There are plenty of Top 10 lists out there. Some are based on cold, hard facts. Many provide helpful tips or insights, based, in many cases, on what a particular company wants to sell you. This Top 10 list is a little different – it comes straight from campus.
Let me explain. As summer approached in 2010, Phoenix Kiosk put together a contest in which one college or university would be awarded a free education kiosk.
In order to enter the kiosk contest, there was one basic requirement. Students or administrators had to provide a 200-word essay on how they felt the kiosk would be best utilized to effectively fill a service void, or provide a new benefit to students/staff.
Clever submissions flooded in from all over the U.S. and Canada, and the following Top 10 list includes some of the creative ideas that were generated. These insights come straight from the heart of campus, where students and staff told us how they would build an education kiosk from scratch.
1. A School in Texas A student noted that the school is creating an entirely carbon-neutral theater by utilizing solar and wind energy produced on site along with emerging LED theatre fixtures. The kiosk would educate users about sustainability and energy efficiency, as well as display the efficiency of the theater space and how much energy is being saved.
2. A School in Canada The registrar envisioned a "Kool Konnect Kiosk" that would enable students to check their school email, view their class schedules, and participate in valuable institutional research and campus-activity surveys.
3. A School in Oklahoma An administrator in the Student Life Department said the kiosk could help her overburdened assistant keep up with her ever-increasing demands. The kiosk would allow students to jump on the web, check chapel attendance, take and print photo IDs, register their vehicles, sign up for campus events, scan school account balances, put money on cafeteria ID cards and check schedules for tutors and sports events.
4. A School in Kentucky A student recommended that the kiosk be placed in a common area that would allow users to obtain information about campus activities, as well as information regarding part-time jobs and scheduled visits from employers who interview students.
5. A School in North Carolina An administrator in the School of Adult Studies envisioned the kiosk installed at the campus's main entrance, where it would serve as an information center and marketing tool for students and visitors. It would be complete with a colorful campus map, as well as information about financial aid, seminars, workshops, public festivities and more.
6. A School in New York A student composed a poem, some of which read:
"Students could easily check on scores for men's and women's hoops,
as well as glance at the cafeteria menu for a list of today's soups.
The kiosk would serve as a great resource to access campus updates and information,
find a book in the library or add a class through online registration.
It would be easy to find the times the pool offers recreational swim,
or check on evening hours to use equipment in the gym."
7. A School in Kentucky A student said most of his classroom counterparts don't realize help is available from the Career Services Department. The student said they would utilize the kiosk to efficiently inform students of the school's College Central Network, a free website that allows employers, students and alumni to post and search for jobs, upload resumes, find out about job fairs and more.
8. A School in California An administrator created a recipe for a campus kiosk guide. It included:
Add a campus kiosk with information in English, Chinese, Japanese and Spanish; Stir in a campus site plan with information about buildings for self-tours – including restroom and elevator locations to assist the disabled; Add a fast internet connection with links to local restaurants, shops and activities; Blend in the ability to email faculty and staff...
9. A School in Ohio A student said they he is involved with a campus organization that is very active with conservation. The student would use the kiosk to educate classmates about the negative effects that people have on the environment. In particular, the student wanted to inform others about how they could preserve the mountains of West Virginia.
10. A School in South Carolina An administrator with the School suggested that the kiosk be used to increase the availability of the school's Medicine program to students and the public. The Kiosk can be used to search for information regarding medical conditions, treatments, drug safety, research, etc.
And the winner is...
Just in case you were wondering, the winner of the contest, and the kiosk, was Wendy Harder of Soka University of America in Aliso Viejo, Calif. She wanted a kiosk to help guide campus tours.
"Winning our new Phoenix Kiosk was a wonderful surprise to help Soka University celebrate its 10th Anniversary," she said. "We give tours Monday – Saturday at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., but guests often need maps and special guidance when they come at other times. Our new kiosk will be able to put a map and information at their fingertips. We're also opening our new 1000-seat Soka Performing Arts Center in late 2011, and we hope that visitors will be able to see upcoming events and order tickets even when the box office is closed. This kiosk will be a great way help visitors feel more comfortable on campus."
Wendy prepared a thoughtful essay that was the most creative entry that Phoenix Kiosk received, and her description of how the kiosk would be used was very detailed.
Congratulations to Soka University, a private liberal arts college founded upon the Buddhist principles of peace, human rights and the sanctity of life.