The Federal University of Technology Minna (FUT Minna) has taken a step beyond the reach of other Nigerian Higher Education Institutions by putting its academic services and on-campus on the electronic devices of members of staff and students through a new innovation software called Phinnx. FUTMinna adopted the Phinnx web system which is targeted at computerizing the research, collaborative and academic needs of all Nigerian academic institutions. The first goal of the Phinnx project is to re-engineer campus communication and collaboration.
The core features and advantages of this new innovation to architectural students includes :
1. video conferencing of individuals on mobile phones, tablets and Personal Computers and illustrator which enables people wherever they may be to teach one another on courses and architectural design etc using their phone ,tablet and PC screen as notebooks.
2. Illustrator allows people to easily create more complex and appealing symbols than is achievable in conventional whiteboards.
3. Other features include Course and Assignment Managers, Messaging System, Screen and Code Studio, which supports computer programming on mobile phones and tablets. Screen(The front page) is a somewhat look-alike of Facebook wall and timeline, It however defers in four ways. Firstly, it has the ability to link posts to numerous other posts to cater for citations and references as is needed in the academia. Secondly, it provides ways to speedily search the posts of others without having to read through the entire 'wall'. Thirdly, it uses a more realistic algorithm that ensures you don't see the same post too many times as is frequent on Facebook. Lastly, it supports nesting of comments to infinite depths, ensuring academic arguments do not terminate because technology inhibits it.
Behind this innovation are two brilliant students of FUTMinna; Olofu Mark who is a 400 level student of ICT and Oguntade Temitope who finished from Maths and Computer. In a telephone conversation with the them, Olofu Mark and Oguntade Temitope explained that they have spent most of their time solving problems that borders on performance, scalability, reliability and ease of use. They explained that they understand the difficulties Nigerians have with Internet speed and have made every effort on their end to compensate in some ways as over 80 percent of operations are expected to be processed in units of milliseconds.
The Phinnx team will spend the next few months making their system bug-free before they open it up to other institutions of learning. This premier and remarkable solution is available on www.phinnx.com.
By Nathaniel Adebayo