Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Making Connections

June 29, 2009- Imagine you’re 17 again. You still follow the same routine as did generations before you – you rise at the crack of dawn, you know your buddy will be rolling his old, beat-up pick-up truck down your driveway to get you, you’ll swing by and load up 4 of your other cronies, and you’re to school. The same school where your dad drove his buddies 25 years earlier. Once you’re there, you host a small meeting of the minds around your dented locker. The same locker that was a temporary home to at least ten other kids before you, who all similarly struggled to master the combination, which mysteriously got stuck every try. Some things never change.

But some things do change. Look around to see every kid with their thumbs fluttering feverishly on their smart phones texting their friends – the same friends standing about 15 feet away. Perhaps you passed notes when the teacher turned to the chalkboard? Oh yeah, and remember the chalkboard? They don’t exist anymore. Most lessons are delivered using a Smart Board or better yet, on-line. I won’t explain the technology, but you get the point. Students are using technology in ways you might have never imagined when we were younger. And for those of us who deal with students today, using technology to communicate with young people is essential… it’s their comfort zone!

Undeniably, the new generation relies on technology for most everything they do. If they want to see what’s up at the movies, they don’t call MoviePhone – they use the movie app on their phone. If they search for colleges, they don’t thumb through fat guidebooks, they google it.

At ConnectEDU, we’ve learned through our counselors and students that they want to use technology to drive their college planning process. In a world where they are connected to everything and everyone around them, it only makes sense that they also be digitally connected to the colleges/employers that are of interest to them. We use our technology to provide a vehicle for students to meet colleges/employers in the most efficient, validated and targeted manner.

While we may provide the most robust solution, we’re not the only ones involved in online enrollment marketing. And more folks are trying to get in front of students. Recently, it was uncovered that U.S. News & World Report, a leader in college rankings, will be attempting to connect students with colleges. Like many of the self-reported solutions online, the U.S. News portal will commercially try and match students with colleges, the same colleges they rank for their ever-popular and often-controversial BEST COLLEGES edition.

ConnectEDU continues to use verified data to help students find colleges that are a best fit for them and to help colleges find students who will thrive at their college. We’ll continue to help the college planning process change with the times, to modernize in a world of technology, and to make sure students and their best interests remain at the top of the list.

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