CCCC launches mobile app
SANFORD - Central Carolina Community College has gone mobile with the launch of its new CCCC app, CCCC Mobile. Not only students, but also anyone wanting to know more about the college, courses, events, news, and more, can now have the college literally in the palm of their hands with the mobile app.
"CCCC is among the pioneer institutions in the N.C. Community College System releasing apps," said Bianka Stumpf, the college's director of Distance Education. "The reality is that the 21st century student, faculty member and community stake holder have expectations for instantaneous communication."
The app was developed by the college's Mobile Core Team, consisting of Stumpf, Amanda Carter, Distance Education and Instructional Technology coordinator, and Morgan Steele, Marketing coordinator/Web developer, in partnership with the Mobile Solutions team of Blackboard, Inc., an education technology company. CCCC has used Blackboard Learn for several years to connect students with online course material, instructors and fellow students.
In fall 2012, the college launched the Blackboard Learn app for mobile devices, and then, in April 2013, launched the full CCCC Mobile app. Now, students and others have instant access through their mobile devices to material, videos, and resources available on the college's website, without having to go to the web.
A mobile app (originally "application") is a software application designed to run on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers. A 2012 study by comScore Internet reported that during the first quarter of that year, 51.1 percent of mobile subscribers used apps as compared to 49.8 percent who browsed the web on their devices.
"Nowadays, students' smartphones are their emails," Stumpf said. "You always hear, 'Is there an app for that?' An app is an easier, faster way to present the same information that is on our web site."
The CCCC app can be downloaded from Apple's App Store to an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, or from Google Play to an Android smart phone. For more information, visit the college's web site cccc.edu/bbmobile, which explains how to install it in a mobile device, how to find information, and gives an overview of the app.
"CCCC is pleased to be among the first of North Carolina's community colleges to offer this mode of connection with all aspects of our college," said CCCC President Bud Marchant. "The access of students and others to the college through their mobile devices is not only a convenience but also a critical tool in this age of instant communication."
The mobile app is a work in progress, the Mobile Core Team said. Suggestions for improvements or additions can be made at cccc.edu/bbmobile. Resources currently on the CCCC mobile app are:
- Blackboard Learn - This is a mobile version of Blackboard Learn available to CCCC students and faculty with a Blackboard account. There is no charge for CCCC's Blackboard Learn connection, unlike other institutions.
There are differences between the iPad and iPhone versions because the bigger screen on a tablet allows for more features. On either version, students can do their homework and send it in, check their grades, post to discussion forums, view important class announcements, read and download assignments, upload content, and more.
- Courses - Browse and search offerings for either curriculum or continuing education courses, including times, sections, course descriptions, instructors, credit hours, and locations. If the viewer clicks on a location, it takes him to a map. Registration cannot be done via the mobile app, but the Mobile Core Team is looking at adding this function sometime in the future.
- Directory -The college's public directory for faculty and staff can be searched via the mobile app. Students can also send an email, connect directly to a phone number, and save contact information right to their phone's address book.
- Events - This icon opens to the same events as are listed on the website, so app users can always know what's happening on or around the college, such as concerts, lectures, exhibits, and other events.
- Emergency - This app enables students to get help with one touch in an emergency.
- Images - The Images page is certain to be popular. Two choices are offered: College images and Foundation images. College Images include college-wide events, such as graduations. Foundation Images features events funded or put on by the CCCC Foundation, such as the Scholarship Luncheon and Golf Classic. Viewers can search, browse, download, and share the images. Most of the photos are also available on the college's website.
- Library - Search for a book by title or topic and find out at which campus the book is located. Library hours, locations, resources, and services are at the viewer's fingertips.
- Maps - Maps show the approximate location of many of the college buildings at campuses and centers in Chatham, Harnett and Lee counties. It includes the building's address and the distance the building is from the mobile device. The main phone number of the campus where the building is located is also included.
- News - Two choices are available from the News icon: News Topics or Hot Topics. News Topics displays stories posted on the website. Hot topics corresponds to the four large announcement blocks on the website. Get the latest headlines and browse recent articles to stay informed about the most important campus news.
- Videos - The video icon provides two choices: a link to 4CNC, the college's television station, and college videos on YouTube, such as recent speakers, college events, podcasts, and more, to enjoy wherever the viewer is.
"CCCC's mobile app is not just about meeting technology needs, but also practical needs, such as security," Stumpf said. "That's a feature that supports why you make the investment in the technology."
"More people have phones with mobile access than computers," said Carter. "The CCCC app is a way to allow everyone in the service area to feel connected - students, alumni, everyone who want to know what is going on. This was something we could do by developing our mobile app."
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