For smaller colleges without the reach of bigger educational establishments like Universities, the digital age offers both a challenge and an opportunity. There are a variety of methods that it can be used to improve both teaching and the marketing of the college across a wider market.
It might seem one of the less obvious advantages for colleges, but the simple fact is that there is increasing pressure to attract students and using the internet is essential. A well designed website and a strong brand is crucial, for the majority of students – a website is that vital first impression. Before any marketing takes place – it must ensure that the website represents it’s brand and message effectively. Only then can the college consider using marketing techniques like SEO and advertising on social sites like YouTube and Facebook for example. The costs can be very low compared to traditional forms of advertising and it can effectively spread word of your brand internationally.
For students then it’s the learning experience that is of course, paramount. There are many ways in which digital technology can allow students and staff to collaborate Technology like Google apps can extend the learning experience far beyond the classroom and let information, research and findings be shared with all concerned. Using video, portals and document management systems can greatly increase the efficiency and the value of the learning process. Of course using such technology is an education in itself and will add additional experience for the students which they will probably find useful in their later careers. Using video sharing equipment, online resources for research and even tools like Smart DNS will be of value whatever career path they pursue.
It’s not all about learning either, many digital applications are perfect for simply communicating and creating an engaging environment for both students and teachers. The most effective colleges often have the most tight knit communities including social interaction and links to businesses particularly in the local areas. There are a host of these applications like Popplet and Piktocart which are available for tasks like these. Most are free or inexpensive, they can even be used remotely or over the internet without requiring a fast vpn to be able to use properly.
To really see the benefits that technology can add to a college’s success perhaps the best area is to look at is customer relations. You can use some wonderful applications like Microsoft Dynamics to manage relationships from their initial enquiry to the time they receive their certification. It also means that colleges can keep in touch with their previous students, maintaining this link after graduation is very useful to both the student and the college in many ways.