Help is on the way for students who struggle balancing busy social lives and packed schedules. Kiewit Computing Services recently rolled out Oracle Calendar, a free, web-based version of the calendar program used by Dartmouth faculty and staff since 2000.
Despite being web-based, the student version of Oracle Calendar is fully featured, allowing students to organize a wide range of daily commitments and plans. The calendar can even be configured to send e-mail notifications of schedule changes.
Oracle Calendar's real benefits lie in its ability to let students collectively plan agendas, said Steve Cochran '05, special project manager for Computer Services.
Students can view each other's schedules, though there are privacy settings that control how much of a schedule is visible to outsiders.
For example, a student could let all other users see every detail of his schedule, or the student could opt only to let other users see that he is busy at certain times.
Students can also create groups on Oracle Calendar just as they can create groups in BlitzMail, facilitating the organization of events for student organizations and groups of friends. When groups schedule events, the schedules of individual members are visible, making it easier to plan meetings that work for everyone's schedules.
The Oracle Calendar project is Cochran's brainchild. He has worked to bring the service to students for two years after realizing the student demand for the service as an undergraduate.
"I hope this is something that students use. It's something that I've been working on for a long time," Cochran said.
Cochran has plans to expand Oracle Calendar, giving it more functionality by the end of Winter term. Likely features Cochran will add include the automatic addition of Banner Student class schedules to student Oracle Calendars.
Computing Services also hopes to add the ability to import and export data from Oracle Calendar, allowing students to add existing schedule information from other calendar programs and to access their calendars even when disconnected from the Internet.
Also under consideration is a plan that would enable students and professors to access each other's accounts, allowing them to schedule meetings much more easily.