University eases campus life through mobile connectivity

New students should have an easier time transitioning to college life with access to the new app.

New students should have an easier time transitioning to college life with access to the new app.

Adjusting to college life can be tough. For most incoming freshmen, attending a university marks their first taste of independence. Living in a new town hundreds if not thousands of miles away from their family and friends, students are faced with transitioning into an unfamiliar landscape while attending class, maintaining grades and developing a social life. Academic institutions have been researching the potential of using mobile devices to assist overwhelmed students. The University of Wisconsin – Stout recently launched a mobile app that could help ease the shift into college for new students, as well as make life a bit more convenient for upperclassmen and faculty.

Making campus information available
Available to students at no cost and compatible with Android, iOS and certain BlackBerry formats, the UW-Stout app’s main focus is providing students and university staff with information that will ease the burden of campus life. For students still finding their way around campus, it’s possible to keep track of their course schedules and locations with the network’s classroom software and mapping capabilities. Students looking to attend sporting events and theater productions have access to upcoming university activities. The real-time bus tracker makes traversing the campus a much less daunting prospect for new and experienced students alike. Students and their parents can even make quick and easy tuition payments from their phones.

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the new app is its laundry monitoring functionality. Connected with the laundry machines located in campus residence halls, the network allows students to see which washers and dryers are in use, as well as how much longer their cycles will be running. The ability to know exactly when a load of laundry will be finished or when a machine will become available should streamline campus laundry rooms.

Implementing mobile access

The decision to develop a mobile app was motivated by the administration’s desire to connect with modern students in the easiest manner possible. With more students owning smartphones than ever before, the logical step for university officials was to prioritize the development of the mobile app.

“The world is going mobile, touch devices are saturating the marketplace, and we wanted to better serve our students,” UW-Stout Web Coordinator Barbara Button said.

Are mobile apps the best way to make university information available to students? What other applications could this technology have for campus living? Tell us what you think in the comment section below!

Kate Beckham

Kate has been lighting up the blogosphere for over 5 years, with a keen interest in social media and new malware threats. When not sitting at a café behind her Mac, you’ll usually find her scouring the racks for vintage finds or playing guitar.