Graphic by Madison Sklaver, Jeremiah Levy, and Nick Cloney
Wondering what block is next while walking through the halls between classes, many students are looking down at their phone, scrolling through an app that will tell them just that.
It hasn’t been easy for students and teachers alike to adjust to the new schedule. However, junior Yuen Ler Chow and senior Jack Heuberger have spent a lot of time working on ways to allow people to more easily manage the new schedule, which have proven successful.
Junior Yuen Ler Chow spent the summer working on coding the app. Though he had coding experience, he had never before made an app. Chow said he enjoyed himself while he was creating it.
“I started at the beginning of July. I made it because my math teacher, Ms. Alibhai, during Statistics class last year, talked about the idea and I was inspired,” Chow said. “So I made it and I spent 5 hours on it every day for the whole summer.”
Chow’s statistics teacher Marika Alibhai said she hoped that between the students in her class who had experience creating apps and students she knew had summer plans that included computer programming, someone would create the app.
The app displays the current block with how many minutes until it ends, and the next block and what time it starts. It also allows users to switch between weeks and different schedules. There are also screens for looking at daily schedules and school maps. Additionally, there are features to personalize your own classes into the schedule, and now your lunches too.
Chow said that he feels proud when he sees people using the app, especially when people praise his work.
“What’s nice is that some people that I don’t even know are using the app,” Chow said.
He likes hearing what people have to say about his app.
“Some people are giving me suggestions and I try to add them best I can,” Chow said.
For example, the personalization of classes wasn’t originally part of the app. However, after someone suggested that he add it, Chow revised his code to include this function.
This experience has inspired Chow to teach others as well.
“Because so many people are using this app, many people have been asking me how I made the app,” Chow said. “That’s why I’m making an app development club.”
In addition, senior Jack Heuberger created a schedule tracking website over the summer. He had previous coding experience, but had never made a website before.
“There was a senior a few years ago who made an android app for the Brookline High School schedule,” Heuberger said. “Then the schedule changed for this year, and he graduated a few years ago, so clearly he wasn’t going to update it, so I decided to do this myself starting back in December of last year.”
After Heuberger made the prototype last year, he started working on it again in April, but as the schedule still wasn’t finalized, he put it away until three weeks before school started. According to Heuberger, he thought a website would work better than an app.
“I thought a website would be more accessible to people because you can use it on your phone or on any device you want. So, a teacher in the middle of class could go check the website on their computer and see how much time is left.”
Heuberger said that he can look at the analytics and see people using it in real time.
“It’s cool that I have been able to make something that so many people are using,” Heuberger said.
Chow can also see that many people are using his app. According to the analytics in the app store, it has been downloaded over 1,300 times, meaning over half the school has it.
Alibhai said she thinks the app is awesome, and that Chow did a great job executing the idea.
“They’re updating really quickly when there are changes that need to be made,” Alibhai said. “They have an Instagram account where they post things out to people who are following them, like to get the newest version, or apologizing for anything that might not have gone perfectly the first time through.”
Alibhai said she didn’t know Chow had made the app until a few days before school started, when Assistant Headmaster Hal Mason sent out the latest version of the schedule and a link to check out an app that “a student” had made.
“I clicked on it and saw his picture,“ Alibhai said, “So I emailed him to tell him that it was really great and I was really proud of them for making something that was so awesome.”