You would think that those in higher education would have a leg up on other industries in adopting new technologies, but sadly this isn’t often the case. In speaking with many administrators, I have found that many still use paper-intensive processes such as keeping off-campus listings in a 3-ring binder… That’s a lot of hole-punching! This means that someone in the housing office within the university is taking valuable time out of their day to field phone calls from local landlords, manually type up the information, then print (and hole-punch!) the listing, before systematically placing each one into an existing binder.
Students, who are often first-time apartment hunters and often look to the administrators for help, are then forced to sift through said binder, manually taking down each landlord’s contact info for the properties they’re interested in. BUT! How do they even find good matches? This system doesn’t give them a way to filter for say, 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, or even for properties under $1000/month. AND this is all assuming the listings are kept up-to-date and that they are all still available for rent (requiring even more work from the administrators who are tasked with this arduous process). Then let’s say a student finally finds a suitable place to live in with their friends but needs one more roommate to fill the apartment… There should be ONE, centralized place to do this, too!
JumpOffCampus solves this issue, empowering students to find safe and affordable housing easily, while also allowing administrators to oversee the process and provide real value to their students. While this may just be one example specific to off-campus housing, there are other companies (including some in @Betaspring) who are also tackling blatant technology issues. Shout out to RecoVend!
Well, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education (March 23rd, 2012 Edition), we’re in “A Boom Time for Education Start-Ups“ and it’s about time higher education institutions caught up with technology. It may seem daunting to make the switch to a new technological process, but the time, energy, and money saved (even in the short-term) are well worth it. “Colleges have students’ best interests in mind, but ‘in a world of good intentions, [the] biggest competition is indecision… Universities are actually shooting themselves in the foot within this market transformation by being slow in their procurement decisions.’” (Michael Staton, The Chronicle of Higher Education, p. 16)
So, bite the bullet! Get started on that overdue transition into the world of technology. Your tired old hole puncher will thank you. 🙂