The Wired Campus reported last week that: “Abilene Christian University says it will be the first university in the country to give iPhones or iPods to all incoming freshmen.” The report summarizes the ACU step and links to several related materials. These include official “Connected” videos made by the university about how the mobiles will be used. The above image is from the videos. There are also several pages that set out the rationale for mobile learning, introduced by this explanation:
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.
In the spring of 2007, a group of educators, technologists, and administrators at ACU crystallized these ongoing discussions, producing a case for a new emphasis on mobile learning based on ubiquitous information access through powerful, portable, converged devices. Made possible by the broad capabilities offered by a new generation of these devices, we see the future of the university coalescing around the new opportunities that mLearning is bringing.