Keeping up with student expectations: Why forward thinking campuses are considering the digital kiosk

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For many incoming college students, especially on large campuses, finding that first class, or locating the new athletic facility can be a daunting task. And this problem doesn’t just affect students; visitors who are usually dependant on navigational support from their phones also struggle to find their way on campus. To meet this challenge, some universities across the country are turning to new technologies to improve the experience for students and visitors. One of these new technologies is Digital Kiosks. Digital kiosks act as hubs of information that work in harmony with smartphone devices to get students to class on time, find the best and nearest pizza slice, and provide vital alerts in an emergency. They also act as beacons of safety when needed. Digital kiosks can also enhance the overall campus experience, highlighting sports events, concerts, campus debates, performances, leadership events and more with a brilliant digital display.

But students are tied to their phones, right? This may be the case, and so Spenser Brouwer of CIVIQ Smartscapes stresses the need for a kiosk to work in harmony with students' phones. “We’re not replacing the phone, we’re augmenting it,” says Brouwer. The CIVIQ experience in particular works hard at clearly demonstrating the value provided to a user. This is achieved by an ‘always on’ zone that invites users to interact. "Users should be able to find what they’re looking for within two to three clicks,” says Brouwer. They can then send the information to their phone and take it with them.

With privacy on the forefront of many people’s minds, the handing off of directions from a kiosk to a smartphone is an increasingly sensitive communication. For this reason, CIVIQ Smartscapes allows users to transfer directions and other information in “private mode” simply by typing in your phone number and hitting send. There is no signing up, and no information is stored.

Campus administrators who need to keep information relevant and up to date can also benefit from DIgital Kiosks. The CIVIQ Waypoint, for example, provides the ability to update information remotely and quickly, far outweighing the effectiveness of static posters and signage. And information can be translated easily, making for a more welcoming experience for international students and visitors.

Then there’s the issue of safety on campus. The physical presence of kiosks that are tall and visible provides a beacon of safety for students and visitors. Not only can they offer immediate two-way communication with campus security and police, they can also provide instructions on how to get help. CIVIQ’s ‘Broadcast Zone’ also offers real-time alerts and notifications in an emergency.

Much has been written about how today's students expect, and take for granted, the benefits of cutting-edge technology. Creating a tech savvy campus that matches the digital capabilities of its students keeps a university competitive. It is an essential piece of the puzzle for students who feel that staying connected is a central part of their lives.

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