Take Control of Your Phone: End Needless Text & Call Interruptions

While edUMize is our #1 priority as employees, we cannot neglect our other obligations to school, family, friends, etc.  Even while at work, in a meeting, in class, or on a date, we cannot turn off our mobile devices for even a minute because we might need to be reached by someone important; whether it be mom/dad, a boyfriend/girlfriend, or our boss; Mr. Gerben.  As a consequence, we receive tons of non-urgent communication throughout the day.

Why not have an application on our phones that can automatically screen calls and texts so that only certain people can reach us when we are preoccupied with more important tasks?  Group 5 is proposing just that, and we call it Do Not Disturb.  With Do Not Disturb, we can set our electronic calendar in advance (using Google Calendar, iCal, or other similar programs) and have the option to screen our calls/texts during set events.  You determine a “VIP List” in advance so that only specific people can reach you while the application is screening calls and texts.  Those who are not on the VIP List that try and reach you will receive a polite text message in return, stating that you are preoccupied at the moment and that you will return their message as soon as possible.  Calls will receive a similar message; only it will be in voice format.  Once the event is over, you will receive your missed calls and texts. The application will have a “manual screen” option, in case you forget to schedule an event and still need your calls and texts screened.

We hope to market this product to students first, since they are most willing to try new things.  Once we have all the “bugs” worked out, we will try and broaden our market to all mobile phone users; especially business people.

Below is our proposed interface layout for Android phones as well as a logo design.  We are looking for feedback specifically on those, as well as any [constructive] criticism on the product itself.  Thanks!

-Group 5

Proposed Interface Layout for Droid

Proposed Logo Design

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Problem: Where are the GSIs when you need them? Solution: ROG and iphone Application

Here at the University of Michigan, students always appreciate having their GSIs available to them to ask questions or receive important information pertaining to their course. However, the Office Hours that GSIs hold are often during the day, during inconvenient times for the students, or at inconvenient locations. Particularly preceding exams, increased Office Hours would be something that students would definitely take advantage of. Also, sometimes students have trouble understanding their GSI, or struggle to adapt to their particular teaching techniques.

A solution to this problem that edUMize created is called the ROG, or room of GSIs. The university is willing to designate the “Quiet Study Lounge” in the Student Union to GSI space only. The Union is right on campus, and is a convenient location for the majority of students. This lounge will have GSIs available for various subjects, as well as multiple GSIs for one subject. The GSIs will be able to be there from 7 am to 11pm, which gives students a chance to go at night while they are studying. Along with the ROG will come an iphone application that will allow students to find out which GSI is in the ROG, what subject they teach, and how long they will be there for. Through this application, a student can reserve up to 20 minutes of one-on-one time with the GSI of the subject of their choice. We think the ROG as well as the coinciding application solve the problem of inconvenient times, locations, and a lack of GSI understanding.

Please let us know your thoughts. Any suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.


Utilizing Existing Study Space

The large density of campus buildings in the downtown area suggests that student concerns over the lack of available study space are slightly unjustified. Concerns over the lack of study space on campus are more usefully framed as concerns over the scheduling of study space, or the lack of study space that addresses the needs of particular tasks. As a result, edUMize would like to pioneer the development of an easy to use web interface that incorporates campus-wide information about the availability of rooms with room scheduling software. In addition to informing students as to which rooms and buildings on campus are available at any given moment, such an interface would provide students with the ability to reserve study space that best fits their needs individual and group needs.  Please share any difficulties you’ve had in attaining a study space that was sufficient for your needs at the time.


Concerns over Crowded Study Areas

A major educational problem on campus is the lack of study space available to students. Without having a place to study, it can be difficult to perform well in school. At edUMize, we recognize this and are working on ways to correct the issue.

Study spaces are mostly used during midterms and finals and have little to no use during the remainder of the year. Instead of creating new study areas, we propose to make the current spaces more efficient. Opening classrooms and lecture halls when they are not in use allows students to utilize this empty space to study. Another proposal is to have an online website that lists study locations on campus and the open spaces still available at each location.

Comments about more solutions to this problem or thoughts about this issue and the proposed solutions are greatly appreciated.

We strive to see the day where every student can easily find available locations to immerse themselves in their school work.


Solving the Problem of a Lack of Cafes near U of M Buildings

We at edUMize have realized a problem present in the U of M Campus Area. U of M students have expressed a desire for additional cafe options located closer to their respected classrooms. We recognize this as a problem because cafes offer a healthy opportunity for busy college students to receive the needed nutrition and study essential beverage. Nourished and energized students are more awake and successful. With the help of our current edUMize Executive Board, we have proposed possible solutions for this problem that include: working with U of M officials to incorporate more cafes in University Buildings, additional ways to pay for healthier vending machine options that would be located in University Buildings, and coordinate the inclusion of local cafes on campus through mobile vending options. edUmize is excited to move forward and solve this problem that plagues U of M students.


New Educational Problems to be Solved in Ann Arbor

We at edUMize strive to be a transparent start-up, allowing our followers to share in our invention processes that will ultimately shape the proposals for new products and services that we will be bringing to you in the coming months.

As a window into this process, edUMize staff members herein share some anecdotal “problems” that they’ve identified in education today:


Welcome to edUMize

Welcome to edUMize. We’re a small start-up based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. What started as a haphazard dream in 2010 has blossomed into a 23 person working staff who collectively went public in January 2011.

As the months roll on, we invite you to share in our invention process as we work to imagine new products and services and that enhance education in the early 21st century. edUMize is designed to be quick and versatile, and to cater to many different needs at once. We look to identify the needs of students, faculty, and staff, and then propose solutions that will assuage concerns and lead to greater optimization of educational potential.

In short: We solve educational problems.

And we invited you to solve them with us. Please feel free to follow our blog and/or follow us on Twitter @edUMize.