Hackathon 2018 a success!

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Last weekend, 4 – 5 August, we held our annual Hackathon.

Students arrived at 9 am and settled in to design, develop and showcase a mobile app.

Working in groups, our students hacked away for 30 hours. Some went home for a quick nap and shower, some rested on beanbags, others grew massive wings from copious amounts of Red Bull.

We had IT Architects on hand, to provide guidance and help with any curly questions. And food, of course, to keep their brains fuelled.

By Sunday afternoon, our student groups had come up with some stellar ideas with options that could be implemented into the Griffith University app or future app design, and showcased these to the crowd.

Our winners were the GPAMATE team: Codie Little, Rusty Blewitt, Ryan Taylor and Shayne Poole.

The GPAMATE team began as two separate groups, but when some members didn’t show they combined their forces together to create a power group.

Their app idea was based on eliminating the anxiety that comes with uncertainty over subject grades, while giving students a direction with goals to be achieved.

The app they developed allows students to monitor their GPA throughout the trimester in two key ways:

  1. 1. Entering results from assessments will update a student’s GPA score in real time.
  2. 2. Based on the weight of an assessment item within a course, the app will predict the marks a student needs in order to maintain a certain GPA score.

The consensus around the room proved this idea is much needed and desired by the students. Who else loves this app idea and can’t wait to use it?

Second place went to Group #5: Samuel Bruhn, Joshua Nicholl, Carl Humphries and Harrison Croakes. Best User Interface (UI) went to Group #1 – Uni Connect: Hannah Bryce, Michelle Beattie and Zihao Huang.

Head to our Library Facebook album for more photos from the event.

We’d like to thank our sponsors Red Bull, Microsoft, Grove Juice and Home Fresh Organics, for helping keep our students fed, hydrated, awake and engaged during the event!


Have you downloaded the Griffith App yet?

What’s the #1 must-have app for Griffith students?

The Griffith App, of course! It’s got (almost) everything you’ll need to put Griffith—literally—in the palm of your hand.

The Griffith App’s got oodles of nifty features. Some of our faves include:

  • Timetables: search or browse through your student timetable.
  • Email: Access your student email via a mobile friendly interface.
  • Maps: Access scalable maps of each campus that show building locations as well as interactive tours for the Nathan and Gold Coast campuses.
  • MyGriffith: Access your student portal.
  • Food and Shops: View Griffith’s wide range of food and retail outlets across its five campuses.
  • Parking: View parking information or access the PayStay app.
  • Ask Us: Find answers to all of your everyday questions straight to your mobile device.
  • Computers: Locate where available computers are (in real time) in labs across all campuses.
  • Library: Look up library hours, search for resources, place holds, check your library account and more.
  • Transit: Browse bus schedules to find out when buses are coming and going.
  • Student computing: Find information about using your own device, available software, IT discounts and other technology related content.
  • Social feed: View all of Griffith’s social media content across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

The Griffith App is free and can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. Download the Griffith App today and stay informed.


3 free apps for avid readers

Woohoo! You’re finally on uni holidays!

What fun plans do you have, now you’re no longer chained to your laptop and textbooks?

There are heaps of fun activities to keep you busy this break, just check out our post on free weekend activities on a student budget. However, there’s no denying that’s it’s pretty darn chilly out there (OK, everyone not from Queensland, stop shaking your head, it’s cold, alright?!).

In this weather, sometimes you just want to curl up under your doona and read (with a cup of coffee or tea by your side, of course).

Don’t just confine yourself to hard-copy books, though! There are a few ahhh-mazing apps we reckon you’ve 100% got to download if you enjoy reading:

Goodreads

By: Goodreads
Cost: Free
Available: iTunes, Google Play and online

Need to discover a new book (or five?) to read, or want to share the books you love? Goodreads is the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations. It has personalised recommendations based on the books you’ve read and ranked, and your favourite genres. You can connect with friends to see what they’re reading and enjoying, review books you’ve read and keep track of books you want to read.

Flipboard

By: Flipboard Inc.
Cost: Free
Available: iTunesGoogle Play and online

Flipboard gathers together news, popular stories and conversations to give you the full perspective and lets you easily share the best ideas with others. Download the app, pick your passions and Flipboard creates a Smart Magazine for each topic. Automatically filled with articles, videos, podcasts and tweets, Smart Magazines blend expert voices, curated sources and recommended stories. Simply sit back and flip through the latest and greatest stories of our time.

PressReader

By: PressReader Inc.
Cost: Free for Griffith staff and students
Available: iTunes, Google Play and online

A plethora of popular newspapers and magazines at your fingertips! Get your favourite publications and discover new titles that you’re sure to love. Choose from thousands of magazines and newspapers and read them in the image-rich original layout.


4 free budgeting apps to save you big time

While you’re working hard now to achieve your future career, being a uni student can be a struggle financially.

Days full of lectures, tutorials, study and assignment writing definitely encompass a lot of your time that could otherwise be spent, you know, earning money.

Though things may be a little tight on a student budget, the trick is to be smart with your money. Take a look at the four handy apps below which will help you manage your budget and save (Or budget to spend. End of financial year sales are coming…).

Mint

By: Intuit Inc
Cost: Free
Available: App Store, Google Play and online

Manage all aspects of your finances in one place! Create a budget, track your spending and manage your finances better. Mint can be connected to your bank and credit card accounts, as well as your monthly bills. It can keep track of when your bills are due, what you owe and send you payment reminders. Organisation level: Monica Geller.

Pocketbook

By: Pocketbook
Cost: Free
Available: App Store, Google Play and Online

Pocketbook lets you easily create a budget as well as track you spending. You can sync it with your bank account to track your spending, and Pocketbook will automatically categorise the majority of your transactions. You’ll also receive a weekly summary to help keep your budget on track and analyse your spending. 

Acorns

By: Acorns
Cost: Free for university students
Available: App Store, Google Play and online

While a Bitcoin portfolio may be a tad out of reach, it’s not to early (or too hard) to start investing. Connect your bank card/s to the Acorns app, and every time you make a purchase with a connected card, Acorn will round it to the next highest dollar amount and automatically invest the difference (e.g. if you buy a coffee for $3.60, Acorn will round up to $4.00 and invest 40c). The investments will be in a portfolio of low-cost exchange traded funds based on your selected risk preference.  

Budget Planner

By: Australian Securities and Investment Commission
Cost: Free
Available: Online

If you’re after a comprehensive budget planner, this is for you! This online app has pre-filled categories which encompass basically every facet of where you’d be spending money. Simply type in the amount you’d spend on each category and select from a drop down menu the frequency you’d spend it. You’ll receive a pie-chart break down of how much you’re spending and where. You can save this budget and return to it to edit fields whenever you like, or download it as an Excel spreadsheet.

 


Love to read? You need to check out these 3 free apps!

Are you obsessed with reading? Like ‘Rory Gilmore ain’t got nothin’ on you’ obsessed? Well, you’re on the Library Blog right now so we’ll hazard a guess that the answer may be yes…

Reading can provide an escape from the world around you. But not everyone carries around a book in their backpack like good ol’ Rory Gilmore anymore. In fact, not everyone wants to read a printed book.

That doesn’t mean the content you’re reading has to be restricted to your Facey feed, though. Check out the below free apps for some ideas:

Goodreads

By: Goodreads
Cost: Free
Available: iTunes, Google Play and online

Discover and share books you love on Goodreads, the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations! Find new and interesting books by browsing personalised recommendations based on books you’ve read and your favourite genres. See what your friends are reading, write book reviews and keep track of what you want to read.

Flipboard

By: Flipboard Inc.
Cost: Free
Available: iTunesGoogle Play and online

Flipboard gathers together news, popular stories and conversations to give you the full perspective and lets you easily share the best ideas with others. Download the app, pick your passions and Flipboard creates a Smart Magazine for each topic. Automatically filled with articles, videos, podcasts and tweets, Smart Magazines blend expert voices, curated sources and recommended stories. Simply sit back and flip through the latest and greatest stories of our time.

PressReader

By: PressReader Inc.
Cost: Free for Griffith staff and students
Available: iTunes, Google Play and online

A plethora of popular newspapers and magazines at your fingertips! Get your favourite publications and discover new titles that you’re sure to love. Choose from thousands of magazines and newspapers and read them in the image-rich original layout.


6 free apps to help you master time management!

As 2018 begins, you’re probably full of well-intended New Year’s resolutions… many of which may fall by the wayside within a few weeks. But hey, the intention was there, right?

Well, if one of your resolutions was to get better at time management, why not cheat a little and get some help. From an app. Below we’ve listed a bunch of super helpful apps you can use to help with your time management. Plus, by being so devoted as to install and use a time management app, you’re totally adhering to that resolution, right? One tick right there.

Focus@Will

By: Dulcetta
Cost: Free
Available: iTunes, Google Play and online
Does your mind wander more than Will Byers? Reduce distractions and increase your productivity with scientifically optimised music to get you in focus faster and longer.

RescueTime

By: RescueTime Team
Cost: Free
Available: Google Play and online
Ever wonder where your day went? (Hint: memes). RescueTime is an automatic time and attention tracker that helps you identify where you spend your online time. It tracks your mobile apps and phone calls, and even more, so no more escaping the fact that you spent seven friggin’ hours on Facebook yesterday. We mean, really man?

30/30

By: Binary Hammer
Cost: Free
Available: iTunes and Google Play
Do you struggle to get the motivation to do tasks? What if we told you that you only had to devote 30 minutes to it? Does that increase your motivation? 30/30 helps you get stuff done! You set up a list of tasks, and a length of time for each of them. When you start the timer, it will tell you when to move on to the next task. Increase your productivity in small bursts of efficiency!

Evernote

By: Evernote
Cost: Free
Available: iTunes, Google Play and online
Always forgetting what was on your mind? That really important thing you had to do? Evernote lets you create to-do lists and take notes quickly and easily.

Trello

By: Trello, Inc
Cost: Free
Available: iTunes, Google Play and online
Organise and prioritise your projects in a fun, flexible and rewarding way. Trello lets you create ‘boards’ to organise anything you’re working on, create checklists, share your ‘boards’ with others to collaborate, assign tasks to others, comment, add attachments, and more.  You can get your information at a glance, and dive into further details as needed.

Wunderlist

By: 6 Wunderkinder
Cost: Free
Available: iTunes, Google Play and online
Capture your ideas, things to do and places to see. Whether you’re sharing a grocery list with a housemate, working on a project, or planning a vacation (I know, wishful thinking on a student budget, but we can dream, right?), Wunderlist makes it easy to share your lists and collaborate with everyone in your life.


Free apps to help you give back

While we understand everyone goes through their own personal struggles, overall many of us are very lucky.

If you’ve got easy access to running water, a roof over your head, are attending an amazing university (that’s us, folks!), have food in your cupboard and money in your bank account (we know, you are students, this may be a stretch), you may want to take this opportunity to give back.

There are ample opportunities to volunteer. Though if you’re a commitment-phobe, and the idea of starting a new series on Netflix alone freaks you out, let alone committing to something more structured, it’s OK. Instead of opening up your Netflix, why not try another app?

The following three apps allow you to easily donate cash to a worthy cause. So if your pockets are feeling a bit heavy, and your hands are feeling a bit empty – grab your phone and get downloading!

GiveEasy – donate & give to your charity & cause

By GiveEasy
Cost: Free
Available: iTunes and Google Play
GiveEasy changes the future of giving. The App allows you to donate funds to appeals and charities directly from your credit card, anytime, anywhere. Your friends and colleagues are notified of your donations through Facebook and Twitter.

Good Thnx

By Good Thnx Pty Ltd
Cost: Free
Available: Google Play
When someone does good, say thnx! Good Thnx is a platform that rewards good behaviour by allowing people to say thank you, with the money going to charity in a contemporary new way. Write a message and add an amount for a charity or cause. It can be as little as 10c, or as much as you like. The thnx notifies your friend and they choose where the money goes.

Charity Miles

By Charity Miles
Cost: Free
Available: iTunes and Google Play
Strapped for cash but still want to give back? How about we throw in getting fitter at the same time? Simply open Charity Miles, choose a charity, and go! The app works like a walking meter, cycling meter, or running stopwatch, measuring the distance of your route. You earn money for the distance you travel, which goes to your elected charity (up to Charity Miles’ corporate sponsorship pool limit).