This semester, campuses have been keeping up the trend of releasing mobile applications to increase the quality of student experience and better engage students. Whereas some previous attempts at harnessing mobile technology have focused on instructional technology or course management, these new apps focus firmly on student life. Particularly, both Ball State University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee have rolled out new mobile apps to make things easier for students this fall, according to Campus Technology.
Ball State's new app, bConnected is an android-based application which provides a central location for "class schedules, grades, tutors, student organizations, on campus living, campus rideboard, financial aid awards and events." The app focuses on student-experience, rather than moving towards classroom content management software. An iPhone version is forthcoming. UWM's app also focuses on student life rather than serving as a strictly academic tool. Using the app, UWM Mobile, students can locate classes using GPS, check if the laundry room is free in their residential hall, and peruse university events. It can even help call professors.
The shift in mobile technology to student experience, in addition to classroom technology, represents exciting possibilities for incorporating technology more broadly as part of the university experience. It will be fascinating to see how universities continue to keep up as technology changes.