All posts tagged mobile applications

The Mobile Campus: Foursquare For Universities


This is the second post in a four part series on The Mobile Campus. This series examines how students are using smart phones and the impact on higher education. To read the first post on mobile application use click here

Last week it was announced that Texas A&M is an exclusive launch partner for the Foursquare for Universities 2.0 program. The next step in the evolution of location based mobile applications on campuses, allows users to get special university sponsored badges and content. When users “check in” on campus starting on August 17th, they will get a custom Texas A&M badge named “I’m Fightin’ Texas Aggie.” Foursquare users collect and covet badges like tiny trophies – they represent where a user has been and what experiences they’ve had. Think of the new badge as a digital way to show school pride.

Foursquare, with 10 million users (35,000 new everyday), is a free mobile application that lets users “check in” to locations, letting everyone in their network know where they are and where they have been. Users are then rewarded with points, badges, and specials for their “check ins”. Hundreds of higher education institutions across the country have created university pages on Foursquare, but Texas A&M were one of the earliest adopters and partners of the Foursquare technology.  They were the third University after Harvard and Stanford to integrate the location based platform on their campus.

Through discounts at the campus bookstore to free admission to the George Bush Presidential Library, Texas A&M is using Foursquare to interact with students and campus visitors on a more intimate level. Students are definitely responding – the Texas A&M Foursquare page has 13,000 friends and more than 57,000 “check ins” at 166 campus locations. Students are checking in everywhere –dining halls, dorms, class, the library, and athletic venues.

What’s promising about this partnership – beyond simple promotions and a campus-wide scavenger hunt the university organized on Foursquare, are the ways in which Texas A&M are using the platform to integrate academic content. Earlier this spring, Texas A&M utilized Foursquare to give students access to textbook, research, and dissertation links in the universities digital library.

The possibilities of geo location based mobile apps on college campuses are just starting to reveal themselves. How will universities respond? One thing is certain – universities now have an effective new medium to foster engagement, cultivate communities, and interact with an increasingly connected student body. Oh yeah, and students love it.

What do you think?

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The Mobile Campus: College in Your Pocket

Screen shot 2011-07-30 at 11.32.06 AM

This is the first post in a four part series on The Mobile Campus. Over the next few weeks this series will examine how students are using smart phones and the impact on higher education.

Students are literally sleeping with their phones. A recent report from the Pew Research center claimed that 35 percent of US Adults own a smart phone and two-thirds of them sleep right next to their phone. And when they wake up they are now spending more time in mobile application than on the Internet.

A recent report from Flurry, a mobile data company, showed that Americans on average spend 81 minutes a day in mobile applications, compared with Comscore data that shows Americans spend 74 minutes on the internet – on both computers and other mobile devices.

So how are they spending their time?

Of the 85,000 apps that Flurry tracked on multiple mobile devices, people spent on average: 38 minutes playing games, 26 minutes in social network apps (Facebook/Twitter),  9% in News apps, 7% in entertainment apps, and 5% in other. Students will continue to use their mobile devices as a way to get information and explore the world around them. Universities can no longer think about students without their smart phones – they need to consistently be responding to students who are always connected.

Classes and streaming lectures on Facebook? Testing through games?

What do you think?


- Grant Sabatier

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