Student Brings CampusTap to Suffolk University
CampusTap to Centralize Life at Suffolk University
Published: Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 23:02
The idea for CampusTap struck Suffolk University senior Remy Carpinito when he was working at a condo complex.
He watched how the residents swiped into the building with “proximity cards,” and wondered if he could use that kind of technology for students. In his research of educational technology, he discovered that there was no truly centralized software for all the services that educational institutions offer. Trying to bring several educational functions under one umbrella, Carpinito plans to launch his new site, CampusTap, in March, for which he has tested a demo version on 80 students and faculty members.
It seems that in this day and age, the best and the brightest are those that not only understand, but know technology. And who is more familiar with the rapidly changing world of technology than the kids that grew up with it, those who evolved alongside it? In the digital age, the “kids” have taken power from the “grownups,” in a sense. It is the college students and the recent graduates who are the most innovative and the most able to utilize evolving technology, and thus take control of the future.
The grownups, however, still have some of the power—they have the money. This means that only those with the best ideas are awarded the funds needed to make dreams reality. Carpinito achieved just that when he received half a million dollars from private investors to reify CampusTap. Carpinito has bridged the gap between social networking and education, as CampusTap fulfills needs for students, members of the faculty, and administrators.
For students, CampusTap centralizes campus life on a single newsfeed, increasing student engagement. The platform also allows for simplicity when working on group projects or when collaborating, as it is significantly easier to contact partners.
For members of the faculty, CampusTap offers ways to track attendance and participation, as well as send automated emails to students reminding them of assignments. More importantly, it turns the biggest classroom distractions—cell phones and laptops—into tools.
And for administrators, CampusTap can track trends among students, offering more insight into their desires. Making decisions based on better knowledge of the students, it is hoped, can increase student retention. Administrators can also prompt automatic teacher evaluations, which may be more efficient than sending several reminder emails to the student body.
In effect, CampusTap could potentially allow Boston College’s Agora Portal, email, and Blackboard to be connected to social networking sites like Facebook, allowing everything to be connected under one technological umbrella. Such a connection could reduce the panic surrounding overdue assignments, as students could receive automatic emails reminding them of an impending assignment. Additionally, professors may be more inclined to keep laptops and cell phones in the classroom, as opposed to banning them, for they will have become important tools to integrate technology and education.
CampusTap achieves all of this through cloud computing. Although the Cloud at first may sound vague and intimidating, it’s much more familiar than one would initially imagine. Cloud computing is used in everyday life. For example, Apple uses the Cloud to back up information on iPods, iPhones, iLives, and other technologies. Essentially, cloud computing is an extensive network of services, accessed normally through the Internet, such as GoogleApps. Members of the Cloud can access any and all software, which is all in one place, resulting in the centralized and mobile nature of CampusTap.
With the rise of sites like CampusTap, the relationship between students, their educators, and businessmen has been altered, with students able to create technologies to fit the educational needs of their own generation—so long as businessmen are willing to fork over the cash.