OOHLALA had the chance to catch up with Student Life representatives from four of our partner institutions earlier this year. Beyond filling us in on the respective experiences of their institutions with the OOHLALA app, they each shared some words of wisdom on the impact and future of technology in higher education. You will find their thoughts below, along with direct links to the case studies for each of their institutions, which provide some insight into their unique campus challenges and chosen solutions for increased student engagement: Katy Weilbrenner, Coordinator of Student Engagement, Louisburg College
Katy recognizes that technology supports student connection and marketability, as students utilize various platforms to express themselves- both socially and professionally. Mobile technology connects students to campus resources that may not have always been accessible or visible to all members within diverse populations. Mitch Miller, Student Leadership & Communications Advisor, McGill University
Mitch believes that as resources become tighter, technology will play a key role in enabling more collaborative solutions for improving the student experience. Students are mobile-first, so if there’s no technology in your field, you aren’t meeting the students where they are. Evette Allen, Director of Student Life, Utah State University Eastern
Evette values technology as a tool to provide students with immediate access to information, as well as regular notifications and updates, thus establishing and maintaining student connections to the campus community, even when they are not physically on campus. Joe Barrientos, Dean of Student Life, South Seattle College Joe reiterates that it is important to consider high-tech and high-touch solutions for student engagement, wherein institutions make campus resources accessible regardless of time or location. Moreover, beyond simple information sharing, it is crucial that institutions utilize technology to connect students with meaningful face-to-face interactions- whether with students, administrators, or other support personnel. It is important for leaders in higher education to question and explore their own thoughts and opinions on the use of technology, both within their own professional lives and as a tool to enhance student experience and success.