A few interesting higher education-related news today show the emergence of “place” and geolocation as an interesting angle and channel for communicating with and meaningfully engaging new students.
As part of the “Grand Tour,” the Oregon Duck has left tips around campus that will highlight some features of campus that students may not know about…Students who friend the Oregon Duck and check in at all 10 locations with tips on Friday, September 24 can show their checkin history to redeem a real-life InDUCKted badge. The badge is good for 20% on Oregon Ducks sportswear at the Duck Store.
The University of Nebraska at Omaha is using a microsite in conjunction with Foursquare to encourage students to visit alcohol-free businesses in the area. The effort includes special deals for the students checking in and promotional opportunities for the participating local businesses.
This isn’t the first time colleges have embraced Foursquare as a means to encourage students to interact with their environment. Recently Foursquare made custom badges for Harvard to correspond with custom tips, info and of course to allow officials to track participation.
“Harvard is more than classrooms and buildings. It is an interconnected community of people, ideas, and experiences, and we are actively pursuing ways to enhance those connections,” said Perry Hewitt, director of digital communications and communications services for Harvard Public Affairs and Communications.
What better assets to combine than a tech savvy community and a collection of buildings in an educational realm constantly under evolution away from brick-and-mortar. The concept of “place” online helps marry the importance of physical location with the information flow of the virtual space.
Oddly enough, despite the recent debut of Facebook Places, Facebook simply Facebook debuted Facebook Universities, a special Page dedicated for interacting with the facets of your educational community except for Place and dumps you immediately on the “Deals” tab – so you can interact with sponsored brands before you get to your provost. Sigh. We assume there’s more to how colleges can use Places and of course there will be check-ins regardless.
How next Fall will look for colleges and universities, when the hundreds of millions of Facebook check-in and Foursquare and others are only more rampant, will be the true test. How will your institution watch, research, strategize and take advantage of these trends? Throw us a line, we can help.
P.S. We would like to lift up one of our favorite blogs, “About Foursquare” which is one of the quickest to deliver media sites on Foursquare developments. Check it out.