Baruch Ranks among Campus Technology’s Annual 101 Best Practices
New York, NY - December 12, 2006--Baruch College’s revolutionary use of mobile phones on campus through its AirBaruch applications was ranked 50th in Campus Technology’s special year-end issue: 101 Best Practices in Smart Classroom, Connectivity, and Administrative IT. Using innovative technologies created by Rave Wireless Inc., students have access to unique community-building and academic applications through their mobile phones. Baruch College was an early adopter of Rave, and more than 100 other universities and colleges are currently implementing or exploring mobile phone applications and services similar to AirBaruch. More than 90 percent of students own and/or use cell phones, and Baruch’s AirBaruch applications highlight the trend towards building a sophisticated mobile campus at higher education institutions, including large, public colleges.
“Cell Phones Build Community” --Excerpt from 101 Best Practices in Smart Classroom, Connectivity, and Administrative IT” Campus Technology (December 2006)
At Baruch College in New York City (one of the 10 senior colleges of The City University of New York), CIO Arthur Downing is working with rave Wireless (ww.ravewireless.com) to supply students with cell-phone-accessible applications for academic-oriented uses. Downing explains that although the school’s 15,000 students have good access to computers on campus, and wireless coverage is fairly pervasive, students wanted more. “Rather than [adding more computer] labs and kiosks, we wanted an easier way to get our web-based applications to them.”
“We don’t have a wealth student body,” Downing says, and most students don’t carry a laptop or PDA. And since all Baruch’s students commute, spending less time on campus than conventional students, there’s little time to connect with others or take advantage of university services. “So, right now anyway, our [cell phone] applications are meant to help them use their time between classes most efficiently,” he says. “We’re trying to build a sense of community.”
Rave Wireless’ software allows the school to deliver academic information to virtually any cell phone. The applications also allow students to use cell phones to check on the availability of loaner laptops and study rooms, and students can join cell phone “channels” to correspond with students of similar interests. They can receive text message alerts about class changes or cancellations-crucial news for Baruch’s commuter students. For example, Downing notes, during New York City’s recent transportation strike, the cell phone service would have been an invaluable way to immediately reach all students with schedule changes or other updates.