College and university students around the country will arrive at school this Fall and find not only new friends, new challenges, and new opportunities, but also a new revolution in the use of mobile phones on campus - one that provides the entire campus at their blazing-fast, text-messaging fingertips. Using innovative technologies created by Rave Wireless, Inc. (www.ravewireless.com), institutions including Allen University, Baruch College of the City University of New York, California State University Monterey Bay, Eastern Michigan University, Georgetown University, Monmouth University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of South Florida, and others will provide students with access to unique safety, community-building and academic applications through their mobile phones.
More than 100 universities and colleges are currently implementing or exploring Rave Wireless' suite of mobile phone applications and services, highlighting the trend towards building a sophisticated mobile campus at higher education institutions.
Mobile phones are ubiquitous among young adults - more than 90 percent carry one - and colleges and universities are eager to leverage the mobile phone to better connect with and deliver services to their students. Some institutions, like Allen University in Columbia, S.C., will distribute to students mobile phones that are pre-loaded with Rave Wireless' applications. Other institutions, like Georgetown University, are taking a different approach and providing students with access to a variety of features they can choose to receive on their existing cell phones. In all cases, the objective is the same - provide a high-quality, differentiated campus experience by meeting students on their preferred technological ground, the mobile phone.
Gilbert Gonzales, chief information officer at California State University Monterey Bay, explains: "The cell phone today is a natural extension of our campus. Since most students carry a cell phone at all times, it makes sense that we use that mechanism to communicate timely information such as emergency alerts or course announcements to students, wherever they are. Students are highly mobile and highly innovative, and our campus services should be the same."
The full suite of Rave Wireless' applications and services universities/colleges can select from includes:
* Rave Essentials includes broadcast alerts to large groups of students; mobile email access; hundreds of social, university and student-created groups; a campus directory; and more.
* Rave Academic turns the mobile phone into a teaching and learning tool. Students can access course announcements on the go (e.g. homework or quiz reminders), as well as participate in real-time classroom surveys.
* Rave Guardian is a revolutionary service that leverages GPS technologies, allowing students to transform their mobile phones into personal alarm devices, on an as-needed basis. Rave Guardian is fully integrated into the campus police department, improving a student's safety by enabling them to make their GPS location known when they feel unsafe. Rave Guardian is also an excellent way for institutions to better serve students with special needs or health concerns, by giving those students a way to contact campus police in the event of a health-related or other emergency.
* Rave Transit includes real-time, location-specific tracking of campus busses as they traverse their routes.
* Rave Extender is a toolkit that allows colleges and universities to build their own custom applications for the mobile phone, such as library resource availability and course add/drop notifications.
* Rave Mobile Phone Program is a complete solution for institutions considering replacing unused residence hall landlines with mobile phones. Services include the deployment, distribution, marketing, and support of Rave-enabled phones on campus, as well as coordination with leading wireless carriers and billing providers. The Rave Mobile Phone Program allows colleges and universities to focus on their mission of teaching, learning, and research, rather than having to become experts at managing a sophisticated mobile phone operation.
"Rave Wireless will provide us a way to further strengthen the USF community and improve our ability to communicate with students," said George Ellis, Associate Vice President, University of South Florida. "We were an early innovator with a TXT-based communication system and have now moved to the next generation solution with Rave. This is about everything from instant access to USF students, faculty and staff, to always knowing what's happening on campus at any given moment, to a more convenient way to stay on top of classes and clubs. I believe Rave is going to transform the way colleges and universities communicate and connect with students."
According to Rodger Desai, chief executive officer at Rave Wireless, "We understand the challenges colleges and universities face in communicating with today's mobile youth and have put together a package of software and services that transforms the mobile phone into a device that strengthens community, improves safety, and enhances learning. Working with our carrier partners, we have also developed a business model that makes the mobile phone an economically attractive option to obsolete landlines in residence halls."