Identify a gap or problem, and find a solution. That’s one of the mantras of the New Media Institute (NMI), housed on the fourth floor of Grady College. And that mindset was exemplified through the work of the Blitz team, a five-member student squad that, last year, developed an innovative flashcard app, available now in the Mac App Store.
Developed through an NMI group assignment given in NMIX 4410: New Media Capstone, the culminating class of the New Media Certificate, the app allows for simple and efficient digital flashcard creation.
Unique, in part, because all of its functions are completely free, the app allows users to translate images on their Macs into editable text on digital flashcards, which can then be used to study for upcoming quizzes and tests. Fittingly, written on the homepage of Blitz’s website is the brand’s slogan, “Less typing. More studying.”
In addition to creating something valuable for their peers, the creators of the Blitz app picked up transferable skills, better preparing them to land and excel in jobs after graduation.
“The New Media Capstone provides students with interdisciplinary team-based experiential learning opportunities that help prepare them for life after graduation,” said John Weatherford, a senior lecturer and the instructor of the capstone course. “It’s always such a joy to mentor a team of talented students from various backgrounds as they work together on a semester-long project.”
One of the members of the Blitz team was Owen Reynolds, who served as the squad’s chief technology officer. A fall 2022 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and a certificate from the New Media Institute, Reynolds is currently working as a software engineer at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE).
“Getting the experience of working in a team and also working with SwiftUI, and just Macs in general, that was something, as a developer, I hadn’t really done at that point,” he said. “That was so valuable for me. It is great experience.”
Additionally, Reynolds iterated how valuable the teamwork aspect of the experience was. Despite some of the members graduating, he said the Blitz team regularly stays in touch. Primarily, they simply check in with one another to say hello and touch base on any educational or career developments. But also, they stay in touch because they “want to keep this project alive,” said Reynolds.
“We all really fell in love with the idea, just this notion of these really cool features being free for students.”
Additional members of the Blitz team include Gabby Austin (AB ‘22), a graduate of the Advertising Department, Raika Kachwalla, a student in the Entertainment and Media Studies Department, Viktoria Kangas, a student in the Journalism Department, and Nicolas Tschirhart, a student in the Entertainment and Media Studies Department.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the work done by the Blitz team to not only create the NMI’s first native macOS app, but to see the project across the finish line and publish it to the App Store,” said Weatherford. “Publishing an app in the world’s largest macOS app store is an accomplishment that will elevate the post-graduation career opportunities for each student on the team.”