A copy of this article is available at Forum Nokia Blog :
I surveyed some colleges in Pakistan including mine and find out that the notification system we are using i.e. displaying notifications on a notification board is not much efficient from student’s point of view. Because of the reasons like
– Limited space: Old notifications replaced by new one when the board is full and if any one missed an important notification like results, last date of fee submission, college openings etc than there are chances of loss for students who missed them in time.
– Not Efficient: In vacations many students go to their homes and in the mean while if the date of the vacations gets extended then a student may encounter rumors regarding opening.
– Many universities/colleges/schools have their own site which can be a good source of notification but again many students may don’t have internet connectivity in under developed country or they are too lazy to check the site for updates.
– Some institutions uses twitter for updates but again the above reason is valid to some extent.
Based on this survey, I start thinking of a project which helps to bring an effective change in the current notification system and student’s life.After few days of thinking, i hit upon an idea i.e using the economical SMS packages and designing an SMS Server Software to put these SMSs in an useful way. At 5th of June 2010, i am able to finish the coding of my first release of this server “USEoSMS” for Nokia Symbian Phones. Lets describe this server in detail :
USEoSMS is an SMS Server Software for Symbian 3rd & 5th edition phones especially designed to improve school/colleges current notification system. The goal of the project is to replace the old notification table system which is not very efficient with a technological, economical and effective system. The concept of the software is to extract the parameters from a received SMS and perform action accordingly like send it to all the students of batch 07 in Electrical Engineering department. Of course, it provides a database for power users, users , updates and blacklisting contact. SMS packages are quite cheap in Pakistan (& other countries like Philippine etc), so, there is no problem with economical issues while implementing this system.The features of the server are:
1- A single executable of SMS Server works fine on both 3rd and 5th edition Nokia phones because it is resolution independent.
2- It provides a db explorer to create & manage the included databases.
3- It can be used for two way notifications i.e. Students->Teachers and vice versa
4- It can be used to write an update on its wall which can be accessed by any general user which knows the number of Nokia phone in which it is installed.
5- It provides twitter support i.e. one can directly post notifications to the twitter account provided in the server settings.
6- It provides a feedback to the sender if sender’s query goes well or not.
7- It provides four databases i.e power users (whose queries will get processed) , users (who can receive sms), updates (the wall of the notification table) and blacklist numbers(whose queries will not get processed).
8- Supports updating the database via messages from power users.
9- Simple and Easy to use interface.
How To Use
Once the database of USEoSMS is updated with college staff and student numbers than it is as easy as ABC to use the notification system. For example, a power user wants to send a notification to all students of Electrical Engineering Batch 07 then he just have to enter “user;pwd;group;tweet;my message” and send it to the server number, the server simply extracts the parameter send the message to group , publish it on twitter account and send a feedback report to the power user who sent this query.
Similarly, a power user can update the wall of USEoSMS by sending message “user;pwd;update;Our college got a new lab guyz!” to the server number and the server simply update its database with this new update. Now, any general user who just know the number of the server , can send a message having keyword “update” to the server and will get a feedback from the server including the latest updates or updates on the requested date .
Currently, i am putting it in operational use on my College (UCET), IUB. Once its implementation goes successful in our college, we will make it available for public.
Btw, this application is finalized and sent to Calling All Innovators Contest 2010.
Sajid Ali Anjum