There is an expectation amongst students that their university will provide them with information using technology they are comfortable with. Combine this with estimates of 62 million smartphones in the UK by 2015, it is clear that the mobile app is a technology most students will be comfortable with and have access to. Importantly, a mobile app is typically an additional service rather than a replacement, as the information available can also be accessed via different methods if needed i.e. via the web or on campus.
Access to information is a big incentive when considering a mobile app. The Open University, recently won The Guardian University Award for its app that enables students to access course information, materials and even text books using their mobile app wherever they are. Other universities such as Manchester Metropolitan University enable their lecturers to provide their students access to teaching material and support resources such as reading lists, online articles, audio and video clips etc using their university mobile app wherever they are.
All university mobile app's provide slightly different core information, but the basics are typically a combination of timetables, campus maps, staff contact details, library search option and event notifications. Each helps the student to find out what they want to know without having to find a PC/laptop or come onto campus, all helping to ensure the student can engage when they want to, where they want to.
A mobile app also opens up extra possibilities for student engagement with universities such as Manchester Metropolitan University enabling students to access chat rooms and discussion boards. Students can therefore continue discussions outside of the teaching room, without having to be on campus. Typically staff are also active in these chat rooms/discussion boards, providing advice and answers to questions. Queens University mobile app NPulse, allows students to ask live questions, hold in-class discussions, record lectures and even rate their classroom experience in real time. Having this type of online live environment, including both staff and students, helps to improve student engagement in and out of the classroom and improve the student experience.
Some universities have added something different, by providing information that isn't necessarily focussed towards their studies, but does still benefit the student experience. Oxford University's, Mobile Oxford, provides information on travel and events within the city, whilst others such as the University of Westminster's iWestminster allows students to find each other using GPS.
Something that has already been touched on (but is worth repeating) is how the information is presented. A mobile app, enables a university to choose what information it displays as well as tailor the design to suit the student. These two aspects are very useful in helping to improve engagement between the university and the student, as only student focused information is made available.
This article has concentrated on current students, but the mobile app can also be useful for attracting prospective students as it provides the opportunity to familiarise with student events and the community prior to becoming a student at the university. In addition to prospective students, it can also be focussed towards alumni to keep them informed of news and events as well as a providing way to keep in touch with each other. A good example of this is Aberystwyth's AberWorld.
There are clearly possible advantages of having a university mobile app, particularly the positive impact it can have on student engagement. Its quite likely that one of the first thoughts is cost - whether this be time or money (or both!). However as highlighted by the Guardian article, the cost and time involved isn't necessarily as great as you may think and the possible advantages are surely worth the time and investment spent.
Come visit the website http://www.thestudentexperiencegroup.com to view more articles looking at initiatives and case studies that are helping to improve the student experience within education.
Please feel free to leave your thoughts and/or comments at the bottom of the articles, your input is always welcome.
Also, don't forget to follow the student experience group on twitter (@studentexpgroup) and on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/pages/The-Student-Experience-Group/784863438197434). You can also subscribe to the monthly newsletter on the website, so I can let you know each month about the new articles and info available on the website.
By Ben Moreland
Digital Marketing Consultant Dave Delaney writes in the Tennessean that it’s never too early for a college student to start networking. He recommends LinkedIn specifically as a way to connect with professionals in their industries. There are more than 2 million groups in LinkedIn from which a student can choose. Additionally, local face-to-face networking, Meetups and business trade groups are excellent ways to meet potential employers. Having a professional business card is one of the most important tools students should have to help their networking efforts.
Getting a Head Start
By networking early, you’ll create your list of resources that will be valuable as you search for internships and jobs, and as a way to get into the door of a company you have your eye on. Early on, what you have to market is your passion and enthusiasm. Later it will be the skills you acquire with your education. Your early start means you’ll get your name in front of potential employers and contacts before other students.
Create a resume of your work and education, and order business cards. Your business card is the analog version of an Internet browser bookmark. It allows the people you meet to quickly find you. In the business world, everyone expects you to have a business card. You’ll fit right in at networking events as you present your card after talking with a new contact.
Your Student Business Card Design
You’ll want similar information on your card as the ones you receive from the business people you meet. The differences are only to reflect your status as a student.
- Full name, no nicknames or aliases
- The degree you’re working toward
- A professional-sounding email address or a school email address
- Mobile phone with a professional voice-mail message
- Website address (if appropriate) or LinkedIn profile address
Other useful information to include:
- Awards, especially academic and tuition-based awards
- Statuses as head of a club or organization
Reserve lengthy information for your resume. Only put short, meaningful titles on your card. This is to be a reminder of who you are to the recipient, not a biography.
Social Networking Information
Your social networks are an important way for you to stay in touch with people. Be cautious about including your Facebook and Twitter addresses on your business card unless you are maintaining them exclusively for business purposes. It takes very little to tarnish an image. This is where a LinkedIn profile can benefit you. Create one and maintain it for your business and professional networking efforts. Keep it separate from your social networking.
Professional Printing versus DIY
A business card you print yourself will rarely look as professional as one you can print online. With most services, you can upload a design and print a small number of cards for free. From then on, you can easily print more cards from the same service quickly. When you order business cards, don't opt for the free cards that mention the printing company. A clean white side of the card is more professional looking than the “Printed by XYZ Company” on the back.
Business Card Etiquette
In a formal networking event, you may exchange business cards with another person upon meeting them. Otherwise, wait until the end of a conversation to give a person your card. The goal is to make real contacts, not just to collect business cards. Treat your card as a valuable extension of yourself and offer it only to people who show an interest in you.
Let’s break this down into two easy categories:
The situation is improving…slowly, because stuff is moving…slowlyBecause some weekly economic reports have been encouraging, U.S. factories are making more orders of stuff to sell. Spending at retail businesses rose in May, showing that people are spending more on said stuff. Consumer confidence is also at its highest point in 5 ½ years, so people feel good about buying stuff. Higher home sales and prices are signaling a steady housing recovery, and that people feel better about buying houses as containers for their stuff.
Unemployment benefits are being sought by less people as of last week, moving positively with a recently moderate pace of jobs growth. The number of unemployment benefit seekers fell 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 346,000 last week, demonstrating that the job market is still improving.
Additionally, the Commerce Department said consumer spending increased 0.3 percent last month, after a revised 3.0 percent drop in April (formerly thought to be 0.2 percent). So now the country’s reached a stage of retrospective equilibrium in regards to sluggish movement.
The four-week average for new claims, which irons out week-to-week volatility, declined 2,750 to 345,750 according to the Labor Department, which neared the 338,000 five-year low that the average touched last month.
Employers also added 175,000 jobs in May, almost matching the per mensem gain for the past year. The unemployment rate was 7.6 percent, down from 8.2 percent a year later, and steady job gains could help the economy expand later this year, because growth was only 1.8 percent at an annual rate in the first quarter, down from a previous estimate of 2.4 percent.
Steady job gains could help the economy expand later this year. Growth was only 1.8 percent at an annual rate in the first quarter, the government said Wednesday, down from a previous estimate of 2.4 percent.
The capitalistic cycle of stuff is continuing, so rest-assured that you will still be able to find stuff and get money to buy more stuff for your stuff.
By By Nathan Oelker
Junaroo is an app where users get rewards for texting. It gives users the ability to create their own image-based messages whether using an image from the app or one from their phone, and send them to friends. Basically you can create a meme out of any image on your phone. Then send it to a friend or post on Facebook and Twitter.
Ok, you think, so how is that different from meme generators? Here’s how: for every message you send, you get a reward in your Rewards inbox. Rewards can be coupons, deals, discounts or “surprises.” Stuff you can actually spend, or save money with. Stuff you can redeem right from your phone. (What's a surprise? Well, we can’t tell you that. You have to see when you get one.)
Junaroo was built by a small group of Silicon Valley tech professionals. We started out by asking the question, "How can we leverage what students like to do and combine that with promotions in one app?"
The basic idea was that we wanted users to send their friends a happy message and a promotion. We knew we wanted to work with memes, because it’s a fun way of communicating that is so popular among students. Just look at all the Facebook college meme pages that have sprung up in the last 6 months.
But why would people want to use this app to create memes? Because they get something in return. So we loaded the app up with coupons and deals. And we incentified users to send messages by giving them the deals. Using this app the sender gets the deal.
Not only that but to make it more exciting we gamified collecting rewards in the app. Since everything is more fun if it’s a game, users now collect points by sending messages, and advance to new levels. And like in any good game, the more advanced their level the better deals they get.
So, if you are a broke college student, you might want to browse through your Rewards inbox to find that 50%-off-your-favorite-morning-coffee coupon, or the Buy-1-Get-1-Free-pizza to share with your friends after classes.
Of course, we are continuously developing. There are many things to come in the next version, such as rewards categorization, user preferences, a sent list and other cool features.
Junaroo is not a coupon app and it’s not a memegenerator, but a combination of the two.
Sounds like a sweet deal? Go ahead and try it for yourself. http://appstore.com/junaroo
Starting out in college can be scary even under the best of circumstances—new people, new professors, and new course material make college a particularly daunting phase in education. But when other students go out of their way to make starting out at college even more intimidating, things can begin to escalate much too quickly. While instances of hazing have always occurred, dating back to the earliest days of college history, in recent years hazing tactics seem to have become more violent, aggressive, and sometimes, deadly. While hazing tends to be most common among members of the Greek system, or those on an athletic team, hazing can and does occur to a wide variety of new students. And while some hazing can seem friendly and harmless, some hazing tactics can be terrifying. Even though many colleges have begun to enforce strict anti-hazing rules, huge numbers of students still report either witnessing, partaking in, or being the victim of a variety of hazing rituals. Among extreme cases of hazing, the effects can range from psychologically damaging to physically harmful. The following infographic takes a look at some of the stats and facts around hazing, as well as some of the surprising details on just how dangerous it can be.
Brought to you by EducationNews.org
Inflation is taking a large toll on the students at the college level as far as money goes. Now, as the cost of living goes up, the salaries that workers receive are going up in unison. Professors, grounds crews, and all personnel on campus and those working through it are getting more money now than ever before. While this sounds like they are ripping off college students left and right, people seeking a higher education need to realize that the cost of living is increasing too, meaning the people working for these universities are staying the same as far as how well off they are. Since the salaries of the workers are going up, the institutions for a higher education must dish out more money to them, making the tuitions higher. They have to increase the revenue in some aspect, so they now a days are doing this through rise in tuition rates countrywide. Vicki Smith, who is a writer for the Associated Press, informs that the tuition at WVU for the Fall 2012 semester has been increased by $145 for in-state students per semester and $449 for out of state and international students (Smith).
Catherine Rampell, a reporter for The New York Times, believes that the state funding cuts drive colleges to increase their tuition. With these large decreases in budgets for universities, they have to make up for the fiscal loss somehow; the way they do this is through increased tuition (Rampell). So, this makes sense from universities perspective but leads students into debt making harder for them to contribute to society. This makes them harder to have a decent life after graduation because of being worried about how to pay back all loans and not having this money for their own needs.
Another way that leads to a high tuition is that the federal government has the ability to dish out money as they please as long as they are discretionary funds. Regarding the flexibility they have with money, "Higher education usually falls under the 'discretionary spending' part of the budget - and in fact is often one of the biggest programs, if not the biggest, in the discretionary category" says Rampell. The reason that higher education gets less money is due to the fact that the government knows these schools have other ways of getting revenue, so they do not always allocate the amount of money for the higher education portion of the budget (Rampell).
As an example of how high the tuition is becoming, Richard Vedder is an economics professor at Ohio University, a director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, and the author of Going Broke by Degree: Why College costs Too Much (Vedder). In The New York Times article, he said that according to the College Board in 2011, Ohio University's in-state students pay more than $17,000 a year including tuition, room, and board, which was about 6% more than the previous year (Vedder). He found out that Americans in 2009 spent an inconceivable amount of money on higher education, which was about $461 billion, this is much more than the gross domestic product of some countries like Portugal and Norway.
Students are becoming more aware of the issue and have already started taking action toward it. In some states such as California, students demonstrated in 2008 since their tuition was doubled. Vedder urges not only students, but also families to reach out to the government programs that are available for helping with college expenses. He believes that the only one who can take real action toward the rising college costs is the federal government. Vedder says, "Whereas private businesses cut prices for consumers and costs to themselves through efficiencies that increase profits and incomes, universities lack those incentives." In saying this, it shows that the universities cannot function like a business and make money, so in order to keep the money that they need to run and expand tuition rates are increasing every year.
In a nutshell, we can conclude that tuition fees have had a negative impact and continue to do so on students because this leads them to face financial pressure. Acquiring a higher education, and going forth through the classes is hard enough as it is, when money issues enter the equation this leads to an unbearable amount of stress. Lastly, these reasons stated above frustrate students and their families year after year.
By Ahmed A Albuwaidy
Rampell, Catherine. "Why Tuition Has Skyrocketed at State Schools. Nytimes.com. 2 March 2012. Web. 15 Nov. 2012.
Vedder, Richard. "Why Does College Cost so Much? CNN.com. Web. CNN. Cable News Network, 02 Dec. 2011. Web. 14 Nov. 2012.
Smith, Vicki. "WVU board OK's percent tuition increases." Boston.com.June 7, 2012. Web. Dec 5, 2012.
Smart Phones Make Smart Students
Most university bound students already have a smart phone. Those that don’t need to borrow, beg or work their way into one. This is without a doubt the #1 weapon for college success.
Miraculously everything needed to make the first year at university better is held within this little box. The best news yet it that it is easy, fun, and inexpensive to put a smart phone to work for college prep.
Task It Baby
Task management applications are easy to use and you can cheaply download one onto your smart phone. Some of the best ones are free. Look for an application that will sync across all your devices. Some task management applications even allow collaboration in real time on projects with other students. For students with an iPhone here are three applications made just for you:
- Student Time Tracker
For university students carrying Android phones such as an HTC, here are three tremendous task tools to keep everything organized at college:
Applications that work across almost all platforms include both Remember the Milk and Wunderlist. It’s hard to get things done if you don’t know what you are doing!
College Cash Heads
Now, not in September, is the time to get the money situation organized with your parents and with the bank. Getting a student loan and financial aid? Don’t expect your money to come in on time or in full. Too often there is a hold up with student loans and financial aid that just adds extra stress exactly when you don’t need it- your first quarter or semester at college. Prepare in advance just in case by setting up a bank account with the school’s credit union. A bank account at your parents’ bank can also work well. Credit unions typically have better rates and fewer fees than banks. Check and compare rates and fees before choosing. In addition, make sure to establish direct deposit electronically with your parents’ account just in case you need it. Most banks and credit unions now have mobile applications available for your smart phone. Secure your phone with a password and through advanced security settings.
Decorating Apps and Sites to get Just the Right College Décor
Heading for college means making a life of your own outside of your parent’s home. This is going to be your personal space and you have the ability to decorate it anyway you want to. Decorating might not seem like an important thing but your dorm room is an extension of your own personal style and it will often make a first impression on people in your dorm. How and whether a student decorates is up to them. Luckily, there are several online sites that are filled with DIY decorating ideas, college dorm room supplies and tips for saving money your first year in college.
Some key things to know about college dorm living include:
1. This is a communal environment. Noise and light are often an issue. At the top of every student list should be eyeshades, earplugs, noise reducing headphones, a small lamp for studying, a bath caddy and thongs for the shower room. Throw in a bottle of Aspirin, Tylenol and Tums for good measure.
2. Dorm room beds are longer than standard single beds. Specially designed X-long dorm room bedding is available in cute, reasonable coordinated packages from online college bedding sites like Our Campus Market.
3. Most students share a dorm room with another student. Try to determine as quickly as possible if you are compatible with the other student or not. If it seems like the human cockroach from hell has turned up instead of a roommate be prepared to go to the Resident Assistant (RA) as quickly as possible. No matter what do not give up in the quest to get rid of the gargoyle. Your stuff, time, sanity and grades are at stake!
Better yet try to hook up with other students from your area now. Look for someone headed to the same university and get to know him or her through online social networking sites. Then ask to share a room and put a request in with the university.
Don’t necessarily pick your best friend to be your roommate. Cousins, brothers and sisters, the rabbi’s daughter that you have known since you were three- these are all roommate non-options. Part of the college experience is meeting new people. A roommate is an opportunity to establish new relationships and broaden your horizons. However, meeting the roommate online and then in person before living with them will help to ensure that you both like each other and will mutually benefit from the relationship.
Despite popular lore Organizational systems aren’t just for engineering geeks and pen fanatics. Dorm rooms are small. Putting things away isn’t really optional; if you don’t put it away you will be stepping over it. Using organizational boxes, storage systems and closet organizers helps students put things away and it clears the mind. Having a level of control over your living space is psychologically important. College classes are stressful and the competition for everything from the best burgers in the cafeteria to boy/girl friends is a nightmare. In college the dorm room is one of the few things students control. Results are both quick and satisfying.
Again online shopping via the Internet is a great way to acquire decorating ideas and items to meet any budget. Sites like Pinterest are filled with fun college decorating ideas and links to organizational items and decorating sites.
Emotional Emptiness? There’s an App for that!
Many college students leave college every year not because they can’t hack it academically but because they are lonely and sad. This is a time when hormones are hopelessly out of control and yet supportive family and friends are far away. The stress of difficult classes, a few relationships gone wrong and it’s easy to get homesick, emotionally overwhelmed and feeling hopeless. Luckily students can prevent much of the emotional trauma right now using online preparation.
Start networking with Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumbler and the social site for your future college. Hook up with other students, professors and RAs. Students that currently attend the same college and those who are on their way to the same university next year are a great place to start new friendships. Searching and introducing yourself now while there is very little to do will translate into easy new friendships in the fall and quiet possibly an outstanding roommate option for next year.
From the current students ask as many questions as possible. Find out which classes to take and which teachers are the coolest. Ask about dorms, food, showers, weather, transportation, social scenes, gyms and the best places to buy used books. The more information you have before heading off to college the better. Answers to these and a thousand other questions are just a finger tap and a recharged battery away. Why learn it all when you get there? You can learn about these things at your leisure now while making new friends. It is a win win situation.
Using a smart phone and a little ingenuity can turn the dog days of summer into a bright future in the fall. Next year will be easier and a whole lot more fun. Every successful team out there uses preparation and planning to make their best plays. Why not do the same?
By Ruben Corbo
The Degree 360 recently took it upon themselves to find out what college students are searching for and came up with some interesting results. Ever wonder what your classmates are searching for on Google? Well, wonder no more!
By Janelle Vreeland
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