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Our Smart Village App – OSV

Developed by Fountain Lake School Students

This report is about an app called Our Smart Village or OSV which was developed by Fountain Lake School High School students. What follows is the presentation by the students at the January Hot Springs Village Board Discussion Session and the subsequent discussion. This app can be downloaded on your cell phone. The app is for Android and/or iOS (Apple phone).

At the first Board Discussion Session of 2022 (January 5), Director Pam Avila said, “So that everyone knows, we’ve invited these students from the East Program at Fountain Lake to talk to us about an app that they have developed and created for the Village and they’ve done an amazing job and they are going to talk about it.” The students present were senior Angela Coriaty, senior Houston Pierce, and Sophomore Brayden Buss who developed the app. Sophomore Lauren Cox also worked with the group but was not present.

Student: “Basically what East is and what East strives to accomplish is we want to make technology – we utilize technology to help better the community through various projects. This app, Our Smart Village is one of these projects and I believe it is one that I really do believe benefits the community and hammers home the point of East and the actual embodiment of what East represents.”

Board Director, Pam Avila: “Tell us what ‘East’ stands for.”

Student: “East stands for Education Accelerated by Service and Technology. We put together these service projects that people come to us, asking us to do, or we reach out, or we just do them and we offer them to people like you guys and Our Smart Village is an app that is basically a convenience app for anybody who lives in the Village or the surrounding area and inside it is every single accommodation that the Village has to offer. For example, all the golf courses, the swimming pool, every single restaurant, and all the restaurants are organized by the type of food. It is very interesting because it is so easy to use and it’s all in one accessible place and it is free to download and we are just here to promote it because we think it’s an amazing resource everybody should have on their phone. And we are very proud and this is…he is quiet. He is the one who made the app and he put together all the work for it. So that is what Our Smart Village is.” (The student speaking is referring to one of the other students.)

Board Chair, Joanie Corry: “You are here without a teacher today. Correct?

Student: “Yes, ma’am.”

Board Director Tucker Omohundro: “Are you old enough to drive?” [laughter]

Student: “Yes.”

Interim General Manager, John Paul: “Is the app interactive? Can you give reviews or how does it work?”

Student: “You can get feedback on the app or you can just have the reviews on the app store.”

Avila: “If anybody in the audience has their cell phone and you want to download it, tell them how to do it. It is really fast and it’s really easy.”

Student: “You go onto your phone and then you go onto the app store. Everybody can do it. And then once in the app store, you go to the search bar and you can type in OSV and you see Our Smart Village right there and then you just download it and then it is on your phone and you have all the resources for the Village in one central location and all their numbers and directions to get to the places and hours of operation and all of the reviews for the restaurants, all in one place.”

:: Background chatter while people are searching on their cell phones for OSV::

Avila asked: “What are the differences between Android and IPhone?”

Student: “Operating system…”

Avila: “Is there something different that you have to tell it on an Android?”

Student: “Oh no. It is all the same.”

Corry: “How long did it take you to develop this?”

Student: “It is still a work in progress, but it’s been about a month right now.”

Board Director Chris Jones: “What was the catalyst for you guys to think this would be a project you wanted to pursue?”

Student: “We saw that website and we thought that people needed an easier way to get all the information and so we just wanted to develop an app for it.”

Omohundro: “Are you trying to improve on our website?”

Student: “No.”

Avila: “Which is phenomenal, anyway. Not. So, for those that can’t see the app, there are basically three categories that pop up. They made it really simple. Eat, Play, and, Services. You go to any one of those. You go to play, you can actually…Can you do your tee times and so forth on this?”

Student: “Yes, you can. You can book your golf tee times straight from the app. And there is also a gate access page, and you can let people into the Village through a link that’s on the app. And you just sign in to your POA account and you can let people in right there. You don’t have to make those calls anymore. It’s all right on the app.”

Corry: “Do any of you live in the Village?”

Students: “Yes, ma’am.”

Corry: “All three of you do?”

Students: “Yes ma’am.”

Avila: “So I didn’t have to get a gate pass to get them in.” [laughter]

Omohundro: “But you could have.”

Avila: “I could have. But I didn’t.”

Board Director, Gary Belair: “What are the initials, again?”

Avila: OSVOur Smart Village.

Chris Jones: “So Total E had an open API so you could pull into the tee times and stuff for your app?”

Student: “What was that?”

Chris Jones: “So Total E Golf had open API that you could use to set up the tee times through your app or how did you do that?”

Student: “Yes.”

Paul: “One of the biggest problems we have is are the number of phone calls we get at the gate for people wanting to get visitor access. If we could promote this to make it really easy for people, it would sure take a lot of work off the gates and that would be a really good promotion. We’ll work on that.”

Avila: “What are your plans for this, now?”

Student: “Just to keep up the information. Keep it up, pretty much. Share it with everyone in the Village.”

Student: “The restaurants, especially after Covid, we’ve had a lot of restaurants close down in the surrounding area and new ones open up. This app can always be edited. He is going to be passing it down when he graduates and so on and so on. We are just going to try and keep updating it.”

Paul: “Can the businesses edit their own app?”

Student: “They cannot, but they send us emails and we can alter anything on the app for free and we can change it like that. Super easy to change. But it’s not available to the public to edit.”

Paul: “I was just thinking if they had weekly specials or that sort of thing, how accessible you would be to doing that weekly, that you are now, that ongoing, would it get more cumbersome? And would you look at maybe letting the businesses edit it themselves? Just an idea.”

Student: “It’s a good idea. Yeah. We will definitely look into that. But as of right now, there’s just a little description of the restaurant, and the times and dates, and reviews.”

Paul: “I just downloaded. It’s very good.”

Avila: “It is very simple. It’s awesome. Nice job!”

Students: “Thank you.”

Avila: “Oh and just so that everyone knows that Fountain Lake actually had to pay to build this app on a certain platform. So the district paid for it this year and what they are hoping is that in the future the various businesses, restaurants, and so on will be willing to subscribe and pay a small fee to be on this app. They would be even more encouraged if a lot of Villagers were using it.”

Corry: “I think I heard you say someone is a senior?”

Students: “We both are.”

Corry: “You both are and so you are passing it, the reins to… Are you a freshman or 8th grader?”

Student: “I am a sophomore. We have another worker working on it. She is also a sophomore.”

Corry: “Okay. All right.”

Paul: “Have you been in contact with our marketing department, Paul Sage?”

Avila: “I have been working with Paul [Sage].”

Paul: “I know he is watching this right now and we have a Friday Digest that goes out that we can highlight this and it gets to about 6,000 people a week. So I think I can get you quite a few people on there. We’ll reach out and see what we can develop with that.”

Avila: “John Paul, we’ve already got that in process and we’re moving…”

Omohundro: “Can you link it? Can you put a link to it somehow or something for people like me?”

Paul: “They can probably put a link to the app store to make it easier. Paul [Sage] probably could do that.”

Avila: “We’ll make it as simple as we can and also you can just use a QR code that makes it SUPER simple for those that know how to use QR codes.”

Chris Jones: “Well, I appreciate you guys. I hate websites and in particular, I don’t really like our website so apps are the way to go. I really appreciate that. Thank you.”

Corry: “Yes, very nice job.”

Students: “Thank you.”

Corry: “Now are you going to tell the school you had to stay here for two hours before you go back to school?” [laughter]

Student: “Oh no.”

Student: “That’s not a bad idea. I wish I would have thought of that myself.”

Student: “That is a bad idea.”

Omohundro: “Be careful with that. This is recorded.”

Corry: “Yes, the school may be watching.”

Corry: “With Covid, it’s really hit us all. But it is nice to see that we have students out there working anyway. I mean that was pretty impressive.”

Paul: “They were here without a teacher and that would have never happened before.”

Corry: “Very true.”

Omohundro: “The class doesn’t have a teacher. They have a facilitator, but there’s not a teacher. They never have had a teacher. My daughter was in it when she was in school. That was when they first started it at Fountain Lake and they do some amazing stuff. And like they said, if you want something done, just go to them and they’ll do it. They’re into technology.”

Paul: “They developed a program years ago for the fire department in the Village and where they could get to places on the golf courses – the best way to go if they were called. And they’ve done stuff for us in the past and it’s free. We like free.”

Corry: “Well yes, except they need a platform to put it on and that may be…”

Chris Jones: “What they should do is allow advertising from like ReMax and what not and they could put money in their pocket for college.”

Omohundro: “I don’t think that…”

Student: “I would have, but people don’t like ads so I didn’t want to piss off people, but yeah, they could make money off of that.”

Omohundro: “I don’t think they could do that through the school system.”

Paul: “They may not be able to.”

Corry: “Anyway, it was impressive and I certainly appreciate the work that they’ve done.”

Director of Public Services, Jason Temple: “All kinds of ideas came to my mind of how we could use that app. One of those was we’re going to be doing a lot of repairs and improvements out in the Village. We could show on the map where that is happening and use that app to show our residents where that stuff is going on. I am working with Pam right now. We’re using some of our signs to put out when we have any small or large projects – your assessments at work, so we can really promote the good work that we are doing here in the Village with the assessments that we’re going to be managing wisely in the future.”

Click on the first photo below to enlarge and then click the arrow to move through the slideshow.

Report by Cheryl Dowden, February 13, 2022

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