Smartphone Apps

Photo courtesy of socialbarrel.com

Distance Education has recently taken on a new life though Smartphone applications. Students can now access their financial aid account, contact academic advisors, and even log into their classes and post to the discussion boards. What prompted this new movement? Students who are constantly on-the-go and a society obsessed with technology and convenience.

Florida State University

Florida State University’s myFSU Mobile allows students to access campus news, maps, dining options, and Blackboard through its free application. With an introdutory video and number of key features, the university has dedicated time and finances to ensure students are safe on campus, involved in the university’s events, and always in touch with their classes.

Cool Features:

Directory
Use the e-mail or phone capabilities of your device to connect to anyone campus-wide. Look up Florida State faculty and staff to find offices, email or phone numbers and store contacts with a few taps.

Maps
Search for Florida State buildings, find them on the map and see your relative location, zoom or pan across the map using the multi-touch interface.

Blackboard Mobile™ Learn
View announcements, participate in discussions boards, update blogs and journals, and check grades.

University of Alabama

The University of Alabama has applications for both Android and Smartphone. Helping to connect students to classes, athletics, and campus events, the university has comprised an instructional video for assistance and navigtion.

Cool Features:

Get Help – Quickly dial the UA or Tuscaloosa Police Departments, 348-RIDE, the Motorist Assistance Program or the University Operator.

Crimson Ride – Access bus routes and schedules and track the real-time location of any bus.

Gameday – Find out what’s new for Gameday parking, traffic, and tailgating for each home game.

University of Kentucky

The University of Kentucky releases a new application each school year to keep students, staff, and alumni up-to-date on campus happenings. While the information provided seems to be minimal, key features include weather, jobs, and UKHealthCare.

East Carolina University

East Carolina University allows students to access their coursework through Blackboard as well as full library catalogs. In addition, off-campus news can be accessed and shared through the ECU News Center and The East Carolinian. Uniquely their own, however, is InnerPirate. InnerPirate is the on-campus social networking site that connects students with one another for free.

West Virginia University

West Virginia University created their mobile application 100% on campus. This means, no financial funding for third-parties was required. Features found on the WVU app are similar to other college applications: campus map, directory, calendar, and access to the university athletic site. Additional features include transit (there are 3 campuses in the WVU school system), dining hall menus, and emergency features, including weather, that will notify students if the campus is closed (during a snowstorm, for example).

Auburn University

Unfortunately, Auburn University does not provide a lot of information regarding their mobile application; perhaps they saved the interesting details for the application instead of the information site. Basic (and common) features include information on transit (Tiger Transit), and A-Z index, and dining information.

Ashley Benson is a distance education professional with five years of experience in the for-profit sector. She has worked coast-to-coast within the United States as an academic advisor, an adjunct teaching assistant and, most recently, a campus Registrar. Through formal education and industry experience, Ashley practices staying informed on the current events and changes within higher education and the students involved.

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