Why you should approach “fluidity” in mobile technology–because miracles can happen


Oral Roberts University has figured out how to use technology to truly transform the student experience

As I look both back and into the future, it’s clear that the miracles I mentioned were made possible by a combination of technological advancements and a deeper understanding of what tools and strategies are most effective to promote student success. Currently, each student at ORU receives a Fitbit and access to our Student Life app provided by OOHLALA Mobile. This allows them to navigate around the campus, while instantly providing access to the SIS, course schedules and class locations, the learning management system, the bookstore’s online ordering system, campus events, and much more.

Fluidity vs. mobilty
What has led to the success of these mobile-first initiatives at ORU? Our academic vice president and provost have challenged the IT department to focus on fluidity rather than mobility. Mobility places emphasis on technology instead of on our people and our mission. Fluidity is about access and adaptability. Giving students and faculty access to mobile-ready services in a seamless manner makes them less likely to stumble over new technology. We believe that any university that masters the fluidity of education and technology will eventually meet the needs of a rapidly changing world.

I continue to be amazed at the online-education solutions we have reached in the past three years through a “fluid” approach to mobile technology. I am also amazed at the increased awareness and knowledge of companies like OOHLALA Mobile, creator of the ORU campus app, that understand the challenges and opportunities a campus has to impact the world through mobile applications.

They understand the mobile phone is called “smart” for a reason, and it has become part of the student’s experience on every campus. This approach has enabled them to implement more seamless services and allow students to hold academics, extracurriculars, and communications systems in their hands. This growing understanding and cooperation between vendors and campus IT departments opens the door for a third miracle: incorporating fluidity directly into the implementation of emerging technologies, which will allow us to focus not on the tools themselves, but on how they can transform the student experience.

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