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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Old Dominion Student-Designed App Used at Hampton Conference

A mobile app designed by Old Dominion University Educational Leadership (ELS) students was used earlier this month at the annual Hampton City Schools Leadership Conference.

The app, developed by Old Dominion students using the Yapp platform, provided more than 100 attendees of the conference a user-friendly platform to help them get the most out of the conference in a collaborative fashion.

Karen Sanzo, associate professor and program coordinator for PK-12 Educational Leadership, said the students began working in May on a variety of projects to support Hampton City Schools.

"One of our cohort members took the lead, in partnership with classmates, to create the app for the leadership conference," Sanzo said. "It showed initiative and resulted in a mobile aid for attendees of the conference, and helped reduce the amount of paper

The app featured a full schedule of the sessions at the conference, a conversational "back channel" for audience responses to presentations and a group picture board. It also was integrated with Twitter and the conference hashtag, and provided links to Google pages hosting all of the conference documents.

"Informed by the principles of effective school leadership, this app streamlined communication and cut event costs otherwise spent on paper printouts," said Nick Swan, one of the student participants.

Old Dominion ELS students also staffed a help desk throughout the conference, designed to help conference attendees get the most out of the platform.

The conference included official business of Hampton City Schools, such as the announcement of school leadership position appointments. The conference was attended by the entire executive leadership team of Hampton City Schools, school administrative staff, as well as many teachers, curriculum leaders and instructional specialists from the district.

"With all these busy people in attendance, the Yapp app was designed to be as intuitive and engaging as possible," Swan said.

Old Dominion's PK-12 Educational Leadership program offers master's and educational specialist degrees that prepare aspiring leaders for school and division-level administrative positions. The Ph.D. in education with a concentration in Educational Leadership prepares doctoral students for professional positions in PK-12 schools, faculty positions in higher education, research positions and state and national policy making.

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