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UNCW Text Message Applications

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UNCW Text Message Applications. Jeff Brown, Leah Kraus, Tara Thompson, and Ron Vetter ... Coming soon: SMS Locker, Dining Hall Menu. Student Academic Projects ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: UNCW Text Message Applications


1
UNCW Text Message Applications
  • Jeff Brown, Leah Kraus,
  • Tara Thompson, and Ron Vetter
  • University of North Carolina Wilmington
  • UNC TLT Conference
  • March 13-20, 2009

2
Outline
  • ITSD and Faculty Collaborate
  • Campus Involvement
  • SMS Applications Development
  • Gaming with SMS Dub Hunt
  • Questions

3
Value Add in the Hand -Collaborative Project
  • UNCW Information Technology Systems Division
    (ITSD) was exploring short message services for
    reaching students
  • With timely information
  • Where they want it
  • When they want it
  • Existing vendors offered one-way text messaging
    and limited applications.
  • Faculty approached ITSD offering to develop
    customized messaging applications.

4
Faculty Start-Up Company
  • UNCW would form an affiliated Research LLC to
    contract with the faculty start-up and hold the
    universitys equity interest in the for-profit
    company.
  • Focus on the commercial development of advanced
    texting applications originating from UNCW.
  • Decision made to create UNCW customized
    interactive applications, NOT an emergency
    notification system.

5
Student Involvement
  • Survey of 188 UNCW students
  • 82 use text messaging
  • 10 use web browser on their phone
  • Students cite high cost of data plans as one
    reason for not using web browsers
  • Texting is easier and faster than starting
    browsers

6
Mobile User Focus Group
  • Pilot group of 18 students
  • Age Range 18- 22
  • Six different cell carriers
  • 17 different phone models
  • 7 fixed plans 11 unlimited plans
  • Help to test SMS applications
  • Provide input for future applications

7
Staff Involvement
  • Information Technology Systems (ITSD)
  • Office of Transition Programs
  • Office of Financial Aid
  • Campus Activities and Involvement
  • Career Center
  • Greek, Housing, Library, etc

8
Technology Assistance Center
  • Trained TAC staff on SMS applications
  • Developed and maintained web site
  • Coordinated efforts to advertise text message
    services at the university

9
SMS Applications Development
  • SMS Short Message Service
  • Common Short Codes
  • Message Aggregators
  • SMTP (e-mail to SMS) Gateways
  • SMS System Architecture
  • Applications Developed Thus Far

10
SMS Short Message Service
  • Defined in 1985
  • Purpose to allow simple communication between
    mobile devices
  • First SMS message sent early 90s
  • Can be used with automated systems, such as
    ordering products and services, or participating
    in contests

11
SMS
  • SMS is a service available on 95 of all mobile
    phones
  • Message size
  • 160 7 bit characters
  • 140 8 bit characters
  • 70 16 bit characters
  • No formatting just straight text

12
Common Short Codes
  • Common short codes (CSCs) are numbers to which
    text messages can be sent from a mobile phone.
  • Wireless subscribers send text messages to short
    codes with relevant keywords to access a wide
    variety of mobile content.
  • CSCs are compatible across participating carriers
    and are currently defined as 5 or 6 digit
    numbers.
  • Interactive SMS requires a CSC.

13
CSC Types
  • Vanity you select the digits
  • Example 466453 for GOOGLE
  • 1000 per month
  • Random
  • 500 per month
  • Renting a CSC from http//usshortcodes.com does
    not make it functional it must also be
    provisioned by an Message Aggregator

14
Message Aggregators
  • Maintains connections with carriers message
    centers.
  • Provide API for mobile content service providers
    to connect to the aggregators servers.
  • Provision CSC with cell phone carriers
    (provisioning takes approximately 3 months).

15
SMTP Gateways
  • Turn an Email into an SMS message through an SMTP
    Gateway.
  • They are one-way ? the recipient cannot reply to
    the message.
  • Carriers filter for spam and may block access to
    the gateway.
  • Carriers provide this service for noncommercial
    use and may discontinue the service at any time.

16
SMS System Architecture
SMS
SMSC
SMPP
SS7
Content Server Software Apps
SMPP
API
SMS
SMSC
SMS Broker
SS7
SMPP
SMS
SMSC
Aggregator
Mobile User
Service Providers
Content Provider
17
UNCW Applications (2007-08)www.uncw.edu/mobile
  • Subscribe to receive daily campus events
  • Text EVENTS to 90947
  • Interactive shuttle bus information
  • Text BUS ltroutegt to 90947
  • Grade information (from Banner)
  • Text GRADE ltcoursegt ltnumbergt to 90947
  • Interactive movie schedule
  • Text MOVIE to 90947

18
UNCW Applications (2008-09)www.uncw.edu/mobile
  • Outlook Mobile Services (FINAID, CAREER ASK)
    http//oms.uncw.edu
  • Mobile Coupons http//CouponsToYourPhone.com
  • Text-voting http//myMobEd.com/vote
  • Dub Hunt http//DubHunt.com
  • Coming soon SMS Locker, Dining Hall Menu

19
Student Academic Projects
  • Outlook Mobile Services
  • Graduate student capstone project
  • Undergraduate directed independent study
  • Anonymous Police Tips
  • iPhone RD Initiative
  • Faculty/Staff/Student Collaboration
  • Programming/Applications/Web Design

20
  • Dub Hunt is like a Scavenger Hunt
  • Students play in teams
  • Answer questions about UNCW
  • Find campus buildings or landmarks
  • Communicate via text message

21
Goals of the Game
  • Navigate campus
  • Find buildings, landmarks, plaques
  • Discover facts about the history of the
    university
  • Work on a team

22
Goals of the Game
  • Answering questions requires finding something on
    campus
  • Game requires each team to answer questions from
    a variety of regions on campus

23
System Design
  • Built by student orientation leaders
  • Question types numeric, multiple choice, short
    answer
  • Short answer questions can have multiple answers
    to improve machine grading

24
System Design
  • Question database determines nature of game.
  • Area might not be region of campus, but
    academic or even trivia area.
  • Game could be long lasting and require research.

25
System Design
  • Support for multiple institutions
  • Multiple game instances at each institution
  • Game instances persist across server restarts

26
Web Interface
27
Impact on the Community
  • UNCW students (Seahawk Links) are using the game
    to get incoming freshman involved on campus and
    learning about campus resources.
  • Students learn teamwork and have fun making
    friends and learning about the campus Dub Hunt
    entertains and educates!

28
Impact on the Community
  • New question database will be used to help train
    resident assistants for next year.
  • Used next year as part of orientation for
    international students.

29
Impact on the Community
  • Andrea Dorow, director of OTP, had this to say
    about Dub Hunt
  • We are extremely excited about Dub Hunt. The
    orientation leaders and the Seahawk Links had a
    blast and believe it will be a great tool to use
    with the new students.

30
Impact on the Community
  • Dr. Steve Elliot, UNI 101 instructor
  • It incorporated technology, it was an active
    learning assignment, it demanded cooperative
    skills, it enabled students to learn more about
    campus, and it was FUN!

31
Examples of Dub Hunt
32
Dub Hunt Examples
33
Beginning of a Game
34
  • Dub Hunt was entered in the ATT Big Mobile on
    Campus Challenge for 2008
  • Contest for mobile applications that
  • were innovative
  • addressed social networking, academic, or safety
    security
  • ideally operated across multiple platforms
  • included a business case, including distribution
    concepts and plans
  • Dub Hunt was 1st Runner Up (2nd place)!

35
Next Steps
  • Developing a good question database is the
    hardest part of offering Dub Hunt.
  • Our model of using student orientation leaders to
    gather questions and administer games has worked
    well.

36
Next Steps
  • Partner with other universities interested in
    bringing this experience to their campuses
  • Export question development model
  • License game server access

37
  • We are very happy with our choice of interactive
    SMS instead of those other technologies.
  • Collaboration between Mobile Education and UNCW
    has been very successful.
  • Text messaging is an innovative use of technology
    that has had an impact on UNCW.

38
Mobile Education LLC Web site
http//myMobEd.com UNCW Text Message
Services Web site http//www.uncw.edu/mobile Dub
Hunt Web site http//DubHunt.com
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