Monday, Apr 21, 2014 05:38 am est

Students reimagine digital classroom

Posted on December 10, 2013 | by Patrick Anker

Justin Lanier/WSN

Next semester, an independent digital classroom interface founded by a group of NYU students will provide an alternative to the NYU Classes system.

The program, dubbed Kipin Hall, was only open to 2,000 students and 17 professors this semester in a closed beta, but will be accessbile by the community this spring. The website will pull information from the Albert database to create student schedules. All students will be able to connect to Kipin Hall by using their NYU email addresses.

“Kipin Hall is a platform where students can connect with students, with professors and with clubs,” Kipin Hall co-founder and CAS sophomore Abhinay Ashutosh said.

The founders said the interface will be more user-friendly to use than the current system. When a student logs into the site, he is met with a wall of posts, similar to Facebook. Students can post questions for their professors or classmates to answer. The student postings can be sorted using hashtags. 

“This is a quick way for the professor to answer questions to students in a very public way,” Ashutosh said. “The advantage for professors is that they can answer a question just once, forever. If someone next year asks the same question, [the professor] doesn’t need to keep answering that question. They can just refer to the original.”

The students can also choose to post questions anonymously.

“It’s [hard] for the quiet kids to stand up and ask a question they think is stupid,” Ashutosh said.

Similar to NYU Classes, the page retains a navigation bar that lists the student’s classes and group pages. The page also includes a full roster, assignments and calendar of events.

While the NYU Information Technology Services welcomed the Kipin Hall interface, the university has no immediate plans to intergrate the system with NYU Classes.

“The group determined, with concurring input from the Student Technology and Research Committee of the Student Senators Council, that it is not presently a priority for ITS to integrate Kipin Hall into NYU Classes,” said Marilyn McMillan, ITS Chief Information Technology Officer.

Tech@NYU president and Stern senior Emanuel Hahn is familiar with the site and said he looks forward to the launch of Kipin Hall.

“NYU Classes is very inefficient and does a poor job of meeting students’ needs,” Hahn said. “Kipin Hall can improve that tremendously because they are not bogged down by bureaucracy, but instead can adapt rapidly to what students want [or] need.”

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Dec. 10 print edition. Patrick Anker is a staff writer. Email him at


  • Samuel

    This Abhi character looks like a dufus

Tatiana Baez

Assistant Managing Editor | A CAS junior, Tatiana is studying journalism, environmental science and politics. She’s a bomb editor, as well as the staff’s main source of entertainment because she sings along to every song after 12 a.m. She also writes about culture, science, technology and sex, and her work has been featured in VICE, Motherboard, Elite Daily, amNewYork and others. She enjoys eating Thai food, reading fiction and binge-watching Netflix.

And in case you were wondering how great she really is — “I just can’t get enough of Tatiana” is a direct quote from her EIC at WSN only moments ago.

Ann Schmidt

News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.


Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

Hannah Luu

Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

  • How to join:

    The Washington Square News holds open weekly budget meetings at its office located at 838 Broadway every Sunday. All are welcome to attend, no matter your background in journalism, writing, or reporting. Specific times for meetings by desk are listed below. If you wish to talk to an editor before you attend, feel free to check out the Staff page.

    5 P.M. 6 P.M. 6 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 7 P.M.

    Applying for an editor position: Applications for editor positions during the fall or spring semesters are available twice each academic year and can be found here when posted. Applications for the Fall 2012 semester are closed, but check back for Spring 2013. Those who wish to apply are urged to publish pieces in the newspaper and contact current editors for shadowing.

    History of the Washington Square News:

    The Washington Square News is the official daily student newspaper of New York University and serves the NYU, Greenwich Village, and East Village communities. Founded as an independent newspaper in 1973, the WSN allows its undergraduate writers and photographers to cover campus and city news and continues to grow its strong body of award-winning journalists and photographers.

  • The WSN has a circulation of about 60,000 and can be found in over a hundred purple bins distributed throughout campus. It is published Monday through Thursday during the fall and spring semesters and online on Friday, with additional special issues published in the summer. The newspaper recently revamped its website during the Fall 2012 semester.

    Like few campus newspapers in the country, the paper is editorially and financially independent from the university and is solely responsible for selling advertisements to fund its production. The WSN, including its senior staff, is run solely by current undergraduate students and the business-division is largely student-operated as well.

    A Board of Directors comprised of alumni, NYU professors and working news media professionals serves as advisors to the paper. Board members have no control in the WSN's editorial policy or newsroom operations. Alumni of the newspaper are established and leading journalists in such news organizations as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NBC news, ABC news, Fox News, and USA Today.