Fall 2011

Mobile Applications that Put the OU Virtually in Your Pocket

The Open University: Israel's first academic institution to enable its student body to connect to the University via their Androids and IPhones.

Google's recent acquisition of Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion is a clear indication that the future lies in mobile computing.

And, here comes the Open University, Israel's first academic institution to enable its student body to connect to the University via their mobiles. A new application "quite revolutionary even for Israel" is now available for students who own Androids and iPhones.

The first in a four-stage process, students can now connect to the University to find out about marks, fees, class schedules faculty hours and other administrative information. All this information is available to students who, for free, have downloaded the mobile applications made available at Apple and Market stores.

Only recently introduced, without any fanfare or advertising, according to Uri Barda, Head of Information Systems and the University's Computer Center several thousand students have already taken advantage of this service and their reactions are encouraging. "Wow!. The program is really simple and definitely useful." "A very easy application, making important information available to the student and really helping us organize our weekly schedule."

Each day, an additional 100 students become mobile users at the Open University.

"Our goal is to hand over to students a variety of tools so that they connect to the campus virtually, rather than having to visit here physically," Uri explains.

Several months in development, right now students can only use the University's new mobile technology for getting information about administrative services. "But by 2012, our expectation is to move beyond just downloading administrative services information," explains Uri Barda.

Soon, Open University students will be able to use mobile technology for 'attending classes' 'participating in chat forums' and 'sitting in on lectures.' They will also be able to access the extensive data base of videos, electronic books and other information that the University has uploaded in various formats.

This would literally and figuratively 'make the Open University part of every student's virtual wallet.'