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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
55,031
17,414


Abilene Christian University (ACU) announced yesterday that they would be issuing iPhones or iPod Touches to incoming freshman for use in their college courses and day to day lives.
At ACU - the first university in the nation to provide these cutting-edge media devices to its incoming class - freshmen will use the iPhones or iPod Touches to receive homework alerts, answer in-class surveys and quizzes, get directions to their professors' offices, and check their meal and account balances - among more than 15 other useful web applications already developed, said ACU Chief Information Officer Kevin Roberts.
They specifically mention the use of web applications that they've developed, but extend this concept in a demonstration movie called Connected. The movie shows how a fully deployed mobile learning environment might look, with mocked up examples of true iPhone applications.

The movie details a fully integrated iPhone and college experience, with integration into coursework, class participation, payment system, directory and 3d mapping. They caution that the movie is entirely speculative, of course. Some demos of their iPhone web apps are available at http://acu.mobi/.

This news, by itself, would only so interesting if the university was acting on its own, but MacRumors has heard that Apple is taking an active role in deploying the iPhone in university settings to try to regain some of their historic educational marketshare. Besides ACU, pilot projects are expected at universities such as Harvard, MIT and Stanford in the near future. The new iPhone SDK is expected to also play a role in future iPhone/University integration, though it appears that ACU does not yet have access to it.

In 2004, Duke University had a program in which they issued iPods to incoming Freshman to allow them to listen to lecture materials. Similarly, the iPhone will have tight audio/video integration with each school's iTunes University content.



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sminman

macrumors member
Aug 6, 2006
96
0
This is definitely going to catch like a wild fire throughout colleges!

I played with the little demo on my iPhone and its a breeze and its organized.
 

amac4me

macrumors 65816
Apr 26, 2005
1,303
0
Another innovative way to extend the Apple brand into our daily lives.
 

happydude

macrumors 65816
Sep 2, 2006
1,127
606
a gasping dying planet
seems more like a gimmick than anything to get increase enrollment rates . . . someone on their board said, "hey that iphone is something, how can we use it to attract students . . . ?" and then they came up with some web apps to "justify" the program. i mean, really, what could possibly necessitate an iphone for classes? and i do mean really necessitate. yes you "can" do class stuff on it but at what point do you "need" to? this seems a bit ridiculous to me . . .
 

xUKHCx

Administrator emeritus
Jan 15, 2006
12,583
7
The Kop
As a student myself I really want ToDo support with my iPhone. It would help make the iPhone a very decent phone for students. Although must admit I have surfed MR while in a lecture before :eek:
 

travistaylor

macrumors regular
Oct 16, 2006
212
0
That's cool and all, but what happens when the iPhone/iPod Touch are upgraded with new hardware or a new design?

I can only hope that students would have the option to upgrade as well... perhaps for a small fee?

Oh, and yes, I'm extremely jealous... but I do have an iPhone!
 

Reach

macrumors 6502a
Sep 7, 2006
577
0
Norway
Woohoo.. I can't even access the wireless on my university, due to the iPhones not supporting enterprise WPA..
 

mainstreetmark

macrumors 68020
May 7, 2003
2,228
293
Saint Augustine, FL
It's gotta be a marketing ploy to boost enrollment. To actually profess that an iPhone will somehow aid in education is painting the incoming class as a bunch of dolts who can't otherwise find their way around campus, or have the ability to remember which homework is due.

Same went with the iPod, when it was given to the incoming classes so they could "listen to lectures". My butt!
 

BrownManUPS

macrumors 6502a
Jul 30, 2007
823
24
California
Cool-sauce.

But wouldn't an iPod Touch work just as well?

Yeah it looks like it via their demo on the .mobi.

It looks like it is coming along. It will be interesting how much restriction of use they will actually put on it. And it looks like you would need a much faster internet than EDGE to get the correct capabilities working at the speeds that would be desired.

Freakin' hilarious how much that school's acceptance rate is going to drop in the next few years...
 

capoeirista

macrumors 6502
Jan 21, 2007
448
0
What a massive gimmick. Why not give them free textbooks? Surely that would be more useful?

Still, when the freshers inevitably run out of cash they could sell the thing to buy drink/drugs/food/whatever.
 

retroneo

macrumors 6502a
Apr 22, 2005
723
94
well the iPod touch / iPhone will be useless at most unis until it supports 802.1X authentication!!
 

elppa

macrumors 68040
Nov 26, 2003
3,232
114
Would students have to pay for the plan on the iPhone? If so, that is a rip off.

Well no, because they can opt for the touch.

Those who would rather not carry a separate phone can go for the iPhone.
 

i.maverick

macrumors regular
Dec 13, 2007
216
0
somewhere I belong
seems more like a gimmick than anything to get increase enrollment rates . . . someone on their board said, "hey that iphone is something, how can we use it to attract students . . . ?" and then they came up with some web apps to "justify" the program. i mean, really, what could possibly necessitate an iphone for classes? and i do mean really necessitate. yes you "can" do class stuff on it but at what point do you "need" to? this seems a bit ridiculous to me . . .

in that sense... even education isnt necessary!

:cool:
 

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
16,268
5,477
people should watch the movie, if they haven't. it's idealized view, of course... but interesting possibilities.

and please don't digress into a religious discussion. this sort of program is expected to extend to other univerisities.

arn
 

mrmma

macrumors member
Dec 27, 2006
60
0
Missouri
Interesting idea

I'm in higher ed, and though I'm sure this is somewhat of a gimmick (less of one than the iPod give away of other unis) I can see the practicality of this for interactive lectures, as long as the software is seamless and easy. I would love to have interactive quizzes with better graphics capabilities, and if students could have the presentation pdf on their screens, they could scroll to a previous slide even if I've moved on.

The one problem I'd have is texting/surfing during lecture. I bet it will be very very tempting to check myspace/facebook/email/etc. during lectures, so trying to integrate the iPhone/touch into lectures without it getting in the way would be difficult.

For everything else, well, if your student really has a hard time finding your office, they need a refresher course on maps. Campuses are full of similar looking buildings, but come on...

600mb movie download...we'll see what it looks like.
 
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