5 Essential University of Illinois Apps
Now that all of our new students have joined us on campus and our returning students are filing back in, I wanted to share some of my favorite University of Illinois-specific apps to help us find our classes, navigate the bus system, and master the art of Quad Day.
1. Illini Bus – This app is fantastic for helping students (both new and old – buses make me nervous in general!) figure out where stops are located, what times buses arrive, and which buses to take to navigate the Champaign-Urbana area. It uses your phone’s GPS to locate the closest stops to you and is really accurate at predicting the buses’ arrivals and departures. You can favorite your most frequented stops for easy access as well!
2. IlliniSpaces – I just found out about this app, which lets you see EVERY. SINGLE. STUDY. SPACE. ON. CAMPUS. (Sorry, was I getting too excited about this??!) Do you know what the best part is? You can FILTER spaces based on your preferences (i.e. if you want to be able to eat food or have a large group space). You can even see a preview image of what the space actually looks like! I wish I was a freshman so I could start finding spaces again, but I do plan on using this app so much this semester (can anyone say Organic Chemistry II? YIKES!)
3. Blackboard – Many of us have used Blackboard back in middle school and high school, where teachers would set up course pages with updated information about homework, class work, and other assignments. At the University of Illinois, a lot of classes use the Compass 2g website, which is basically Blackboard for college courses. You are able to download course notes, complete quizzes and other assignments, and track your grades on this website. For mobile access, I use the app, which I think is absolutely a necessity for Compass courses. My favorite part about this app is that I get an immediate notification whenever an assignment is posted, my professor makes an announcement, or a quiz/test score is updated, based on my notification settings.
4. UI Dining – This app is great for anyone with a University Dining Plan. You can check the menus for all dining halls on campus to decide where you would like to eat. Also, the app offers all dining hall hours, which can be tricky to navigate, including the popular “Late Night” options and “A la Carte” places. You can even log in with your NetID and password to track how many meals and credits you have left. Remember, you can eat at ANY of the University Dining Halls with your meal credits and cafe credits, so take advantage of your meal plan!
5. Illinois Student Affairs – This app is new for the 2015-2016 academic year. I actually saw it being advertised on a Quad Day poster, and decided to download it for the interactive Quad Day maps. However, this app has everything U of I at your fingertips! You can pick to download several guides from different parts of campus, like Welcome Week and Quad Day (the two I downloaded), but also from New Student Programs and Campus Recreation. They act like little brochures to help you learn more about our school. I’m so glad I don’t have to hunt around for the RSOs I want to visit on Quad Day (this is actually the first year since my sophomore year that I’m not working Quad Day for an RSO, and I’m missing it a lot! But I’ll still be attending Quad Day because it’s so much fun to see everybody outside and experience the Illinois pride!)
SURPRISE! I have a bonus #6 app that I think is absolutely ESSENTIAL for University of Illinois students! If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you’ll see that I talk about the Hooked app a ton. Here’s more information about how this app is a lifesaver when it comes to stressful and hungry points in time!
6. Hooked – Welcome to the Hooked app, where saving money is the name of the game. The app operates on timed deals, usually about two hours long. It identifies participating restaurants close in proximity to you based on your phone’s GPS, and offers deals on food and drink items, such as the ones pictured below. All you have to do to access the deal is to visit the restaurant and show the app on your phone to the cashier. It’s that simple! I’ve even gotten free frozen yogurt from this app, and had possibly the greatest 10 chicken McNuggets at McDonald’s for $1 deal yesterday!
Enjoy Quad Day and the rest of the weekend before classes start on Monday!