28 May, 2008

Running a University using iPhones

I liked this video from ACU in Texas. It's a fictional exploration of how a University could use mobile devices to connect with students in different ways.

The video is arguing that giving all students an internet connected device might increase their connection to the university, to resources and experiences provided for learning, and to each other. Also if the university supplies a device like that, perhaps the students would be OK with it being used for learning and not feel like it was intruding in their personal, informal space, as has been an argument against using Facebook for example.

I guess the students need to see why they might want to use the technology to enhance their learning, and we can start explaining that now. If we can communicate the value of a personal learning environment which makes use of RSS and mobile video and audio, and which is easy to develop, then students would use the resources that they've got to build and maintain it. Without this understanding, the students wouldn't end up using their university iPhones for learning anyway.

I like the idea of using a piece of hardware like an iPhone that is designed primarily with the user experience in mind (rather than technical specifications), and which is designed to just work. Surely that could only improve the student experience and retention?

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