Oklahoma Christian University partnered with Apple Computers to offer every 1st year student attending orientation the option of a new Apple MacBook, iPhone, or iPod Touch!
While it sounds unique, it’s not the first time as Abilene Christian University (ACU) were the pioneers in offering a free iPhone or IPod Touch as a bonus just to go to their school.
According to ACU:
Freshmen will use an iPhone or iPod touch 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.
ACU is serious in trying to make the iPhone a major part of every aspect of college life. They created two hypothetical Youtube videos to demonstrate how they envision campus life with an iPhone.
Ignoring the fact they say “iPhone” every 10 seconds and paint a very glossy world in which everyone is auto trained in effective/productive technology know-how, it is exciting to see a school actually spending the resources to be this forward thinking. The videos were not cheap productions and to give every student an iPhone (with service I assume) is not cheap. I couldn’t follow the money trail to see how much was being sponsored by Apple as schools with normal budgets obviously can’t afford this kind of mLearning.
As a university, ACU has invested much energy considering emerging trends in education. We’ve done this because our ongoing goal to help prepare our students to be critical thinkers, knowledgeable professionals, and responsible citizens calls for continual reevaluation of almost everything that happens in and out of the classroom – even a reevaluation of what constitutes the classroom itself.
Here’s a behind the scenes look at where ACU is in terms of deployment:
ACU has the resources and what looks like a great team working full time to pursue their vision. I’m excited to see them experimenting so they can figure out the challenges and when the technology is free the rest of the schools with normal budgets can join in.