Applied Computing Class Creates App to Make Schedules a Breeze

Students in the upper school communication arts course—called Applied Computing & Game Development—created an app for the iPhone and Android that will deliver personalized class schedules to Norfolk Collegiate upper school students. Planned to roll out at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year, the app is called “NoCo Bloc Scheduling” and hosts every students’ schedule, allowing users to keep track of their weekly classes.

Students in the course—along with their teacher, local software entrepreneur Jeremy Alessi—worked with Collegiate’s database provider to import all upper school students’ schedules, allowing users to log in and see their rotating daily bells and lunch periods.

Much of the class just graduated, so juniors Max Golovsky and Victoria Xiang are taking the project across the finish line.

“The schedule is complicated, so we wanted to give students a way to make it easier,” said Max ’19. I’ve watched students walk into the lunchroom, get their food and sit down only to have Mr. White pull them out and remind them they have class.”

“I’ve actually been using the app in its prototype phase for a while now, and it’s been great,” he continued.

Victoria took the liberty of adding a handful of Easter eggs—intentionally hidden jokes and games—to the app. Upon logging in, she hints users should type “wii” as their first name and “shop” as their last name for a fun surprise. She also challenges everyone to find a fun, T-Rex racing game once logged into the app.

Before they can unveil the app in its final form, Max and Victoria—both of whom want to study computer science in college—are adding privacy settings to ensure student safety.

“It’s been amazing to bring real-world stuff into the classroom and let the students problem solve and create solutions,” said Alessi.

Alessi is the founder of PixelFest, an annual gaming festival in Norfolk. He also created the app “Tunnel Traffic” to help locals anticipate traffic in the tunnels in Hampton Roads and created companies and projects like Coinpuck, Man in the Moon, bcause, Life is a Vector and Quantam Stack.

Above is the opening screen and sample schedule of the app.