I've used a computer since I was six years old. When I was in seventh grade, my dad got the first iPhone (I wasn't allowed to have a phone until I was sixteen). In eighth grade, I took a web design class. Throughout all of high school, I worked in computer labs, typed every paper I had to write, visited my school's website for info and on and on. I'm not trying to brag about how "cool" I was (not cool at all), but rather illustrate how my entire life has been using technology that has been rapidly evolving. But here's the thing: I'm around seven years older than current incoming college freshmen.
What this means is that incoming freshmen to your university HAVE NEVER been in a world without computers or the internet. They were in kindergarten when smart phones rose to prevalence. They're used to rapidly advancing technology being integrated to every aspect of their lives, including their education. Your university has to keep up in order to attract new students to your university. So now you want to know what high tech resources will attract students, right? (That is why you clicked on the blog, after all). Let's take a look at a few.
We've told you before about the top 5 must-have apps for college students and none is more important than your university app. It's the one stop shop for your students to get all the info they need about your campus. It's an incredible resource for campus life and can make things easier and better for your students. A good university app should include a variety of different information, such as a map of where your buildings are located or where parking lots are. If you want to get real fancy, you could even integrate real time parking availability or AR (augmented reality) elements that can point you exactly to where the building is, give you facts about the building, or even give you the class schedule for the building in a pop up box. You can also include on-campus dining information, including hours and menus of restaurants. If you have events on campus, promote them through the app! Students will go to things they know about, so push them through the app. Students are used to using apps and one place they can go for all their university information is super handy. Don't try to have multiple apps for each little thing on campus. Combine them, to make it a better experience for students. Once you have the app, you're good, right? Well, no. Make sure you are updating it, working out bugs, and doing troubleshooting to constantly improve the user experience.
Another way that you can appeal to students is by offering them complementary software that will help them with their classes. Offering Microsoft Office allows students to use software that helps them write papers, prepare presentations, etc. Offering complementary software also allows a way to keep the file types and formats uniform throughout all of the classes. Several institutions have also recently announced Adobe Creative Cloud available to all of their students, including Auburn University and University of Miami. This allows students a wide variety of softwares to use that let them edits photos, create animations, edit videos and even more. Giving students access to software allows them to elevate their work and education.
Computer Labs specific to majors
Specific majors require specific resources. Obviously. So a way to attract students who are coming in with a specific major in mind is to offer computer labs or technology labs that cater to that specific major. Have the labs outfitted with the equipment or specific software needed for the classes within that major. Have editing bays for film majors or design labs for interior design majors. Have a lab outfitted with large tablets and styluses for digital art classes. Showing students that you have specialized labs for their major is a really attractive resource that could convince students that your university is ahead of the competition.
Having specialized computer labs is great, but you also need to step up high tech integration within the classroom. Have screens in the classroom, not only to allow teachers to use slides and multimedia elements while teaching, but also to allow students to screencast on the screens so they can project presentations. Another element that could elevate the classroom experience is live streaming the class to allow students to take the class either in person or online. You could also record the class and allow students who missed class to watch it later. It also seems a bit obvious to say, but allow submissions of assignments online. It allows ease for students and professors. Students can peer-review online and professors can offer feedback online as well. Other element that can improve classrooms is using personal technology within the classroom. I know that it's tempting to ban computers, tablets, and phones from the classroom, but allowing students to use technology within class can also offer new types of learning experiences. It's how students are used to taking notes, or looking up supplemental information.
Integrating more high tech resources into your university makes it more appealing to incoming students who have come to expect rapidly evolving technology as parts of their day to day life. Want to learn more about evolving technology and its place in higher education and marketing? Subscribe to our newsletter!