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'iAchieve' App Developed by Computer Science Student

Computer Science student Preston BrownPreston Brown

Old Dominion University students who have resolved to achieve more in the classroom in 2014 may want to check out the new app developed by Preston Brown, a junior computer science major who works for the university's Center for Learning and Teaching (CLT).

The app is called iAchieveODU, and it's specifically designed to help ODU students manage their time, track assignments, take notes and find tutoring help. The program can be downloaded free at the Apple App Store.

"Everyone who has ever been successful in school has used an organizer of some kind to stay ahead," Brown said, adding that technology has made it easier for today's students to keep abreast of assignments and be efficient learners. "Everything now is about convenience and efficiency."

Brown has been an avid programmer since his high school years in Chesapeake, when he created an app called Workout Central to help people reach their fitness goals. That app was accepted at the App Store and has been downloaded several thousand times by users around the globe.

It was CLT Director M'hammed Abdous who asked Brown if he could develop a tool that would help ODU students better "learn how to learn." Brown did just that, and along the way became convinced that the app was something every ODU student should use. "That's why I wanted it available for zero dollars," he said.

Brown said it takes users about five minutes at the beginning of each semester to enter their courses, and a few minutes each week to keep their iAchieveODU updated. The app takes it from there, providing reminders about assignments and other academic deadlines, projections of course grades and overall GPA, a template for creating flash cards, convenient methods for note taking, directions to tutoring that is available on campus and via the Internet, reminders about campus events, and achievement badges for students who keep current with their coursework.

Abdous describes the app as "intended to help ODU students manage their learning process, to take effective actions that will help them succeed, and ultimately, to make them better life-long learners."

Alison Schoew, CLT's technical writer, added, "This is an exciting app. Preston and I have visited folks all over the campus and everyone seems excited about iAchieveODU."

Brown said he hopes to go to graduate school, but his primary goal is to start his own business. "I want to move beyond programming. I have ideas for (computer) hardware."

When he was in high school he started a business, Beta Tech Hardware and Software Solutions, which involved both programming and the repair of computers. "I am, at heart, a businessman," he said.