by Jack Snow
A brand new text-messaging system called SchedU is now being offered to the students of HHS; it provides notifications about a student’s class schedule every morning.
The system sends out a text with the student’s schedule between 6:00 and 6:30 every morning, even adjusting to snow days. SchedU is not an app and works on all types of cellular devices. The program comes in two forms; a free version which offers standard texts notifying users with their schedule at the start of each day, and a premium version which allows a variety of other features (such as the ability to see schedules for future days and an end-of-the-year countdown); the premium version, however, costs $5.
The service was created by four students at Nashoba High, Adam Vigneaux (the designer and manager who maintains the efficiency of the system), Eric Watterson (creator of the SchedU logo and most promotional content), Tristan Taylor (in charge of communicating with advertisers) and Katie Agretelis (writer of special communications to be sent out to users).
“The idea for SchedU came up at the beginning of the school year,” says Adam. “ I came up with the idea for an automatic text every morning with your class schedule. The problem was forgetting my schedule and the solution was SchedU.”
“I had to learn how to do everything before I could actually do it. If I wanted to add a new feature, I would have to spend double or triple the amount of time on it that an experienced programmer would.”
Despite the rough beginnings, Adam and his team have adapted and learned how to organize the system with ease. “Over the five months I’ve been developing SchedU, I went from clueless to experienced in a new programming language. It has been a great learning experience and a very rewarding extracurricular activity.”
The immediate response to SchedU was not strong.
“It isn’t easy to get people to sign up for SchedU,” says Adam. “The first 40 users were my close friends. The next 60 were mostly people in my grade. After that, we had to expand our horizons: we went to freshman study skills every day and signed a bunch of freshmen up; we talked to total strangers in the cafeteria; and we used a number of other strategies to convince people to sign up.”
In the end, their hard work paid off. As of January 2014, there were a total of 347 members at Nashoba High consisting of students and even teachers.
With such a strong reaction from their own school, the SchedU creators looked to expand. Presently, SchedU is now offered to students at HHS, Tahanto and Bromfield, as well as Nashoba High.
After hearing about SchedU from a friend, freshman Lindsey Dalrymple decided to sign up. “I’m constantly forgetting my schedule every day, so it seemed like a great way to get organized. It also seemed really convenient,” says Dalrymple.
“[The website] was very clear and easy to follow. I didn’t have any trouble finding my way through it. I was surprised at how quick and easy [signing up] was. It took very little time, and I had no issues with it at all.”
Dalrymple has been using SchedU ever since then and completely loves it. “Every day it has been consistent and on time, making my days much easier and making me a lot more organized. I really like the program,” says Dalrymple. “I told many of my friends about it, and they decided to get it, too. They really like it a lot, and we all agree it takes a lot of stress out of mornings.”
As SchedU continues to grow in size and popularity, Vigneaux is unsure about its future.
“I will be graduating at the end of this year, and it will be more challenging to run SchedU from college,” says Vigneaux. “I hope to keep it going at least at Nashoba. We have some ideas about getting an investment and launching SchedU as an actual business, but those ideas are very tentative.”
All things aside, the SchedU creators could not be more thrilled with their experience in making this program.
“I couldn’t do it without the support of my business adviser Tristan Taylor and my marketing officer Eric Watterson,” says Vigneaux. “In the end, I have to thank God for giving me the idea for SchedU because so many good things have come from it.”
For more information about signing up for SchedU, visit www.getschedu.com