College students are digital natives that live and breathe technology. According to IBM, over 65% of Generation Z claims to frequently use more than one device at a time. With hectic schedules, demanding classes, part-time jobs, and ever-evolving technology, today’s students are constantly looking for ways to connect with others and manage their lives. Here are five tips for using technology to connect students to your campus life.
Introduce them to your campus – before they arrive
Every university across the world has a unique campus life and culture, and every potential student is looking for something different from their college experience. Your website, social media accounts, and online groups will be most incoming students’ first impression of your campus. Make sure your first impression is your best, by ensuring your online platforms truly reflect the university’s values, diversity, and opportunities.
Create digital communities
All students, especially those that are new to your school, are looking for ways to integrate themselves into campus life by finding their people and discovering new passions. The easier you can make this for them, the better! While student activity fairs are a great opportunity for freshmen to explore, upperclassmen and transfer students may be missing out. Whether through paid platforms such as Raftr, or traditional social media accounts, it’s important to give students a digital platform with information that can be explored all year round.
Make it easy and accessible
From ordering a ride on Lyft, to having a burrito delivered by GrubHub, students expect to be able to access everything from their phone, and your campus life experience should be no different. No one wants to walk across campus just to find out the library closed an hour ago or the event they were psyched to attend was canceled. Give students instant access to the information they seek, with minimal effort on their end. (Make sure your information is up-to-date too.)
Promote events in familiar platforms
Gone are the days of designing, printing, and hanging flyers on corkboards around campus, just for them to get overlooked or covered. With so many different activities for students to get involved with on campus, it can be overwhelming to find groups and events that actually matter to them. By using technology, universities can create a more organized and welcoming campus life for students from the moment they set foot on campus.
Your students want to be involved, engaged, and educated about campus life at your university. Give them the information that they seek. Technology allows university administrators to create conversations about issues, reach out directly to students, and answer questions instantly. According to Forbes, the current generation has a “very strong B.S. meter
,” seeking authentic information and direct, honest discussions. Whether those conversations are about opinions on the cafeteria food, the financial status of the school, or the scandal you’d rather ignore, creating an open dialogue will make students feel heard and more connected to campus.