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Campus Technology for Back-to-School

August 24, 2017 by Sam Slater

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From CampusBird Blog

Students today are fully tuned-in to their campus technology. For optimized engagement with your student body, and a smooth transition for new students moving in, schools around the country are implementing technologies such as mobile apps other software to smooth things out. 

These tools help make moving in a breeze for incoming freshman unfamiliar with college life and the layout of their campus, and can also help current students, staff, alumni, and parents enjoy themselves. Here are four tools that schools across the U.S. are using for Back-to-School 2017.

Localist: Event calendar management and marketing

Localist allows schools to manage their event marketing and outreach efforts all in one place. It's a full-service event marketing platform, and offers much greater versatility than standard email marketing software, allowing students to sign-up and stay informed about events of interest - on-campus or off. 

The service sends notifications based on specified interests generated through the school's calendar. RSVP’s are simple, with attendees being able to see who is going and easily find any necessary information on the event. For increased engagement surrounding on-campus events and school-related happenings, Localist is a smart way to control all of your event marketing efforts.

Move-In Day Map

Preparing your campus for move-in day is extremely important. One thing unique to CampusBird maps is the ability to create a ‘move-in day layer’ for incoming freshmen (both Wake Forest and Colorado State University have adopted this tool with great success). What areas on campus do students need to know about? Where/how can they park without getting a ticket? What are the hours of the cafeteria and bookstore, and how about a rack to park bikes during class? And where can they recycle all those cardboard boxes that shiny new dorm gear came in? With CampusBird, the move-in day layer can be scheduled to go live when you need it, and scheduled to turn off when the frenzy is over. 

Below are some suggestions for what to include on a move-in day layer:

  • Halls and buildings relevant to freshmen
  • Union and community buildings
  • Restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, bookstores
  • Points of interest and historical markers
  • Traffic flow; entry and exit routes
  • Parking, both short- and long-term
  • Chill-out areas for parents
  • Trash and recycling areas for cardboard boxes
  • Police, administration, admissions and registration buildings

Parents of incoming freshman also want to familiarize themselves with their child's new home. You’ll score extra points right away by answering many of their common questions right from the map.

  • Parking and unloading areas
  • Nearby hotels and restaurants
  • Information relevant to parent visitation, parent’s weekend, etc. that your school offers

3D mapping systems have given universities the ability to bring their campus to life in the digital realm. Virtual tour software helps students learn their way around campus long before their first day of class. Virtual tours are comfortable to navigate, and help students and parents approaching the campus with greater confidence. 

Fall is a good time to refresh your map to include up-to-date information on happenings and developments, on-campus events, and real-time information on construction and parking lot capacity. 

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality: Taking students across campus from the comfort of their home

As schools are aware, many incoming freshmen are unable to visit their campus before move-in day. Some colleges have begun offering campus tours via a new form of campus technology: virtual reality. By distributing VR goggles to recruitment points around the world - or sending them directly to those who have requested more info - prospective students can tour campuses from anywhere in the world and get immersed in all your campus has to offer.Virtual Reality

Students can easily use their smart phone to view the campus and take a self-guided tour.  They can explore buildings, programs, and obtain a general familiarization with the school before they show up. They can determine which routes to take to class and identify where they need to check-in to their dorm room. 

Modo Labs: Allowing Schools to get in on the mobile app trend

These days, just about everyone has a mobile app. Campuses are joining the trend with Modo Labs. This incredible platform allows institutions to create a customized mobile app with a simple user interface. All of the necessary information is right at their fingertips. 

Students can map their way across campus, check out special events, food and beverage highlights, and anything else the school wishes to put onto the multi-channel platform.

Modo Labs offers a powerful application, giving students and anyone visiting campus the information they need to know to make their experience easier and more fulfilling. Additionally, Modo Labs works well with CampusBird, so the campus map is easily accessible on mobile and works with your school's custom branding and colors. 

Live Lingua Twiducate: A social network for the educators and students

Twiducate is a free social network built just for the education community. Professors can create a network for each class and invite students to join. Inside, members can discuss assignments, answer questions, and share information in real-time.

The platform was originally built for K-12 but is expanding into the campus technology industry, with a number of universities already signed up. This service is designed to increase communication between teacher and student, which can do wonders for making freshmen feel more comfortable. They’re already using social channels, why not embrace the trend?

Show students the full reach of campus technology

Being a student in 2017 is all about staying connected. From the dorm to the classroom to the college union building, tech is driving the college experience. Information can be shared almost instantly with the campus community via social media, newsletter blasts, interactive maps and other digital channels. These tech tools can help your school increase engagement but also benefit the recruiting processes. From the student side, they can embrace these advancements to answer move-in day questions before they even need to be asked.

Topics: College Campus Tours, Interactive Virtual Experiences, Content Management System

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