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App is a dirty word?

There are those words in the English language that when used so often, almost completely lose their meaning. They become white noise, drowned out by things more interesting. App is one of those words. Overused, homogenised, humdrum and totally drowned out. It’s almost its own brand with brand values, or lack of them: free or cheap, easy to download, fun-to-play-with, semi-useful and one-of-thousands.

Like most software in the cloud era of computing, it can be rented for very little each month, but can provide enormous value in many areas of life. Sure, there are still the apps that are little more than something to keep you occupied for an hour on a train ride home, but there are undeniably many more that bring huge value, efficiencies, and satisfaction if only they could shake off the ‘app’ descriptor. You see the word app doesn’t give its audience any idea of scale or value. We don’t convey what value the software brings to our lives and how big or small that value is. Its purpose is lost in the white noise of its moniker.

Perhaps its time for a rebrand – app 2.0 if you will – to throw off the image and help us to begin valuing those that significantly enhance our productivity, engagement, satisfaction and more widely, our lives. When all said and done, apps are simply the delivery mechanism, not the software itself.

We call ours ‘myday’ because that’s what it does. It organises the student or lecturers day on their mobile device – student records, timetabling, library, payments, attendance, individual learning plans, grade books and the virtual learning environment, all in one place at one time. But what it does is so much more than the list of things it delivers to the students’ phones.

It engages the students, it removes friction tasks, it allows collaboration, social learning and ultimately it helps the HE institution retain students and see them through to successful completion of their course, as well as beyond as alumni. It delivers university life to the students’ device in one, engaging, satisfying, valuable, real-time, crucial learning….app.

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