The roots of today’s internet grew up out of a common need to share information. So it would seem that the proliferation of WiFi hotspots and portable devices would benefit college campuses as much as anywhere else. How then would WiFi be of best use at colleges and universities? Let’s examine the possibilities.
The following is a list of 10 great uses of WiFi on campus:
- The “Clicker” – As part of an ongoing experiment at Abilene Christian University to gauge the benefits of universal smart phone usage on campus, one of the uses that seemed to be popular among faculty and students was to make use of smart phones in class as a means to ‘click in’, or register responses to quiz questions.
- Multimedia Study Guides – Students can access study aids such as video clips or audio files of classroom lectures. Given the mobility required of college students who attend classes in scattered locations across campus, the ability to access such study aids on the go seems ideally suited for their needs.
- Campus Maps – Using the GPS locator feature on mobile devices, an app has been developed that gives students a visual image of their relative position, on-screen, to help them find their way around campus.
- Group Study Sessions – With the ability to network via a WiFi, students can study collectively, sharing notes and prepping for exams. Think of it as a wireless think tank for cramming.
- Bus Schedules – An app that students and faculty can use via WiFi to find out when the next bus is coming. Now you can know just how late you’re going to be for Physics with a glance at your smart phone.
- Phone Home – Students can download Skype and stay in touch with family for free. Imagine – no more collect calls, no more sharing dorm phones or buying calling cards.
- Receiving/Submitting Assignments – One of the core uses of WiFi on campus is for students to keep abreast of their assigned coursework. By logging in to their portfolio, they can monitor their own grades and get real-time updates.
- Disbursing Crowds – With the flexibility of getting online virtually anywhere, the traditional venues for study and internet activities are no longer burdened with over-crowding. Libraries, study halls and dorms are no longer your only choices for getting your work done.
- Pocket Library – Whether in the classroom or when studying on the go, WiFi puts reference sources at your fingertips for research, documentation or consultation. From the campus library to the world wide web, students can get the information they need to help them in their studies.
- Future Planning – According to a study by wireless networking company Meraki, college students use more than three times the bandwidth of the average WiFi user. Traditionally, they have provided an ideal barometer for technology use. How they’re making use of WiFi on campus can help planners develop strategies for deploying WiFi as well as other tech innovations in the future.