted on walls to keep the jumble of posters to a minimum. Or better yet replacing some bulletin boards with screens to display posters from Flypost.
While the platform was created as a way to share events, Flypost also allows users to share general announcements or updates. Auditions for a play, ongoing art exhibits, or deadlines to register for classes can all be communicated to students in the same way.
The platform is also adaptable for broad events, like conferences or festivals, that are composed of many smaller events. The mobile apps have a schedule view which shows a list of upcoming sub-events in chronological order in a way that is easy to read and allows for schedule changes and updates to be made smoothly.
The creators are also working to integrate the platform with the orientation experience next fall so that new students have a guide that will keep them informed as they get grounded at their new home. The team is also working on building in a ticket system so that tickets for events can be purchased in app and shown at the door from the app.