New App ‘Penn State Go’ Debuts With Streamlined Access To Important University Features

Starting this week, students will no longer need a dozen apps for all their educational needs. A new app named “Penn State Go,” which will be a one-stop shop for features such as Canvas, LionPATH, and Outlook Email can now be downloaded onto smartphones.

While the safety of information may be a concern, Penn State Go uses the same Penn State authentication that the online versions of the individual features would require.

According to Penn State Go Project Leader Tony Anderson, the app took 25 hours of work per week to develop since last August and required plenty of input from students.

“This is going to be for students, about students, so why shouldn’t the students tell us what’s important?” Anderson said. “We can go from there.”

Last spring, students were offered a survey asking what they’d like to see on the new application. More than 3,000 responded, with an estimated 2,000 individuals who volunteered to help with the development of the app itself.

“What we need to do is organize [the app] in which the students are going to want to consume it,” Penn State IT Interim VP and Chief Information Officer Don Welch said.

Penn State Go looks appealing from the home screen, with the user able to navigate between 14 different features. While there are already a plethora of services offered, plans to expand are already in discussion.

“One of the big things we want to do is get a persona for each of the commonwealth campuses,” Welch said. “That isn’t a feature for UP, but [the goal is] feeling like everyone is apart of the same experiences.”

Penn State Go was made possible by app developer Modo Labs, spearheaded by Founder and CTO Andrew Yu. Modo Labs is trusted by 300 universities to curate a convenient space for their Penn State Go equivalents. Fortune 1000 companies such as investment banks and now Vail Resorts in Colorado also use Modo Labs.

The leaders of Penn State Go — Welch, Yu, and Teaching and Learning with Technology Associate Vice President Jennifer Sparrow — plan to spread the word through a Canvas notification, as well as taking over the HUB on January 23. Of course, the most effective way to increase the popularity among students is by word of mouth, and Welch encouraged users of the app to share with as many of their friends as possible.

The full list of Penn State Go features are as follows: LionPATH, Canvas, Email, Maps, Shuttles, Safety, Academic Calendar, Starfish, LionCash+, Athletics, Dining, News, Student Services, and Notifications.

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About the Author

Otis Lyons

Otis is a sophomore majoring in print journalism and is one of Onward State's associate editors. He lives just north of San Francisco, and is a diehard San Jose Earthquakes fan. Feel free to send over your soccer hot takes to his twitter @otisnlyons1 and instagram @otislyons

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