By Sharon Hanks
In keeping with its commitment to using cutting edge technology, Grand Rapids Community College
announced last week the release of a free iPhone app called GRCC Mobile
so that students can more easily tap into the latest college information.
Anyone with an iPhone can access up-to-the-minute updates on such things as classroom information posted on Blackboard websites, faculty absences, maps and directions to entranceways of more than a dozen college facilities, and, in the near future, the availability of parking spaces at the college's downtown area's five parking areas, says Derek DeVries, GRCC Communications Technology Manager. In addition, users can access the college's popular YouTube channel
, course catalog and phone listings, he says.
"I've been chompin' at the bit to announce this," DeVries says. "I've worked here for eight years and I'm amazed at the stuff we have going on."
In the past, information posted at GRCC Mobile has been available to almost anyone using a laptop computer. Among the most popular was the college's YouTube channel where students, faculty and alumni could view video clips of select college sporting events, employee training sessions, and lectures by guest speakers. But the iPhone is preferred by a growing number of students because it's smaller, lighter and easier to carry than a laptop.
"I think right now we're the only higher education institution that has an app in West Michigan, but I know of other universities in the country that have an app," DeVries says. Among them are Michigan State University and the University of Michigan, he says.
In the future, DeVries says the college will be sharing the GRCC Mobile platform with other higher education institutions, such as Grand Valley State University, so they can develop their own apps.
He credits Szymon Machajewski, the college's senior Blackboard solutions engineer, for developing the program. Got suggestions for the app? Users are encouraged to e-mail Machajewski at [email protected]
Sources: Derek DeVries, communications technology manager at Grand Rapids Community College Sharon Hanks is innovations and jobs news editor at Rapid Growth Media. Please send story ideas and comments for the column to Sharon at [email protected] She also is owner of The Write Words in Grand Rapids.