By Eric Walsh
Collegiate Staff Writer
Grand Rapids Community College is making a concentrated effort to better communicate with its students.
Derek DeVries, the Communications Technology Manager for GRCC, oversees the Grand Rapids Community College Twitter and Facebook and brings forth new information on what is to come in the immediate future to help students stay more connected to campus.
DeVries said that for the immediate future mobile devices would be key to GRCC’s social networking and community outreach.
DeVries hopes to develop more mobile offerings to students since a large quantity of students have mobile devices and he felt it will be great for commuters as well, service on the go is a driving factor to these developments.
Student’s now have the ability to check for faculty absences without having to come down to school because students will be able to get faculty absence information without having to go to school.
Students will be given numerous options. Students can go through Blackboard Mobile or they can also request to get an email or text when your teacher is absent.
DeVries also mentioned the possibility of custom voice messaging that teachers could use to give students assignments and messages so they know exactly what to do in the teacher’s absence.
DeVries is also in the process of training faculty to use Twitter, which he believes will help engage classrooms in social media.
“Twitter is a great tool for discussion,” he said. “With Twitter implemented into classrooms, students can have discussions with their teachers via Twitter and get a quick and to the point response.
DeVries said he’s excited about the future of social media and the future of GRCC’s social networking and DeVries felt that only technology will determine the direction the school goes five years from now.