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Articles: Mobile

MOBILE MINDFULNESS—UT Austin higher ed students and faculty using  Thrive at UT can take a few minutes to read daily and weekly gratitude reflections. Interactive quizzes help students apply the concepts to their own lives.

A well-being app encourages students at The University of Texas at Austin to stay in the moment—via the device that often takes them out of it: their phone.

Higher ed administrators are using apps and platforms behind the scenes to help create efficiencies, increase productivity, and manage projects and workflow.

1. Set some ground rules. After introducing Slack, some users felt it was hard to cut through the clutter of irrelevant information, says Dominic Abbate, the creative director at The George Washington University. So they responded by setting up specific channels designated for non-work chit-chat like #food and #just-for-fun.

2. Listen to feedback. When Cherwell’s adoption rate was lagging because the tool was too complex and IT-focused, The University of New Mexico’s IT team redesigned the portal to make it more customer-friendly.

Yammer (free)

Good for: Collaboration and communication

Who’s using it: Penn State

From event planning to website redesign, setting up Yammer networking groups to share ideas, get feedback and check in on the progress of projects can help large campuses stay connected.

Trello (free)

Good for: Tracking projects

Who’s using it: The George Washington University

Administrators at the University of San Diego have developed an app store featuring apps that go beyond typical functions such as viewing course schedules.

To keep Stanford front and center in the minds and hearts of its graduates, the university’s alumni association—like other institutions—is investing time on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Gary Kayye says that for any control system that a higher ed facility has, there is a wireless collaboration add-on product available now.

If anyone can be said to have their finger on the pulse of an industry, it would be Gary Kayye. The president and CEO of rAVe [Publications], Kayye follows trends in the fast-changing world of audiovisual technology via e-newsletters, blogs, video, social media and a variety of other media.

Paul Drayton, president of Rowan College at Burlington County in New Jersey, says higher education remains far too expensive for many students who are most dependent on it for career success.

“College is more important than ever for career success, yet too expensive for far too many students. 3+1 provides all the benefits of both community colleges and four-year universities while lowering the tuition and debt burden on students and increasing our capacity to serve more students at both community colleges and universities. This is the future model of college affordability.”

Karine Joly is the web editor behind www.collegewebeditor.com, a blog about higher ed web marketing, public relations and technologies. She is also the founder of www.higheredexperts.com.

Higher ed marketing leaders have to master the art of blending powerful and personalized customer experiences with the science of measuring and optimizing the impact of their initiatives. 

Yet many chief marketing officers haven’t embraced their “inner data-lover self.”

Measurement is an afterthought at best, often checked off a busy to-do list via mindless reporting on cookie-cutter metrics selected by automated digital platforms.

Scott A. Bass is the provost at American University in Washington, D.C.

How many databases does your campus administer in the broad area of student support? American University uses more than 36 databases for different student-related administrative and learning management functions—yet, there is little to no integration.

Shani Lenore-Jenkins is associate vice president of enrollment at Maryville University.

While its primary focus is to educate students, a university is still a business with customers. Traditional marketing methods such as mailings, phone calls and old-fashioned boots-on-the-ground visits are no longer the best ways to reach today’s tech-savvy students, who find the information they need online.

John Meagle is the chief marketing officer at Centenary University in New Jersey.

When Centenary College was granted university status in May, the news was celebrated by students, faculty, alumni and staff. For the marketing and student recruitment team, it was an opportunity to build awareness of the experience the institution offers career-oriented students.

Equipped for Response—In 2015, more than 600 instructors and 20,000 students used clickers at  The University of Arizona. The Office of Instruction and Assessment’s resources page offers a primer with clicker best practices and strategies, including tips on writing good questions.  Photo: Thomas Veneklasen Photography/Arizona Board of Regents

Colleges and universities have used student response systems for years to take attendance, administer pop quizzes and register informal polls in larger classes where verbal discussions are limited. But as technology improves, student response systems are becoming more versatile than ever—and instructors are increasingly creative in using them.

“I know the idea of bringing your own device is becoming more prominent, but I still think pulling out a phone, tablet or laptop is distracting. You always lose students for a measurable amount of time, and that’s the primary concern.”

Dwight Farris, instructional technologist, The University of Arizona

Karine Joly: The open-source Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project (http://UBmag.me/amp) is spearheaded by Google and backed by several content publishers, e-commerce websites, advertising networks and analytics solutions providers.

There’s no doubt mobile devices anchor our technology-enabled lives. We may not use their small screens on the go, all the time, but when we do, we have high expectations—if a web page takes more than a few seconds to load on mobile, many of us move on to another website. Patience has never been in shorter supply.

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