By Shanna Rahming
Aug 4, 2014
A mobile app premieres for Truckee Meadows Community College during Fall Semester, giving students and staff access to many looked-for services on their Android and Apple smartphones, electronic tablets including iPads, and BlackBerry devices. "It’s a huge trend with colleges right now," said Shanna Rahming, Business Analyst at Truckee Meadows Community College. "Many Information Technology departments are moving student information systems to be mobile ready. The idea is to make information viewable on a phone or tablet without a great deal of scrolling, a much nicer viewing situation."
One university application highly rated by petersons.com is University of Arizona’s mobile app. A UA student recently reviewed the app very highly.
“I like that there is a map feature, so if you don’t know where a building is, you can type it in, and it will show you on the map — great for freshmen, or just in general, if you don’t know where your classes are,” said Lorraine Mericle, UA senior. “Also, I can get to Desire2Learn (D2L) student portal on there, where teachers post all their grades and assignments, without going to the internet, onto the website and logging in.”
TMCC’s app will be available for download from iTunes or the App store
At the go-live date, students can download the free app from the iTunes store or the App Store. The app only needs to be downloaded once per device. Once it’s on the mobile phone or tablet, the user simply clicks on the app’s icon to open it.
The app’s first phase will be introduced during Fall Semester
Students will be able to:
"Most students would like access at their fingertips without having to log on to a desktop or laptop, which is less convenient, especially when running between classes," Rahming said. “National surveys show these were the most requested services that students want."
Also available will be:
"TMCC wants to give students the most access possible in the way they would like to view it,” Rahming said.
The app is being developed through LookingGlassKryptos Platform and is being purchase by the Nevada System of Higher Education from CampusEAI Consortium, which is also an authrized reseller of LookingGlassKryptos Platform. College of Southern Nevada and Nevada State College are currently using the LookingGlassKryptos developed applications. TMCC and Western Nevada College are set to be the next colleges to roll out the new app. By using LookingGlassKryptos Platform, the IT Department to make changes even after the free app has been downloaded from the store.
The second and later phases will be guided with input from TMCC’s community The second phase will enlist student and faculty participation in choosing more features.
"We would like student involvement – what students would like to see in an app, such as the special in the café or the availability of stations in the Fitness Center,” Rahming said. “We’d also like to know what faculty would like to find in the app."
Rahming attended a mobile app conference lead by LookingGlassKryptos and the CampusEAI Consortium conference in Cleveland during June, where other colleges gave presentations about their own apps and ideas for new electronic services. Three private colleges on the East Coast that have dorms or apartments on campus did an “App Day,” where students competed with their ideas.
The contest at Bryant University was called an “App-a-thon,” as reported in Campus Technology. Each student’s idea was formally worked up with poster boards, fliers and other materials. It was such a popular competition, officials at the college had to close acceptance of entries after they reached 36, Rahming said.
Intriguing possibilities exist for apps
There are all kinds of future possibilities if the community chooses to become unique in finding creative solutions to needs specific to the College.
University of Wisconsin’s mobile app assists students find a parking spot on the Madison campus. At the University of Southern Indiana, students living on campus can request a text message when their clothes are dry in the dorm laundry room. CSN has a social media page of their mobile app with links to the President’s blog, event videos, and links to the college’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Rahming says new features can be added to the mobile app, and that its shape will be inspired by the College community’s feedback and responses.
For more information about TMCC’s new mobile app, contact Shanna Rahming at 775-673-7800. During Fall Semester, the go-live date will be announced on tmcc.edu.
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