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The University of Alabama

iTour Bama: The Next Generation of Tour Guide

photos by zach riggins

By Suzanne Dowling

Thanks to two talented and enterprising UA students, prospective students now have a new way of touring the UA campus: the iPod.

Matt Williams and Grant Premo, both student employees in the Office of Broadcast Marketing and Media, have produced iTour Bama, the nation’s first student-produced virtual campus tour of its kind.

photos by zach riggins“Matt and I were shooting footage around campus for various projects and both talked about how cool it would be to create a video tour of sorts for those who couldn’t make it to campus, and that’s where the whole process for iTour started,” said Premo.

From there they made a proposal to their supervisor, Chandra Clark, who immediately saw its potential and sent it directly to Mary Spiegel, executive director of undergraduate admissions.

Spiegel said she not only was excited about the new tour option, but how the project has progressed.

“It has been quite exciting to watch an idea by students in March become a reality by this fall. I believe that this type of initiative and forethought represents the character of not only these students, but students at UA,” said Spiegel.

According to Spiegel, the focus of the iTour is two-fold.

“The primary focus is to offer prospective students an opportunity to visit UA on their own time through the use of these video iPods; and, secondly, we hope to appeal to their students by projecting a high-tech image of the University,” said Spiegel.

Other universities are offering iPod tours; however, Premo and Williams said their iTour is unique because of the options offered by iTour. Coming to campus? Download the iTour Bama video podcast, upload it to your iPod and bring it with you to campus when you visit. No iPod? No worries. The Office of Admissions now has 20 iPods on reserve for visitors to check out.

“This will be good for those visitors who haven’t made appointments but are here and want to see the sights,” said Spiegel.

According to Williams, students can take the iPod with them and tour campus at their own pace rather than having to follow an official tour guide. “They also have the option of starting the tour anywhere on campus, not just at ‘point A,” added Premo.

Can’t make it to campus? Students and families may also watch the tour online.

Williams and Premo said they are already planning the next addition to iTour: individual college tours.

“iTour is proof that at UA students have the opportunity to be heard and make a difference on campus,” said Williams.