This morning, University of Lynchburg became the first institution of higher education to announce plans to integrate Google Gnome to campus.
When Google announced its outdoor digital Gnome assistant, Lynchburg staff immediately reached out to discuss a partnership. Soon, several Google Gnome units will be placed at strategic locations on the Dell.
The initiative has been named “Gno-More” because it aims to help students “Know More.”
Immediately, Google Gnome will be able to help students with homework questions as they study in the famous red chairs on the Dell. When students are not allowed to seek outside help on certain assignments, faculty members will be able to specify questions for which Google Gnome may not provide an answer. (This feature is titled “gNO-more.”)
Google Gnome will integrate with the University of Lynchburg Events app (available for Apple and Android devices) to answer questions such as, “What’s going on in the Drysdale Student Center right now?” and “What time does my choral concert start?” Gnome will also answer questions about dining menus and dining services hours. Eventually, voice commands will allow students to seamlessly order pizza from the on-campus Domino’s.
Additional features being developed now will allow campus community members to:
- listen to William Shatner read articles from University of Lynchburg Magazine
- renew library materials or request interlibrary loan books with simple voice commands
- ring the Snidow Chapel bell to find out the current time
- listen to the Lynchburg Hornets Sports Network for live broadcasts of athletic events
- change majors (but only if the student’s Google Calendar indicates a recent visit with the student’s advisor)
- translate what the squirrels on the Dell are saying.
During Commencement on May 20, Google Gnome will be programmed to laugh at the speakers’ jokes and to play sounds of applause as students cross the stage to receive their diplomas.
“We are proud to help students ‘Gnome-Ore’ through this new partnership with Google,” said Michael Jones, assistant vice president for communications and marketing. “The question of whether we ever stop enhancing our campus experience can be answered with a resounding ‘Gnome.'”
While this news was a fun April 1 joke, the links are very real. To learn more about actual efforts to enhance the student experience at Lynchburg, see this recent article in University of Lynchburg Magazine about student engagement.