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Mobile Tour Provides Important Accessibility

Tour Of The Heights Caters To Tech-Savvy Potential Students And Those Who May Not Be Able To Visit

Published: Monday, January 28, 2013

Updated: Monday, January 28, 2013 00:01

In the fall, the University announced the launch of the Tour of the Heights website and mobile phone application—a project aimed at increasing Boston College’s web presence and giving students the opportunity to see the campus, even from thousands of miles away. In light of yesterday’s Admitted Eagle Day and the upcoming college decision period for high school seniors, The Heights appreciates the University’s efforts to cater to a more tech-savvy generation of prospective students.

The Tour of the Heights replaces the University’s old virtual tour, which consisted mostly of still images of campus buildings and landmarks and failed to give viewers a sense of BC beyond the buildings that make up the campus. In comparison with similar universities, the old tour was embarrassingly out of date and did little to attract prospective students to BC.

The new tour, on the other hand, features audio, video, photos, and text, giving prospective students not only a sense of the campus, but also a better sense of what attending college at BC is really like. The tour intermixes pictures of current campus landmarks like Gasson Hall and Alumni Stadium with videos and stories from the University’s history, from Doug Flutie’s Hail Mary pass in 1984 to Tim Russert’s 2004 commencement address. Students get a sense of the culture of BC and the pride students, faculty, administrators, and alumni alike have in our school. In addition, audio contributions from prominent campus figures like Jerry York allow prospective students to hear directly from some of the most important men and women at BC today. The tour gives students a better sense of what BC is like, going beyond pictures into the University’s history and student life. Even current students can benefit from the tour, learning more about the school that they already attend.

The virtual tour is significant in a greater sense than just being an attractive website, however. Many students who apply to BC do not visit campus before doing so. By showing off BC’s campus and what the University has to offer with a brand new, up-to-date tour, the University may be able to convince students who are on the fence to apply.

In addition, The Heights appreciates that the University is recognizing a growing trend of tech-savvy students at BC. From the founders of Jebbit to the makers of the Campus Calories mobile application, BC students are becoming more invested in the growing fields of technology and Internet development. By creating a tour that is impressively high-tech, the University may be more appealing to high school students who hope to pursue careers or business interests in these areas.

Technology, and especially the Internet, is an area that is constantly being upgraded as new developments arise. In the last 20 years alone, the Internet has gone from being a nascent startup to arguably the most dominant technological development in the history of mankind. The University needs to reevaluate its presence on the Internet continually to ensure that BC is represented to the best possible extent to younger generations of students. The Tour of the Heights effort clearly accomplishes this.

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