Tablet computers have a variety of advantages over laptops, and we’ve heard many colleagues from across the country discussing what they would do if their offices owned iPads. With that in mind, we did a little brainstorming in anticipation of the arrival of a shipment of iPads for our center. Without further ado, here are Ten Uses for the iPad in Your Career Center.
1. Counselor on the Go – The greatest asset of the iPad is its portability. Using iPads can give physical freedom to a career counselor allowing them to be available to students in a common area such as a resource room or career library to provide walk-in counseling services “on the move.” With your WiFi enabled iPad you can have all of your favorite online resources and tools bookmarked in your browser ready to share at a moment’s notice.
2. Your Registration is Complete – While many of us upload our student data into our career management systems, students aren’t typically activated until they complete their profile information. Having an event for new students during the first week of classes? Gather your staff, arm them with iPads and crash the party allowing students to complete their registrations while you visit with them and guide them through the process!
3. Portable Presentations- Since we’ve already mentioned the portability aspect, perhaps it should go without saying that it’s much easier to tote an iPad to a classroom, residence hall or student organization meeting than a laptop. No waiting for your computer to boot up, just press and present. You can even go “guerilla style” with your presentations and capture an audience on a bus ride around campus or an elevator ride in the library.
4. iPad, uPad, we-all-Pad…. – With a larger number of iPads, career centers have the ability to boost the “snazzy factor” of group sessions by bringing enough for everyone. Using iPads, these small groups could perform internet scavenger hunts, complete assessment tools as individuals or tap into other resources made available by the iPad’s mobility.
5. Survey says? – You can use an iPad to collect on-the-spot feedback from any individual participating in any career center program. Survey employers at a career fair or at the conclusion of their on-campus interviews. Survey students attending your events or at the end of a counseling appointment. Set up a simple survey and either talk to clients directly and fill out the survey for them or hand the iPad over to them for more anonymous feedback.
6. Jazz Up Your Employer Visits – Do you schedule a lot of employer visits as part of your employer outreach plan? Instead of distributing brochures or pamphlets to them, create a slide show to accompany your presentation, email (or dropbox, or keynote) it to yourself, open the document before you begin your visit and scroll through your points. It will keep you on track and, hopefully, impress your recruiters with your technosavvyness. As a follow-up to the visit, email the recruiter the presentation.
7. Come See Me – The best service career centers offer is the one-on-one appointment to help students formulate and implement their career plans. Let’s say you strike up a conversation with a student in line at the coffee shop or you’re mingling with students at a big event. Instead of just telling them how to make an online appointment with a counselor, you can whip out your trusty iPad, open the appointment scheduler and schedule the appointment on the spot. If your online appointment scheduler is top-notch, it will send the appointment confirmation to the student’s email account. That was easy.
8. The Check-In Check-Up – While students probably don’t have to wait very long to see a counselor, once they have checked-in, those few precious minutes between check-in and the counselor’s arrival could prove to be very useful. Give students an iPad at the front desk and ask them to login to their career center accounts (called “Careerolina” here and UNC Chapel Hill) and review and update their profiles. Remember to ask for the iPad back. They’re a hot commodity!
9. From the Desk of . . . – As you are meeting with a student, it’s a good idea to take notes about the topics and action items you discuss. Using the standard “Notes” application (referred hitherto as app) that comes preloaded on your fancy-schmancy iPad, record the highlights of your meeting and email the notes to the student and to yourself as a reference. Also, you could download an app (like Evernote) to save your notes in “the Cloud” or move into the audio/video/photo realm. You could even use a whiteboard app to brainstorm and save.
10. Wish you were here! – Offices with multiple iPads can utilize Face Time with staffers who are physically located elsewhere to bring in expertise or Q&A from across campus. At UNC we have staffers and Career Peers who spend time at varying locations on campus. Using the Face Time application, these individuals have the capability to bring in expertise “ from the home office,” or vice versa!
So, there are ten to get you started. What creative or interesting uses for the iPad do you have for your career center?