Dawgtel Connects Professors to Students

Dawgtel Connects Professors to Students
By: Arnold Wyrick
CARBONDALE, IL --Cell phones opened the doors for mobile communications.  Now a pilot program on the SIU campus looks to take things one step further, by giving professors instant access to students.  It's called Dawgtel, and works via a text messaging network.
"A lot of students only check their emails maybe at night when they get home.  And they need something that can go with them during the day.  And a text message might be the very thing that fits that bill,"says Dr. Gordon Bruner SIU's Professor of Marketing.
Dr. Bruner point out there would be no spam, and only faculty would have access to students cell phone numbers.
"When I want to contact a  100 or 200 students at once and say, no class on Friday.  Or please read my assignments on the website.  Or group 2 you're not presenting today it's group 3.  Those are the kinds of things we think would be the primary usage," said Dr. Bruner.
Some students aren't so comfortable with giving out their cell phone numbers to a database used for text messaging.
"But they can email me, I'd rather them do that.  My cell phone is for me and my friends.  And I don't really want my professors to have a lot of access to it," says SIU student Jaclyn Schmedt.
A team of graduate students in the marketing program will form a task force to educate their fellow students about how Dawgtel works, and how they can sign up for the service.
"They'll get a message and they'll be with their friends.  And one of them will say, that's cool.  How'd you get that? Tell me about that so I can get it on my phone.  And I think that is going to be a big way to spread this on campus," says Megan Tarrolly.
A trial run of Dawgtel is slated for the university this Spring.  Then in the Fall information booths will be set up around campus and near student dorms to officially introduce the program to the SIU community.