3 Minutes of Fame Presentations

Presenters:  representatives from participating Kurogo Institutions (each listed below)

This section of the conference was to provide participating institutions a platform for talking about what they’re doing.

Matt Willmore from Notre Dame

  • Launched with 15 modules in April of 2014
  • 3 new ones:  transit, campus IT, mobile printing
  • Promoted at orientation
  • Evolving maps:  custom map icons, which came from Indiana State University (like ATMs)
  • Google Analytics
  • Student developers built the weather web cams and transit modules
  • Shuttle schedule
  • Popular features:  dining, map, athletics, webcams, photos.
  • Platforms:  iOS/Android native; mobile web; mobile tablet; desktop
  • What’s next?  Sakai

Paul Chenowith from Belmont University


  • Liberal arts institution in Nashville, TN
  • 7,200 students, music, health science, law school, and more
  • We’ve launched 2 apps in the last few months:  Modo for external, non-authenticated use
  • Tours and emergency notifications were big features for us, we also use convocations; myBelmont is a link to our authenticated services.
  • The directory is one our most-used features
  • Popular features:  Directory, Convo Events, Library, Course Search, myBelmont
  • Platforms:  iPhone native, Android native
  • What’s next?  Dining services (Sodhexo, we hope to do 2 upgrades per year, policies and procedures for management of overwhelming number of requests for new functionality)

Dan Liggett from CSU East Bay


  • Released in March 2015
  • What’s next:  grades (which we think will be our “killer app”), facilities, transit
  • Platforms:  mobile web, mobile web tablet, desktop

Kathryn Sharron from CSUN


  • Reputation and Visibility initiative just launched; new logo
  • About 58,000 students
  • Accessibility very important for us
  • Launched in August 2013 with 5 modules including enrollment
  • SoMe, photos, tour, additions feature for faculty/staff view, indoor maps, transit
  • Enrollment in classes is most popular module, and is easier to use than our PeopleSoft portal.
  • We allow students to pay, via a custom PeopleSoft web service to CashNet (which itself provides a mobile responsive view)
  • Top 4:  enroll in classes, map, dining

David from Colgate


  • GPS bus system, which we named “Colgate Cruiser” and worked with company called DoubleMap
  • Publisher is very popular (i.e. SPW or Spring Party Weekend, 13 days of Green were new modules which made quick updates by students very easy)
  • We have portal sign-on for our Banner system
  • Popular:  Cruiser, SPW, 13 days of green, courses, dining
  • Platforms:  iPhone native, Android native, mobile web, desktop
  • What’s next?  beefing up the infrastructure to handle bursts of heavy traffic.

Dan from Dallas County Community College District

  • About 80,000 students
  • We used to use Blackboard, which had a number of limitations that caused us to reevaluate our mobile platform choice
  • We had four IT people who Modo Labs basically spoon-fed us during the implementation
  • Most of the challenges were around how we would modify the app to support 7 different campuses (i.e. branding)
  • Student involvement has been a great experience for us
  • Popular:  Courses, Maps, eCampus, eConnect, myPortal
  • Platforms

Julie from Fitchburg State University

    • We’re located in Massachusetts
    • Been using for about 3 years, and it’s a great tool to aggregate information from many different sources (we don’t have a portal)
    • Adding more features as they become available.  Most recent one is courses, which is integrated with Blackboard.  we launched this last week.
    • What’s New:  laundry!  Integrating with LaundryView feed.  Student can select laundry facilities; it shows machine availability and cycle it’s on.
    • Popular:  Shuttles, admissions, athletics, tour, dining
    • Platforms:  Mobile web, mobile web tablet, desktop

Jeff Dillon from CSU Sacramento State

  • Using since 2012 (originally the free framework)
  • 28,000 total students
  • We have registrar module, which is by far the most-used module
  • 10,000 downloads total, 3,000 in first week; 75% iOS, 25% Android
  • Directory is very popular
  • We’re using Blackboard mobile learn
  • Dining / athletics are just links to mobile-aware sites
  • We’re still working on the governance
  • The registrar told us that our students really like the ability to see where the class is
  • We expected support issues with performance, but it worked out
  • Popular:  registrar, calendar, social, directory, campus map
  • Platforms:  iPhone native, Android native, mobile web
  • What’s next:  parking availability, role-based content, CashNet payment integration

Michelle from West Chester, Pennsylvania

    • 16,000 students, new branch campus in Philadelphia
    • Recently made our web site responsive
    • About 1,000 views / day
    • Integrating D2L (Desire to Learn) module, 25Live calendar module
    • Popular:  email, buses, directory, academic calendar, news
    • Platforms:  iOS, Android, mobile web, mobile web tablet, desktop
    • What’s next:  RSS feed integration



Bob from Modo Labs, schools not represented at the conference

      • New tools from Modo coming soon:  customer portal UI, forums, FAQs
      • College of William and Mary:  springboards
      • Harvard Shoestring Strategies:  financial literacy module.  It’s all put together with Publisher.
      • Villanova School of Business:  publisher-based application with templates and push notifications.
      • Barnard College:  publisher
      • Emerson College:  uses portlets as home screen, which allows them to completely customize the view; they also use resource availability module to show their library’s computer lab availability.
      • Masdar Institute:  UAE-based college, uses facilities module.  It uses authentication to present personalized information.
      • Rhode Island School of Design:  one of the top design schools in the country.  They independently theme every single thing they do, which reflects the flexibility of the Kurogo platform.
      • Sacramento State:  launching 2.3 soon, with favoriting feature and maps.




What’s New In Kurogo


  • Eric Kim:  VP User Experience, Modo Labs
  • Marshall Vale:  VP Engineering, Modo Labs

Kurogo Mobile Campus:  What a Year!

  • 3 major releases (2.1, 2.2, 2.3)
  • 20+ packages released
  • Major work at every level of the tech & product

What’s new for End Users?

  • New map module features pathfinding, which uses data from either google maps or campus ArcGIS data.  Does turn-by-turn navigation.
  • Tour 2.0:  maps, curated linear paths, with ability to skip stops.  Allows multiple layers of information.  Card-based photos.  Friendlier browser-based management tools for non-technical administrators has drag-n-drop content editing that dynamically adjusts the map routing.
  • Indoor maps.  This is driven in large part by our corporate customers, but is frequently requested by our .edu customers.  Find nearest items of interest such as fire escapes, accessibility, info of interest such as A/V in room.
  • Native tablet apps.  Split views, native OS controls like iOS popovers, sign-in / sign-out, Android ActionBar control, etc.
  • Favorite modules:  loss of customized layout.  With 2.3, users can “promote” modules they use the most.  These items are shown in a “My Favorite Modules” section at the top of the main page.
  • Facilities (Report a Problem):  allows creation of tickets.
  • Resources Module:  availability of resources such as laundry facilities (integration with a system I didn’t catch).  It connects to a number of different structured data, and can be used by computer labs.
  • Performance improvements:  ON THE SERVER:  improved data-source fetching, parsing, and caching; faster HTML sanitization; cache priming on every deploy; faster HTML generation and minification.  ON THE DEVICE:  more granular, persistent, and intelligent client-side caching, AJAX-loaded in-app notification banners for more cachable pages, native app asset cache (requires 2.3 server and apps)
  • Federated search now included publisher content
  • Typographic improvements to aid readability
  • Ongoing accessibility updates and improvements
  • Many visual updates and refinements
  • More diversity of content presentation via Publisher
  • More robust theming
  • Comprehensive theming documentation
  • Webfonts (support for Google fonts, Adobe TypeKit, Uploaded font files
  • Fonts will appear across all platforms, including native apps (aside from navbar & navmenu)
  • Publisher Templates:  more flexible and attractive

What’s New for Administrators?

  • Redesign KPM for more flexibility during dev lifecycle
  • Shopping cart model allows you to select packages before install
  • Introduces provider types (git, github, packages).  Github is now a first-class citizen within Kurogo.
  • Package Manager 2:  new channels for stable, beta and dev status; can change permissions to only show subset of channels; can change provider type; new Package Server
  • Admin Roles:  additional role types; can now restrict a user’s role to all modules, module instance, module type; Example:  can limit a user to only edit a single Publisher module
  • List Filter:  accelerator for finding matching items in long lists of components; enabled for data sources, modules, and services
  • List Sorting:  select column to sort asc/desc; available in most areas of Admin with a table list; works with filter by
  • Deploy Changes:  new in progress status for data sources, modules, and authentication authorities; limits deploying to only Edit and Test targets; limits deploying to only edit and test targets; allows changes to be made to production without deploying unfinished modules; can deactivate modes.
  • Additional:  New job worker queue handles many background tasks (2.2), mail service provider for forms (2.1), published status indicator for edit pages; edit UI; new inspector assist in Edit; UI created for many settings which required Advanced Config; Sharing settings config; additional access to server status info & logs

What’s New for Developers?

  • Documentation:  thorough update of kurogo core docs for 2.3, class hierarchies;
  • Lots of objects!
  • Package Manager 2:  new meta-data info in the package format; stable, beta, dev status; more detailed minimum and maximum version dependencies
  • Additional improvements:  parse map types; AJAX flash message support; Custom URL Parameters in Data Models & Objects (bookmarks for aggregate feeds)

What’s Next?

  • Self service & Enhanced App Assembly
  • Quick theme builder:  rapidly change your Kurogo app’s overall theme via the Admin panel; simplified options streamlines the process; builder auto-computes and sets 500+ theme variable from a few settings; 6 color schemes; primary and secondary brand colors; Serif, Sans, or Custom fonts; Upload a logo.
  • Marshall gave a quick demonstration of what the Quick Theme Builder can do
  • Focus on self service:  full theme editor, fine grained modification of theme variables and asset files; more data sources will allow file upload for situations where live data source available, i.e. CSV for Calendar; improving navigation management; portlet management
  • Longform,” a new much more flexible, more modular content focused template
  • Capabilities:  indoor maps (custom amenities, detail screens for amenities, feed support for POI and amenity data); Direct alerts; import/export of Edit content; duplication of Edit content; Banner ads (promote events and activities around campus); Tighter integration between Indoor Maps, Outdoor Maps and Facilities

Mobile Trends

Presenter:  Andrew Yu, Founder and CTO of Modo Labs (@kurogofwk)

Andrew came from MIT, working on the mobile platform there.

We expect students to have more than one mobile device these days, and they have big expectations.  How do we meet those expectations?  Slide showed an arrow pointing up…i.e., things are going up:  bigger, more, faster, smarter, (hopefully) cheaper.

Network Side

The question is no longer Can you hear me now?  but Can you see me now?  All major carriers have rolled out 4G tech, especially LTE.  Mobile speeds where LTE is available is often faster overall than WiFi!  So, the world has moved “up” in the realm of speed.  There is also more competition among carriers…Google is even in the game.  5G will come sometime, probably in the 2020s…I think we can look to the Tokyo Olympic games for the first public implementations.

Faster Network = Better App Experience

Google Maps now defaults to satellite photo view instead of a plain map view.


“No One is Going to Buy a Big Phone”  – Steve Jobs

Well, that’s not true, and of course Apple now offers the iPhone 6 Plus.  Unlike phones / phablets, tablet growth is slowing…it’s currently at single-digit growth numbers worldwide.  Wearables are now a part of the ecosystem, and it’s worth exploring what these devices are capable of so we can deliver functionality to them.

Low energy bluetooth (iBeacons) are something to consider as well.  iBeacons can do push and proximity-based notifications, which is useful in tours, treasure hunts, vendor coupons, etc.  For campuses like Notre Dame with lots of interesting locations, this would be great for a tour app.


Mobile payments, physical access, Google Wallet, etc.  This will be important for implementation of campus OneCard systems.  Higher Ed is a prime vertical for this sort of integration.  Georgetown University is doing a Proof Of Concept for student ID, which includes two factor authentication (photo, QR code, more).

World is Becoming Mobile Friendly

Google Mobilegeddon:  search “Golf”  The world is being forced in some ways to be mobile-friendly.  If your site is not mobile-friendly, it will be indexed as well particularly for mobile searches.  Check here to see if your web site is mobile friendly:

Are We Done?  We’re Just Getting Started

Demographics are changing.  Our survey indicates that mobile applications are prioritized for:  1) current students, 2) new students and 3) prospective students.

Features to Consider:  Mobile Engagement

  • Customized UX
  • In-app social
  • Share pictures and videos (leverage existing SoMe channels)
  • Push notifications (not just for emergencies)
  • Anonymous messaging?
  • New Student Orientation and Move-in day

Global Audience

For international students, your mobile app is often the ONLY experience a potential student will have before setting foot on your campus.  Consider how you are reaching your various audiences – they use different modes.

Mobile Apps – More and Easier

There is an app for that > Many apps mode.

  • Unbundling phenomenon:  intentionally  and hopefully useful.
  • Apps are broken out into separate functions (Facebook and Messenger, FourSquare and Swarm, etc.)
  • Harvard has a mobile campus app, but also Tour, Financial literacy, and hospital apps.
  • Challenge with unbundling and the “many apps” strategy is that there can be confusion about which app is “official”
  • App discovery & distribution is a way to help get a handle on the many apps strategy.  Apperian is a vendor that has a product to help this.

Easier to Make, Maintain, and Share

  • With Kurogo, you can now assign many different module tasks to specific departments, i.e. embedding responsive web pages, new student orientation application, updating emergency contacts

Mobile Mind Shift!

  • Consider “micro moments” and the “mobile mind shift.”  Example quickly update / refine processes like personal calendaring.  Casual and quick updates.
  • Google Now is a great example of this “mobile mind shift”
  • “Mile IQ” is another example:  it’s an app that allows you to manage your mileage for IRS reporting.
  • Notre Dame’s “o’Snap” provides Uber-like functionality that allows students to summon a cart for travel on campus.

Transforming the University Experience

  • Think Mobile
  • Engage
  • Personalize





Welcome to the Conference

Ron Kraemer:  VP and Chief Information & Digital Officer

Notre Dame

  • 1842
  • 12,000 students (2/3 undergrad)
  • Research funding:  100 million+
  • Endowment:  $8-9 Billion (12th largest in country)

Notre Dame’s Innovation Park

  • Opened 2009
  • 55,000 Sq. Ft.
  • 501(c)3
  • Mission:  transform university innovation to viable marketplace ventures
  • Houses faculty, students, alumni, and partners
  • Provides tailored space and services
  • Works closely with Admin, Tech Transfer, Office of Research and Deans

I urge you to please walk the campus!  The basilica and administration building are deliberately located next to each other.  If you have the chance, please check out the grotto, it’s gorgeous especially this close to graduation. ” Touchdown Jesus” artwork on the library is actually a mosaic.  A lot of our artwork is deliberately named with football themes.  There’s a $400 million investment underway around the stadium, including a digital media studio for video and mobile production work.


Slide showing difference between 2005 and 2013:  Catholic papal events – first shot from 2005 has one person holding up a phone to take a photo, the second shot from 2013 shows EVERYONE holding up a phone to take a photo.  Pretty dramatic.  Our partnership with Modo Labs has allowed Notre Dame to deliver value to our campus.   In higher ed, our ability to collaborate and share with other institutions has been a huge benefit.  We’re in this game because we want to help our students positively change the world.

“In a digital world, influence no longer emanates from the top of the heap, but from the center of the network.”



Kurogo Conference Opening Remarks

Presenter:  Stewart Elliot, CEO, Modo Labs

The opening keynote of any conference usually portends the overall content and feel of the event.  A nice breakfast preceded, so for now, at least my stomach is happy.  Let’s see how this goes…

kurogo crowd shot

First items:  The conference app itself was made with Kurogo Publisher, and a thank-you to the sponsors:  Apperian, Double map GreyHeller, Radius Networks.  Also, a shout-out to the folks who travelled the farthest and Mr. Andrew Yu, the man who started the whole thing.  Cal State University was well-represented with five campuses sending reps to the event:  CSUCI, SacState, Fresno, East Bay, and of course CSUN.  Cal State has eight campuses using the platform.   PHSC:  Pasco-Hernando State College from Florida is also here (Dr. Melissa Harts from PHSC is actually sitting next to me as I type this – her presentation later is “What’s the Point?”).

Modo Labs is 5 years old this month!  One of the overall goals of the platform is to enable non-technical users to “do mobile” without having to code, i.e. publishing.  2.3 is out now, and 2.4 is coming in a couple months.  We’re proud to be able to deliver new iterations quickly.

“The Race to 2.0”

Fresno State beat Notre Dame to version 2.0 by 2 hours, so Cal State gets bragging rights as the first to implement 🙂

Modo Labs

Becca is new director, and changed a number of items:  logo, web site, etc.  The Modo Labs “ball” idea has been likened to an 8-ball, a bowling ball, and a party ball.  Modo’s new logo is a building block / chevron.  Modo = “the way of”  Visit the new web site here:

modo logo

We want all universities to bring in students to develop on our platform, whether they have coding skills or not.  We urge our customers to do this.

The New Frontier

Where is the demand coming from, what are customers asking for?  In big demand are micro sites and multi-sites.  We’re helping one of our customers scale up their installation to 400+ different experiences.  In this case, crowd-sourcing becomes very important…how do you get people handle the challenge of managing all this stuff?

Modo Labs

Only independent company in this space, we’re growing 100% year-over-year.  This has allowed us to strongly reinvest in our product.  We also have customers in very large enterprises, hospitals and other verticals.  We recently moved into a new facility that is twice the size, the space itself was designed by Eric Kim.  We’d be happy to host you and your folks if you’d like to come visit us (and play foosball…it’s a big thing in our office).

It’s Just a Pen

Slide featured a Blackboard pen.  When we entered the market, Blackboard was our biggest competitor, with about a 70% market share.  Our product has grown by leaps and bounds, and Blackboard is now about 40%.  Ellucian is really big in this space, too (and experiencing challenges from WorkDay).

Why the pen?  We need to be humble about our product.  Competitors can easily move into this space and change the market in unpredictable ways.

kurogo tech support
The tech guy running the soundboard and video presentations.



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