ARC app receives lukewarm reception

According to a 2013 study by mobile app company Locket, users of mobile technology swipe to unlock their devices over 100 times per day on average.

While students at American River College use services such as Desire 2 Learn and eServices out of pure necessity, few have downloaded the Apptology’s unofficial “American River College app,” available in the Apple app store.

Of nearly 20 students asked in the student center and campus library, none had downloaded the app and only two knew it was available.

“I think I had heard of it on the Los Rios eservices page, but I don’t really use all the apps on my phone anyways,“ said freshman business major Solon Skarlatos.

Acting ARC president Pam Walker, who is looking to place special emphasis on improvements in technology available to students, believes use of this app and similar technologies is critical in improving student experience and making Los Rios campuses more environmentally friendly.

“Any time you are looking at technology, if we can do our work through this kind of mechanism (pointing to iPad), as opposed to printing a copy and sending something to somebody, it changes the green focus,” said Walker. “I think that people are doing more work (from an iPhone or iPad) potentially is greening up this campus.”

Freshman general studies major Nathaniel McCutcheon uses his iPhones’ “Add to Home Screen” function to make his Desire 2 Learn login page more easily accessible, and thinks Apptology should look to combine such services with the ARC app.

“I think having the teacher mention that ‘hey, there’s an ARC app, why don’t you guys go download it,’ and make it a little bit part of the class, that’d be nice.” McCutcheon said.

McCutcheon is clearly not alone in his assessment. According to Apptology 30 percent of those who download the app use it primarily to access their ARC email accounts, for academic and administrative activities.

Because ARC is a state-funded institution, the district would have to get permission from the appropriate parties before officially endorsing the app and allowing its makers to include administrative functions.

“We met with members of the administration and even higher at the Los Rios district level and they cannot officially support the app at this time,” said Monica Vinberg, Vice President of Business Development for Apptology. “We have to have disclaimers in (saying) this is not a product of ARC or Los Rios. I could imagine that they’re worried about having to create some kind of a budget to support it.”

Apptology will begin marketing the ARC app in February and would like students to send feedback via the app, which is available on both Apple and Android devices.


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