ACU Handing Out iPhone 3G’s, iPod Touches To All New Freshmen This Weekend

Abilene Christian University, the school that promised all of their new freshmen this fall would be getting either an iPhone 3G or an iPod touch as part of their tuition, is getting ready to make good on their promise this weekend. New students will be starting what they call their “mobile learning experience” on August 16, using the device for maps, real-time in-class surveys and quizzes, and probably a lot of Facebook and Super Monkey Ball.

As part of this weekend’s events, the school will be hosting representatives from Apple, AT&T, and Alcatel-Lucent as well as other industry leaders like Google, Turning Technologies, eMantras, Dipity and webfirecracker.com.

Among their motives for the iPhone/iPod touch push, their article says, is the realization that the internet and the many resources it provides is increasingly playing a role in education, and the iPhone and iPod touch provide a new level of access to it. That, and they hope to keep on the cutting edge of technology.

“Instead of having one or two sources for information, students today have thousands of resources at their fingertips,” said Rankin. “It is becoming our responsibility as educators to help them navigate the mountains of information and learn how to be selective.”

Of course, great as it is, they note that it won’t replace the standard face-to-face teaching methods, but will supplement it. “Interaction between the professor and students is an integral part of the learning process,” said Dr. Kyle Dickson, associate professor of English & director of Mobile Learning Research. “These devices will allow teachers to enhance the educational experience.”

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