Why Every College Should Perfect Their Mobile Presence
College students nowadays use their smartphones for everything, but most colleges are not effectively catering to this lifestyle. Creating a mobile presence with apps and a mobile website is important for colleges to appeal to an increasingly tech-savvy population. Plus, having a mobile presence offers several benefits to colleges as far as recruitment and student success. So, take a look at the following reasons why colleges need to have a mobile presence so they can draw in attention from the best of the best.
A Mobile Presence Helps Students with College Life
Students need easy access to information about their college, which is why mobile websites and apps improve students’ lives. Students are able to find information about classes, shuttles, food, and everything else related to college life. But according to the Chronicle of Higher Education, only 15 percent of colleges currently have mobile apps. Seems a like a wasted opportunity to me.
Fortunately, colleges have options for implementing mobile websites and applications — the open-source platform from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), educational software from companies like Blackboard, hiring third party groups to develop unique apps or allowing their students to have control over the schools mobile presence. My chosen university made the decision to go with the last option. Which in the end, I believe is better than the others. Especially if you consider the fact that they were in charge of attracting their peers and not a group of various age groups. However, most colleges don’t have the funds to develop apps and mobile websites of their own. I attended the University Of Central Florida, where they offer web design and coding classes. So the cost for the school to enhance their mobile presence was very small. But for institutions without the same resources or programs, taking the time to check out MIT and Blackboard products would not be too much of a bad idea.
Several Colleges have developed mobile websites and apps of their own. For instance, Texas A&M University has a suite of free mobile apps that help students with college life (TAMUmobile). The apps include bus routes based on GPS, help planning class schedules, dining apps that show menus, and more. The University of California has an app that is programmed for all iOS users. The University of Alabama app goes a little beyond providing users with information on bus routes and course schedules. You also have the option to view recordings of faculty lectures, school performances and the “Million Dollar Band” through iTunes U. Their app is available on iOS, Blackberry and Android. Ohio State University implemented a real-time bus locator and people finder into their app, which is programmed for both iOS and Android. It’s a step up from the University of California and Alabama if you ask me. But the institution with the crème de la crème of apps is Massachusetts Institute Of Technology. Who else would it be? They are the guys who created the programming platform for remaining universities. Their app offers, “real-time shuttle tracking and alerts, an interactive campus map, a searchable people directory and a self-guided campus tour.” That’s a pretty impressive app.
Apps and Mobile Websites Are Recruitment Tools
According to HarkCollege.com, 75 percent of college students say their smartphone never leaves their side. They use it for everything from social networking to looking up information about local businesses and studying for school. So, college students now expect to be able to access information about their college from their smartphone. And it makes complete sense.
Every college graduate can relate to the anxious feeling of wanting to know whether or not they passed their hardest course. During my senior year, I was required to take a course with a professor that I had been strategically avoiding for my last two years. My financial situation required me to work a part-time job, while being a full-time student. So I was unable to avoid him forever. For the most part, I did a pretty good job on all his assigned projects and was beginning to worry why everyone considered him such a tough professor. And then one day he announced the final project and how much it affected my final grade. At that moment, all of the gossip and stories about this professor made complete sense. The time gap between turning in my last assignment and when grades were actually posted online was two weeks. Two weeks of not knowing whether or not I was going to walk across the stage. Two weeks of trying to make up a speech to tell my parents, just in case I didn’t pass. So when the day finally did come, the first thing I did on my lunch break at work was look up my grades. If my university had made the decision to not have a mobile website, I would have spent the entire day driving myself crazy.
Not having a mobile website or college app is detrimental to a college. Colleges that do have a mobile website and apps can use them as recruiting tools to show potential students they care about technology and support its use. It also cuts down on stress during midterms and finals.
Engaging with Students Is Easier with a Mobile Presence
College students like to feel connected, which is why social networks are so popular and Wi-Fi spots with easy access to the Internet on campus are important to them. Colleges can use apps to connect with students to find out what they need and want. They can also provide high-speed Internet from InternetServiceProvider.net to make sure students can connect whenever they want. This keeps students happy and better able to stay on top of homework to succeed in school.
As you can see, having a mobile presence is important for a college because it enhances the lives of students. Plus, there also benefits to the college in terms of recruitment and student happiness. Has you college created apps or a mobile website yet?