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Smart Campus app looks to increase student connectivity

Smart Campus app looks to increase student connectivity

Students study inside Willis Library in the morning. UNT partnered with the Chinese media company Net Dragon to create an education software that focuses on student connectivity called Smart Campus. Kelly Center

Smart Campus app looks to increase student connectivity
October 23
17:08 2017

UNT is partnering with NetDragon Websoft, a Chinese gaming company, to create a student connectivity smartphone app called Smart Campus.

This project comes in an effort to increase student engagement, which leads to higher student performance, associate to the president Debbie Rohwersaid.

“Our students who are engaged with each other and the campus community tend to do better with their studies and earn their degrees,” Rohwer said.“The aim of this collaboration and project is to provide students with additional options to connect with each other, faculty and staff.”   

Shannon Goodman, vice president for enrollment, said the university has chosen the use of an app because digital communications are important to both current and future students.

“We aren’t necessarily encouraging students to use an app over face-to-face but do want our students to have options, and this is providing an additional avenue for them,” Goodman said. “For students who are on the go, this gives them another way to connect easily and effectively with each other wherever they are, at any time.”

Jennifer Evans-Cowley, provost and vice president for academic affairs, suggested an example of some potential features may include the software rewarding students spirit points for connecting with another peer via the app.

Eric Chavez, hospitality management sophomore, said one of the features he would like to see in the app is a system to record how much time is spent studying that could generate points also. Chavez thinks this app will be effective in student connectivity.

“I think it will definitely be beneficial because it will help everybody interact with each other on what kinds of duties they need to do for their classes,” Chavez said. “There’s gotta be a way of communication that’s focused more toward class objectives.”

This project started as an exchange of ideas between UNT President Neal Smatresk and Dejian Liu, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of NetDragon. Liu and a team of NetDragon representatives visited UNT in May to meet with university officials and discuss the ways NetDragon technologies could enhance the student experience and educational opportunities at UNT.

NetDragon Websoft is a developer, operator and publisher of multiplayer online games and mobile applications in China, according to the company website. Since 2015, NetDragon has delivered educational software services internationally through its programs like “101 Smart Classroom.” NetDragon officials could not be reached for comment.

The app is in the initial development phase and no exact launch date has been set.

“When we are at the beta testing stage, hopefully sometime this spring, we will definitely have the app in student’s hands,” Rohwer said in an email.

Featured Image: Students study inside Willis Library in the morning. UNT partnered with the Chinese media company Net Dragon to create an education software that focuses on student connectivity called Smart Campus. Kelly Center

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Celeste Gracia

Celeste Gracia

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