University Texting

March 27, 2008


I was watching CBC news tonight and there was a story about text messaging. First of all before they even got into the story, I immediately thought their would be something negative about it. Nope, not the case at all, it was saying how some Universities are using text messages as crisis alert systems. So if there was a fire or something, the school would send out a mass text telling the students what happened and what to do. 

The flaw i find with the text message method is that not every student who goes to University owns one. I would say most have one, but not every single person enrolled at the University has their own cell phone. Also the registration for this system would be tough. I dont think there would be anyway to make students comply with giving their cell numbers out to the school. Another major factor would be if it would be possible to text that many people at once, I have a feeling the Island networks wouldn’t be able to handle something as massive as a university wide text message. Usually in times of crisis people are using their cell phones to tell people the news, this also holds up the telephone networks.

 Another problem would be students changing their cell numbers and constantly changing networks and what not and sometimes peoples’ inboxes are full and the message cant even be read. Besides all these negative factors involved the only cost incurred is the installation price of $2,500 for the system to be up and running.

In the news story it was also saying how UPEI is moving towards new forms of alerting students as well. Of course UPEI is not using this texting method just yet and i think it will be a while before that gets approved but UPEI is moving towards new alerts systems. UPEI is trying to implement alerts that would flash across the screen on all the computers on their network. They also want alerts to be on the main page of their site to pop up when disaster strikes and they want a phone line that can be called for info about the happenings. 

Im glad our University is thinking more about their students and what methods of technology that are most common to them. Hopefully we see some of these systems used in the years to come. 

I was reading into what other kinds of alerts the schools could use in a crisis and there are a few good ones but they would be fairly substantial in cost. Outdoor speaker systems, and Electronic Billboards are other crisis alert systems that would be effective. But again i dont think UPEI will be using these ones anytime soon. 



4 Responses to “University Texting”

  1. Tasia Says:

    Texting alert systems does sounds kind of useful, but as you said Jen not everyone has a cellphone. Having a telephone alert line, and message on UPEI’s homepage seems to work fairly well. I highly doubt UPEI would implement the text messaging alert system tho, but it may work for larger universities. It would probably just hike up our random student fees at the first of the year.

  2. mellaz Says:

    I am not sure if you guys noticed the screens around campus they are pretty neat and in case of emergency and shutdown of campus a red-screen come on with a notice message to all student on campus. Next time you are on campus take a look at it I know the one in Kelly building got stolen 😦

  3. wattsy Says:

    I think the University texting idea is a really good idea. I know there has been different times where I have drove into town from the country and classes got canceled half way into town because of weather conditions. I think this idea would be very beneficial for students at school. They do post emergency notices on the upei website, but I cannot check the internet on the drive into town. Where as if I got a text message on my cell phone, I could turn around and drive home.

  4. romizuddin Says:

    Concordia University in Montreal became the first Canadian school to implement such a system. I think it is a very good idea if the students or university’s staffs receive a text message on their cell phones if there is an emergency at the school. By using this system we can save time and increase safety.

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