Most institutions are faced with stretching their budgets further every year. So why would schools spend money on flashy new technology tools with the sole purpose of making students’ educational experience more seamless and convenient?
Competitive advantage in higher education is all about one thing: student services. And today’s students want technology that will help them be successful.
Colleges hoping to set themselves apart now and in the future must invest in on-campus technology to make their educational ecosystems more effective. This investment in technology is an investment in students.
Revolutionizing Students’ Lives With Technology
Implementing software and on-campus technology is the best way for colleges to stand out in the crowded educational landscape, and this doesn’t just include automated student scheduling and streamlined registration processes. We’re talking about positively affecting students’ lives every single day.
Institutions are constantly finding unique ways to serve their students better. One South Carolina college is using social media to help new students find a compatible roommate. Dozens of universities have technology that allows students to check for vacant laundry machines online, and students in cold climates are staying warm by tracking campus shuttles from their phones.
Here are a few off-the-wall ideas any institution can use to mix technology with daily student life, improve the learning experience, and drive its competitive advantage.
Streamline Study Groups
Study groups are an important component of higher education, so why not make setting one up a click away?
Reserving a room on campus should be a matter of unlocking your smartphone and having an app automatically scan students’ calendars to find a common meeting time that works for everyone. Then, the app can cross-reference that time with room availability and present the group with a location for that meeting. One click reserves the room, and students can check in during the meeting so the institution knows they are actually using their reservation.
High Tech Parking
Metered parking is a headache for students and campus staff alike. Paying for parking contributes to student tardiness, and parking enforcement can be tedious and frustrating.
To make the experience painless for everyone involved, each parking spot could have an RFID tag painted at the bottom of the parking space or placed on a physical parking meter. When students or administrators park, they simply scan the RFID tag with their smartphone and indicate how long they need to reserve the spot. When their time is expiring, they’ll be notified with a push notification, and a simple approval via their smartphone will extend their time.
In the corporate world, customers can easily make recommendations and give feedback on products and versions of products through technology, and students in higher education deserve no less.
Instructor reviews, class registration, learning management, parking, food court selection, concerts or entertainment, and campus facilities can all be improved with student feedback. Universities don’t have to implement everything, and they may not have the resources to change things immediately, but listening to students’ input can lead to better retention and recruitment.