Rave melds student info with mobile for Georgia college
Liberal arts institution Georgia Gwinnett College called on Rave Wireless' mobile phone application for faculty and students to use Sprint devices pre-loaded with the program provider's applications for communication, academic and safety purposes.
Rave Wireless is a member of the SunGard Higher Education Collaborative, a network of companies dedicated to helping colleges build and manage a unified digital campus by marrying the student information system with mobile devices.
"All of our faculty members have Rave-enabled phones, and having them integrated into every user's course and classmate information will jumpstart the learning experience," said Lonnie Harvel, chief information officer of GGC, Lawrenceville, GA.
The year-old GGC is the nation's first four-year public college founded in this century. It is also Georgia's first new public college in 100 years, offering baccalaureate degrees to students in the northeast Atlanta metropolitan region.
SunGard Higher Education provides consulting, technology and management services to colleges and universities.
Students make call
Through this tri-fold collaboration, GGC integrated every student's mobile device with course information from within SunGard's administrative system. As a result, students are armed with current courses and classmates in those courses.
"GGC is a brand new college in its first semester," said Robert Jones, director of marketing at Rave Wireless, New York. "Their goal was to create a university from the ground up, without past legacy concerns and they chose to have a technology-oriented school.
"Almost every student has a mobile phone," Mr. Jones said. "GGC decided that in order to avoid a communication gap with its tech-savvy students, it would approach them in ways that would resonate with them."
Mr. Jones estimated that GGC has approximately 500 students, one-fifth of whom purchased the Rave-enabled phone.
"We do expect that number to grow," he said.
Students can interact with one another, participate in course polls, facilitate study group interactions and communicate with faculty via their mobile phone.
Colleges and universities such as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Colorado, New York's Mercer College and the University of South Florida use the Rave Alert emergency broadcast system. Rave Alert sends text alerts to students regarding any instructions in an urgent situation or crisis.
The Rave application enables course registration and add/drop alerts via the mobile phone. This eliminates long registrar lines. Students can even view their grade information and financial payment due dates right on their handset.
"GGC's students are predominantly commuters," Mr. Jones said. "GGC wanted to take these virtual on-the-go students and give them a sense of community and connection with the university, all by using a mobile device.
"Students and teachers are usually the first to dabble their feet in anything new," he said. "For example, they were the first to use instant messaging and then it slowly but surely moved into the workplace. I expect the same will be true for applications like the Rave Wireless."