On Thursday morning, Binghamton University’s Information Technology Services (ITS) unveiled an updated myBinghamton homepage with a variety of new features.
Located at my.binghamton.edu, the new myBinghamton portal grants students a snapshot of their important information, like calendar events and unread emails, and automatically connects them to their individual BU BRAIN, B-mail and Blackboard. It also allows students quick access to their class schedules, hireBING and comes equipped with other new, requested features. These include mechanisms to check Pods availability, a GPS map of campus and the availability of washers and dryers within a student’s residential building.
After a year in the development process, the new portal was created entirely by BU employees in collaboration with ITS staff, students and faculty. According to ITS Assistant Director Tim Cortesi, doing the project in-house was also cheaper than paying an outside company to run the site.
“We thought we could do a better job,” Cortesi said. “We don’t necessarily have to be paying another company a fair amount of money to be hosting this project.”
By completing the project in-house, the revamped portal is customized more toward specific campus needs. Students can minimize sections and sites they do not typically use and then save these changes. Kathleen Kittell, a junior double-majoring in environmental studies and geography, said the change makes student life easier.
“I enjoy the layout a lot more,” she said. “The change looks nicer and is definitely more helpful. Things like seeing my emails and B-Line right there is really convenient, and I don’t have to click through websites.”
The targeted nature of the new portal is one of the bigger changes that have been made. The site has different sections geared toward the specific individual logging in, such as students and faculty. Faculty logging on will see different information than the students and vice versa. The portal also has the ability to have new groups added by ITS.
Another new feature on the site was requested not by students, but professors. Faculty are now able to see a class roster complete with pictures of their students in order to learn their students’ faces easily. With strictly BU employees behind the creation of the portal, including ITS employees and students, the new site is an ongoing project aiming to continue to meet campus needs.
“This means that if students, staff or faculty come up with good ideas for things to be included in the portal, we’ve got a team that can make it happen,” Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Enrollment Donald Loewen wrote in an email. “I think that over time the portal will help each of us to make our online university interactions better.”