Thursday, July 7, 2011

Vol State has Gone Mobile

Vol State students want information at the start of a new semester, without sitting down at a computer.  Wouldn’t it be nice if your wireless phone allowed you to access a detailed Vol State map of where each class was located?  Well, now there is an easy way to do just that.  Vol State just launched a mobile optimized web site.  Just visit the normal http://www.volstate.edu/ page on your mobile phone browser and then click on "Mobile Optimized Site." You can bookmark it for easy access at any time.

Web programmer Mark Whitby has been involved in working out the details of this project. 

“The purpose of the mobile website is quick access for some of the information that people need fast,” said Whitby.  “Though the mobile site can be accessed from a regular browser, it is custom tailored for mobile phones with a touch screen in mind.  However, it does have a few features the regular website does not have. Let’s say you are looking for a classroom, if you go to the locations tab you can drill down and select a room number to get a map of where each room is located.  Unfortunately, the only map that our facilities department provided is from 2007, so some of the rooms need to be updated, but as soon as they are able to provide us with a revised map we will enter information for all of the buildings.  It is a work in progress.”
D2L-2-GO or Mobile eLearn is one of the links listed.  Mary Nunaley is a Distance Learning specialist. 
“It still has some bugs but you can still access some important information, even though it is limited,” she said.  “When we upgrade next spring everyone should be able to access the discussions and email.  Blackberry’s and Android devices are fine. One of the drawbacks is for Apple users.  The iPhone, iTouch and the iPad all read some of the data as if it were a phone number, preventing the phone from accessing some of the data.  This is something that D2L is working on but at least you can keep up with your calendar, news and events.”
There is a people finder allowing searches for teachers via a guess at first name or last name.  Once located you have their name, office location, extension, and email.  You also have quick access to all the Vol State social media links including updates from the student blog.  So, save the new mobile site as one of your favorite pages on your phone and see if it makes campus life just a little bit easier.
Volunteer State Community College

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