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Students' Time Management Software Tool Gets Positive Review from Mac App Store

They were friends starting college at Old Dominion University, struggling with the demands of time management.

Like most students, Angel Henderson, Gregory Rogers, Darius Moore and Raqwon Perryman had to adjust to life in college, where one needs to be able to work independently to complete the tasks each day brings. Not only have these four strong students learned how to cope with college life, but they've also developed an online tool to help other students with the same challenges they face.

The students, two engineers, an IT major and a sociology major, have created an app called College TA, which is billed as "the next generation of college planners."

The app, which can be downloaded free from Apple, is more than a simple scheduler; it helps students manage not only the demands of school, but also other tasks in their daily lives. Students can use the app to organize courses, homework, extracurricular activities, job schedules, social commitments and the rest of the items on their "To-do" list.

For Henderson, a Gates Millennium Scholar, that was the challenge the group set out to solve - produce an app that would help students with more than just their academics.

"We are all currently working. Like most students, our biggest concern is time management," said Henderson, a mechanical engineering graduate student from Bronx, N.Y. "It's easy to make a time management app. We wanted College TA to do so much more."

College TA has proven to be very popular since it was made available through the Mac App Store in late July, with an overall five-star rating from customers. In Virginia alone, more than 1,500 students are currently using College TA, which is also being used in 32 countries around the world.

Terrel White, a history major at ODU, said he likes how College TA networks all of his systems together. "It automatically connects to my calendar. Instead of going to individual apps, you can just go to College TA and have all of your information right there, from test dates to other class information," White said.

Jonathan Nichels, who is majoring in marketing, likes how the app was designed as a tool for college students with busy schedules. "It feels like the developers really paid attention to the needs of today's students."

The four ODU entrepreneurs have formed their own company, ArcDNA, to create more products that are easy to use and help students succeed.

Moore, a senior information technology major from Chesterfield, Va., said each of them brings different strengths to the company. He developed the technology platform for the app. Rogers, a mechanical engineering senior from Virginia Beach, assisted in the development, design and layout of the app. And Perryman, from Killeen, Texas, who is pursuing a second bachelor's degree in sociology, acts as ArcDNA's sales and marketing director.

While the smartphone app is available free to download, the students want to partner with businesses near campus, so that they can send promotions to College TA users via the app in exchange for advertising dollars.

College TA has been featured by the Mac App Store as the No. 1 new and noteworthy education app from Apple, and labeled as a "potential lifesaver." That's exactly the kind of review the ODU students hoped for when they created it.

Henderson added that part of the group's motivation was to create a time management application that could help all students, no matter their financial situation.

"We wanted to keep the software free for students to download as long as possible," he said. "That's why we're doing this. We're students too.

"We believed it was only right to give back by making software that would help other students, but also remove any financial barriers that would keep the app out of students' hands."

This article was posted on: October 7, 2011

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Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.