School of Social Work Graduate Student Navigates Campus with SpaceScout
For someone who grew up in Maine, went to college in Boston, then traveled to the other corner of the country (San Diego) for her first graduate degree, then up to the Pacific Northwest for her second, it’s probably not surprising that Ashley LeBlanc is enamored with SpaceScout. “I’ve lived in eight different cities. I travel and explore a lot. I like the idea of exploring and finding new places, not getting stuck in a rut.”
Learning Her Way Around
A first-year graduate student, and entirely new to the Seattle campus, Ashley has made good use of SpaceScout to learn her way around. Her home base is the School of Social Work, where she is enrolled in the MSW program. “There aren’t tons of study spaces at SSW, and the study commons is often used for group work.” After hearing about SpaceScout at a student orientation, Ashley checked out the tool and eventually found three or four favorite study spots that work for her. “The images are key! Instead of hunting around on campus, you get a sense of what’s available right from your phone.” (In addition to the iOS app, SpaceScout also provides a web-based version.)
Spaces to Fit Any Study Need
Now a SpaceScout veteran, Ashley knows where to go, depending on the study needs of the moment. “For courses that are heavy on reading and writing, I like to be able to camp out for hours, and knowing that there’s coffee nearby is great. I love the Suzzallo reading room for long study sessions. On the other hand, sometimes I want to make use of time before a class, and for shorter study breaks, I like a more comfortable space. Tables at certain corners of the library have a nice view, or are close to books related to social work. When I went to South Campus center for a class, and I discovered great spaces with couches that look out over the canal—I can look up from studying and see sailboats going by. We spend so much time studying that it’s nice to change your environment, and get different stimuli.”
When asked what she likes most about SpaceScout, in addition to the images, Ashley says, “I like being able to pull up my list of favorites spaces." (To create a list of favorite spaces in the iOS app, tap the star at the top right corner of an image.) "You discover some really cool corner, like the couch nooks at South Campus center, add it to your favorites, and then you always have it to go back to. She also likes being able to filter for the hours a space is available, proximity to food and coffee, and spaces with natural light. “The map is great, too—I can see how far apart buildings are. And I like that I can use the iOS app while walking around campus.” (Currently only available on the iOS app, the ability to add spaces to a favorites list will be available in the web version in late spring/early summer 2014.)
The Importance of Predictability
Ashley notes that for a graduate student, when trying to fit in study time—along with a part-time job and a practicum—predictability is important. Living with a roommate, she can’t always count on home being a conducive study space. “You need to know where you can go to get your work done. I take into consideration what my attention span is like, how much time I have, what I need to get done.” It’s helpful to have a range of study spaces that meet different needs, and to know that they are available when you need them.
It’s Good to Explore
Ashley encourages students to shake up their routine. “It’s good to explore. The Law Building has great places to sit. We have access to all of these buildings, all these great spaces to take advantage of, so there’s no reason not to use them.”
New Features On the Way
The SpaceScout Team is excited to roll out new features this spring. The ability to bookmark favorite spaces, currently available only in the iOS app, will soon be available across devices--create a list of favorite spaces on your home computer, and you can pull it up later on your iPhone. In addition, Ashley can soon share her love of the Suzzallo Reading Room by leaving a review. Ratings and comments will soon allow students to get (and give) the real skinny on a space. (Great view? Uncomfortable furniture? Fellow SpaceScout users want to know.) And finally, the SpaceScout team has made it easy to coordinate group study sessions by allowing students to email space details (photo, location, etc.) to their study buddies. No more worries about whether they’ll be able to find you.