by Dia Sharma ~ HamletHub Intern
Devin Gund, a rising junior at Ridgefield High School, has been working since October to develop the new Ridgefield Public Schools iPhone/iPad application.
Released on the last day of school this year, the app features district alerts, links to individual schools, and most importantly, teacher websites.
“The main purpose of the app is to access teacher pages easily,” Gund said.
The RPS app includes features such as selecting your teachers as “favorites” to facilitate accessing their pages and alerts on school wide occurrences such as snow days.
“I came up with the idea during the week-long power outage in October,” said Gund. “I didn’t have much schoolwork to do so I could really start thinking about the app. I realized it was feasible and started working on it.”
Along the way, he reached out to Joshua Smith, the former Ridgefield Public Schools Director of Information and Technology. Together, Gund and Smith reached out to Apple development and Power IT, which runs the RPS website. For the last ten months, all four parties worked together to write the code and implement the app on phones, ensuring functionality and safety. Gund explains that Apple has to approve an app before it can be downloaded on devices in order to protect customers’ devices. “That was probably the most difficult part – working with Apple to deploy [the app], but even that wasn’t too bad. The whole process went smoothly,” Gund said. “Doing it once and working through it was a learning experience and prepared me to do it again.”
Gund hopes to further develop the app before the start of the school year, and in the future, expand to other school districts.
Perhaps the most impressive fact of this new development is that nobody taught Gund how to develop an app; he taught himself. “I have a couple books about app development so I just referenced them and worked through it.” Gund is currently working on teaching himself Java, the software language which Droid apps are written in. Additionally, Gund knows Objective C and HTML.
With the support of his family, friends, teachers, and mentors, Gund hopes to pursue software engineering in the future. “My goal is to be proficient in a lot of programming languages so I can do more with software,” Gund said.
The app is available at http://www.ridgefield.org/subsite/dist/page/ipad-app-90553 on iPhones and iPads. The best part? “It’s free. It’s my first app and I want it to be accepted by the school system. Plus, I go to Ridgefield High School, and I feel like I owe it to them.”