Posts Tagged ‘schedule’

Students are going mobile – Duh

A growing trend is the mobile/hand-held market. Businesses know this. Google and Apple are competing for the mobile advertising crown and smart phones are selling in big numbers. A prediction I read yesterday places the smart phone at 50% of the market in the USA by the end of 2011.

Students are going mobile. Schools need to pay attention to this and get relevant information to students for reasons including: communication, retention, community, feedback, etc. When should this be done? ASAP.

For the past two years Sarah Lawrence College has polled its student body about a number of technical items including cell phones, texting, etc.

Looking at some of the highlights (significant increases, +6% or more, are bolded)…

Responses (of apprx 1500 total both years):

  • 2008-2009 – 565
  • 2009-2010 – 332

Computer ownership:

  • 2008-2009 – 98%
  • 2009-2010 – 97%

Cellphone ownership:

  • 2008-2009 – Cell phone 80% Phone in residence (aka landline) 1% Both 16%
  • 2009-2010 – Cell phone 80% Phone in residence (aka landline) 1% Both 12%


  • 2008-2009 – Verizon 41% Cingular 35%
  • 2009-2010 – Verizon 41% Cingular 32%

Receiving text messages:

  • 2008-2009 – Once/day 13% Several times/day 62% Several times/week 12%
  • 2009-2010 – Once/day 8% Several times/day 73% Several times/week 6%

Sending text messages:

  • 2008-2009 – Once/day 16% Several times/day 58% Several times/week 10%
  • 2009-2010 – Once/day 9% Several times/day 70% Several times/week 5%

Email checked via cell phone:

  • 2008-2009 – Y –  22% N – 73%
  • 2009-2010 – Y – 30% N – 61%

Web accessed via cell phone:

  • 2008-2009 – Y – 23% N – 72%
  • 2009-2010 – Y – 32% N – 60%


  • 2008-2009 – 8%
  • 2009-2010 – 14%


  • 2008-2009 – 12%
  • 2009-2010 – 13%

iPod touch ownership:

  • 2008-2009 – 10%
  • 2009-2010 – 17%

Reviewing the data, our students are sending and receiving multiple text messages per day via their smart phone or iPod Touch and checking their email and browsing the web more using hand held devices. This is not outlier data. Next year I anticipate even higher use of text messaging and hand held web browsing.

What does this mean to SLC and to you (other institutions and companies)?

Now, yes now, is the time to begin implementing technologies that will be, at least, one-way communication with your constituents. They want to know what is going on and expect that we will provide the solution.

Emergency/weather notification systems are all the fad in the academic world. But students want more. They WANT to know more, to stay connected. An opt-in service is a best bet because there is no possible way to know what every student does/does not want.

I have just re-initiated my research and would love to hear from those of you who have found great SMS tools (for academia) – comments welcome.

I could say more and defend the trend but the title says it all. What are you/we doing to get our information mobile?


DormNoise – Calendar for students and clubs



Students are on the go and want information when they want it where they want it. They use any number of devices and online tools not related to those provided by a school. DormNoise aims to fill that gap and provide a centralized place for students, clubs, and an institution to announce and promote events.

Students can sync with iCal, Outlook, Gmail, etc. and share events – think Facebook events.

DormNoise organizes your college events with a series of interconnected Personal, Student Group, and Campus-Wide Calendars.

DormNoise is for college students only! You need a .edu email address from a college or university to join.

The cost is (presently) $2/student every school year. The CEO has added that he is willing to negotiate a payment plan considering budget cuts and the current economic state.

Check it DormNoise here.

Syncing a GMail Calendar with Entourage and iCal w/Calgoo

I have read blogs and forums on how to do this but ran into troubles or became frustrated by the instructions.

Background – My primarily calendar is in GMail. All my calendars are caldev’d in iCal. Entourage was recently installed on my work machine meaning I had zero events in its calendar.

Without noting clicks for ‘next’ or other similar buttons Here is the ultra streamlined version…

  1. Open Entourage
    1. in Preferences, Sync Services, click Synchronize events and tasks with iCal and MobileMe
  2. Open iCal and verify that a new calendar called ‘Exchange’ has been created
  3. Open Calgoo
    1. create a new connection,
    2. use the Sync an Apple iCal Calendar with a Google Calendar option,
    3. name the connection — I used: ical 2 gmail,
    4. click iCal, click the box next to Entourage,
    5. enter your GMail user|pass,
    6. select a GMail calendar,
    7. and finish up
  4. Optional – In the Calgoo settings change the Synchronization frequency; it is set to 1 hour by default.
  5. In iCal, un-check the Entourage calendar so it is not displayed

If you run into any troubles with these steps please post a comment below.

Voila. Your GMail, caldev’d iCal, and Entourage calendars will sync every xx minutes. Add events in any of the three calendars noted (GMail, caldev’d iCal, Entourage) and you’ll see the new event in all three applications (web, iCal, Entourage) pending the Calgoo Synchronization frequency – I set mine to 10 minutes.

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Google Mail + Remember the Milk = Task Management Goodness

I’ve been using Remember the Milk (RTM) on and off for a year or so. A number of really great features were available when I signed up but now one particular tool has been released that makes me smile – Integration with GMail and Google Apps.

I have opened in my browser a window for my personal email (GMail) and work email (Google Apps). I installed the RTM plugin and then selected which list should display in each. Personal for personal and work for work. Voila! I know what I need to do at home and work.

Another great tool… Applying a label can automatically create a new item in my RTM list. So if something comes in to my work email that I need to do all I need to to is apply a label. I will not only see the label but I will see a new item in my task list. Oh, right, it’s free. Wonderful. Simply wonderful.