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Mobility enabled notice board for Universities

We all are familiar with notice boards right from our school life. The usage increases as we grow from junior school to middle school to senior secondary to college / university respectively. Notice boards are particularly prevalent at universities. They are used by many sports groups and extracurricular groups and anything from local shops to official notices. Dormitory corridors, well-trafficked hallways, lobbies, and freestanding kiosks often have cork boards attached to facilitate the posting of notices. At some universities, lampposts, bollards, trees, and walls often become impromptu posting sites in areas where official boards are sparse in number.

 

corkboard

a typical corkboard, still used by universities for posting notices and circulars

HISTORY

The concept of notice board started with a blackboard, exactly what we used to have in the classrooms or the slates for kids used in early times. Such black boards were installed in some common areas, wherein the notices were written with a chalk, as and when there was a need for a general notice. Invented in 1801 by James Pillans, the technology remained for good over 100 years, till the usage of paper increase in early 19th century. Then we had an area designated for notice board, painted with black paint border inside which the notices were pasted on a piece of paper. The concept still exist and is now even a mode of advertisement.

In 1924, George Brooks invented the corkboard, which is still used in many school, colleges & universities, for pinning up the paper notices, so that the use of adhesives were reduced. This kept the notice board much clean & tidy. Putting a notice and removing it became easier & simpler.

In 1940, George Fox, further improvised the design with a foam rubber pinboard having cardboard in back to give strength to the notice board. And even today by and large most of the colleges, & universities are using the 1924 or 1940 technology for the public distribution of information, through notice boards / bulletin boards.

ISSUES

BulletinBoard2

a typical notice board, gets divided into multiple sections, and going through the data posted on it might take a lot of time. typically students, now a day take a snap through their smartphones and share it in their WhatsApp group.

Though it has been almost a 100 years again, but still the universities are using the same technology, same platform. As they say, “old habits die hard”. But here, it’s not a matter of habit, it’s about dissemination of information that is important. Important for the beneficiaries to know. It could affect the carrier of a student, it could be important to the faculty, it could be imperative for some guardians. The world has changed in many different ways in last 100 years. The world is smarter, flatter, faster. We live in an information age. Today, a lack of information is equivalent to loss of opportunity.

This the traditional concept can have many issues, some of which are listed below;

  • The Placement – the placement of a notice board, could be a deterrent in its usefulness.
  • The Time Line – the time line of a notice, could deprive some people of the opportunity. There could be many short notices too, and the notice board placement might be a deterrent in daily approachability for people.
  • The Paper Life – the papers have a limited life span, they are struck just with drawing pins, and are vulnerable even to a windy weather. Even rain can spoil the ink on the paper and the notice goes unreadable.
  • Prioritization – Some messages have a higher priority, but on a notice board you can’t differentiate between priorities.

SOLUTION – MeN Board

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a Typical MeN Board – the way it appears on the users handheld device. Admin can create multiple sections, as per the content and flash it up, as per the priority and deadlines. Automatic reminders can also get configured from the admin console.

Mobile e-Notice (MeN) Board is a mobility enabled electronic notice board, which uses the BYOD concept for the end points and a web-enabled could-based administrator console for broadcasting. It enables universities with various functionalities like;

  • Instant information updates – no need for people to visit a designated are to read the information, it’ll be posted on the handheld devices, instantly to every user.
  • Offline data access – there’s no time limit for users to see the notice, once delivered, the notices ca be seen offline too.
  • Noticeboard Categories – there can be as many categories are desired by the universities, it could be education stream wise, subject wise, student community wise, and so on.
  • Event Reminders – once and event deadline is posted, the reminders can also be posted automatically as per the period defined by the administrator, to ensure maximum participation and compliance of the time line.
  • Closed group communication – if the administrator want and the policies permit, a close user group could be created for faculties to communicate on specific subjects.
  • Unlimited user base – the entire staff, faculties and student could be added, there’s no limit to the user base.
  • More visual messages – as it’s an electronic format, the administrator can create more visual messages.
  • Feedback & Surveys – the same platform could be used for feedback and surveys too. The data collation and analysis is much easier as the feedback are coming in electronic data format.

 

THE PROCESS

The process is very simple, either we can set up a local server at the university or university could go in for a cloud service using their existing internet connectivity.

STEP-I   –               All users / beneficiaries are required to download an app from their respective stores (play store for android, app store for iOS and windows store for windows), which is free. Once downloaded, they’ll be asked to register, with their username, password, mobile umber etc.

STEP-II  –               The university admin, shall create a QR code from the management console, which can be communicated to the users through e-platform or print media or even through web / mail, once the user scans the designated QR code, he / she would become a member for the MeN Board.

STEP-III –               Whatever notice is published by the university admin, will get flashed on each users hand held device instantaneously.

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