Education Technology

Chorus: Visually creating mobile web, SMS, and interactive voice apps

Presenter: Armen Arevian, UCLA (Telemedicine specialist, among other things)

Personal note: Chorus looks a bit like IFTTT to me

Disparities in Technology Development

  • Technical sophistication
  • Financial Resources
  • Creating tech that’s actually used and has impact
  • Sustainability of projects/maintenance

…results in several limitations

  • Created by a select few
  • Smaller subset sustains them
  • Limited types of people that can be directly involved in creating technologies
  • Time delays to create technologies
  • Limited customization/tailoring of technologies that can be created

Traditional Development

  • Development process = Expert + IT + User feedback

“Participatory Technology Development”

  • Stakeholders as equal co-partners
  • Community-based participatory research


  • Visually create apps yourself in real-time
  • HIPAA compliant
  • Vetted by UCLA OIT security & Semel IT
  • Approved for use in research
  • Provides basic interaction building blocks, but users create their own story about what makes sense
  • Reads & writes to the web app

Armen then gave a demonstration of Chorus…very impressive!


The Kurogo 2016 Mega Post

Hello superfans!

Once again, here’s my Kurogo conference mega post.  My notes are perhaps not quite as detailed as last year, due to my involvement in organizing the venue this year.  If you’ve never helped to organize a multi-day event like this, believe me the devil is COMPLETELY in the details 🙂  As always, any errors, omissions or inaccuracies are all mine.  If there’s anything you see you’d like me to update / edit, please hit me up via twitter @paulschantz.  I hope you find my notes helpful!

Thursday, March 24

Wednesday, March 23

Tuesday, March 22



End User Personalization


  • Marty Johnson, Georgetown University
  • Adam Smeets, Dominican University

A look into the crystal ball on the future of personalized mobile experiences.

Marty:  Small bite-sized data that can be subscribed to or delivered directly to me without me asking for it.  In my email client, wouldn’t it be great if I could update contact info based on incoming email?  Google makes recommendations to me based on my preferences and it’s a little creepy but it works well.  Our students are asking for a lot of this kind of predictive functionality.

Adam:  “trust capital,” how do we think about the privacy of our users?  In IT, we frequently jam a bunch of data and features together, but we don’t often think about the ethical considerations of doing so.  Emergency management is something we’ve been considering, i.e. “mustering.”


  • What happens when things don’t work?  MARTY:  depends on the thing, i.e. is it just a free salad?  Probably not a problem.  ADAM:  unless it’s 20,000 students wanting a free salad!  MARTY:  sometimes getting accurate info from faculty is not easy.  ADAM:  we had an issue with Peoplesoft data where a few students did not have enough credits to graduate, now THAT’S a major error.
  • Is there a point of diminishing returns for personalization?  MARTY:  if you can build a platform that’s cost-effective, then it makes sense.  ADAM:  what’s the goal, and how does your strategy meet that goal?  You have to be able to measure this in a way that shows you’re driving value.
  • Should students be required to purchase modern smartphones?  MARTY:  out of 1,800 admitted students, only 30 did not have a smartphone.  The overall cost for subsidizing is relatively small, but provide ways for students to get them for themselves.  ADAM:  no, it should not be a requirement.

Using Beacon Technology to Enhance Communication


  • Matt Willmore, University of Notre Dame
  • Kris Rogers, Indiana State University

Are Beacons the future of messaging? How can you incorporate them on your campus to enhance the university experience?

Indiana State University

  • We use three different types of beacons:  Radbeacon Dot, X2, USB
  • Shared a map of the areas they’re covering:  Career Center, Quad, Book Store, USU
  • Many of our partners downtown are working with us to strengthen relationships with our student body

Notre Dame University

  • You need a BlueTooth 4.0 standard device (same tech used for FitBit, AppleWatch, and increasing amount of consumer devices.
  • The largest housing Radius makes takes 4 AA batteries, and the vast majority of the size is taken up by the batteries.
  • Low-cost, low-power one-way transmitter; transmits between 1 and 10 times per second; every transmission is the same: “I’m a beacon with the UUID [X], major identifier [Y] and minor identifier [Z]
  • Can also do ranging, i.e. the phone can estimate how far away it is from the beacon.
  • UUID: Universally Unique Identifier; a generated alphanumeric string that you assign to beacons to uniquely identify them.
  • Major/minor identifiers: numbers to designate which beacon is transmitting.

CampaignKit is the brains behind the signaling and messaging

  • 3 elements:  places (beacons & geofences), content (the message), and campaigns

What do you need?

  • Kurogo app with Radius SDK installed
  • Beacons!
  • Active campaigns
  • Users need device with Bluetooth 4, app installed, bluetooth enabled, notifications enabled for your app

Beacon Placement

  • As close to traffic as possible while being out of the way
  • Under tables or where people tend to congregate
  • Consider weatherproof beacons for outdoor applications
  • We label our beacons, with a spreadsheet to track them all

Beacons at Notre Dame

  • Passive data collection (to find out how many people we could have reached in a given location over a give period of time)
  • Targeted notifications at retail locations:  food & bookstore

Future Opportunities

  • Athletic venues
  • Events like alumni reunion
  • Line monitoring (presence monitoring for line length)
  • Room availability
  • Indoor navigation


  • Can you opt-out of specific messaging?  Not yet on the Kurogo platform.

Marketing and Promoting Your Mobile App


  • Kate Hash, University of North Carolina
  • Marieanne Quiroz, Cal State Northridge

Marketing your app to users is just as important as developing it. Learn best practices for maximizing adoption of your app.

Kate:  our app is a true partnership with our students.

  • Development and platform management is in my office
  • Students are responsible for all the content.

Timeline of CarolinaGO

  • Launched in 2014 as
  • Native app went live October, 2014
  • 13,000 total downloads
  • We did brochures and QR codes

Why does the app exist?

  • One stop shopping for students:  LMS, Bus finders, gym / dining schedules, events
  • We were missing was an “anchor store” like a shopping center
  • What pain points are we solving/can we solve?  Peoplesoft mobile could serve as the anchor

Summer 2015

  • Peoplesoft mobile soft launch in mid-June
  • Redesign launched in early August
  • Quietly promoting app to new students
  • Promotion to new students via engagement with orientation leaders, signage at laptop distribution
  • The big bang August 14:  tweet, article in the Daily Tar Heel.
  • No real action…until:  formal notice to ALL students.  This gave us 8,000 new downloads.

Coming Soon

  • Extensive in-person outreach:  Fall Fest, Student Government, Greek Organizations
  • Push Notifications
  • First Year Student Summer Orientations:  mobile device setup room, communications designed for parents, educated orientation staff
  • Bus Ads

Key Lessons Learned

  • Tie promo efforts to positive app changes
  • ID pain points, fix them, advertise them
  • Work closely with students to understand how to reach them
  • Partner with other departments and collaborators
  • We do lots of in-person events

Marieanne:  Marketing & Promoting Your App

  • We have no permanent funding for marketing our app
  • We have a Portal/Mobile App Committee, which has representation from most areas on campus.
  • Our Student Marketing & Communications team is in our Outreach and Communications department; we have in-house writers and graphic designers.
  • We do a number of surveys:  annual IT survey, 1st time freshmen and 1st time transfers, feedback button on the app.
  • Focus groups:  push notification, CSUN mobile app; analytics, observations
  • Developed strategic marketing / communications plan:  content students want vs. what the university feels they need; develop timelines for additional content and develop marketing plans that correspond.
  • Our students love YouTube videos!  We produce these instead of how-to written materials…nobody reads those.
  • We have a “CSUN Navigators” program the first few days of class, where we have tents set up across campus, manned by people who help guide students (including how to download and use the app).
  • We do a lot of promotion during New Student Orientation
  • We do portal announcements and push notifications (there’s a “My Announcements” pagelet in the portal.  Students want deadline information, ticketing info
  • We also push the app in our prospective students portal (Hobsons); we also use our digital screens which are across campus and free for us to advertise on.

Future Marketing Efforts

  • KCSN Radio
  • More function-based marketing
  • Continued and expanded outreach to prospective students
  • Outreach to new students
  • Expanded use of analytics and data analysis
  • Expanded use of push notifications
  • Email campaign with use of updated videos


  • Have you used Social Media to promote your apps?  KATE:  we tweet things out, but more often we forward things to our Social Media Director for further outreach.  MARIEANNE:  yes, we do use a number of Social Media networks, and involve our Advancement team in a big way as well.
  • Where do recommendations from your governance group go?  MARIEANNE:  primarily IT and SM&C make the recommendations, and we review things.
  • Is there anything you wish the central department would know / should do?  KATE:  projects coming out of IT are generally not glamorous, so we’ve spent a lot of time working with our social media director and collaborating with other areas.  Knowing where your app is at the moment is super-important.  MARIEANNE:  we work collaboratively with our partners in Advancement and with branding & communications.