By Jared Fields, Editor in Chief
Phil Schubert would love for ACU students to be some of the first in the country to get iPhones as a part of their college experience.
Kevin Roberts said he can’t imagine another school being ahead of ACU when it comes to the possibility of getting students iPhones.
“We’re certainly on the leading edge of any college or university in the country,” Roberts, the chief information officer for ACU said.
“We do cool stuff,” said Schubert, executive vice president for ACU.
Abilene Christian and Apple began their relationship a year ago when ACU became one of the first iTunesU schools.
Today, some want to keep doing “cool stuff” by trying to bring the much-anticipated iPhone to students.
Representatives from ACU are working with Apple and AT&T to research the possibility of students having iPhones on campus.
When news of the iPhone’s release went public in January, a group got together to see what uses the new phone could have.
In June, Roberts and Phil Schubert went to Apple headquarters to meet about the possibilities of getting iPhones and got ACU named as one of 10 universities nation-wide taking part of this pilot study.
“We’re going, ‘OK, I think this is a kinda cool devise,” Roberts said. “We’re all trying to explore how does this change the way college universities are run.”
Roberts said right now there are no formal plans in place for the deployment of iPhones to all students on campus. It is too early in the research stage for anyone to make a prediction.
“I have no idea that if at some point in time all this research culminates, and everyone gets an iPhone on campus,” Roberts said.
Faculty are applying to get an iPhone as part of a research group to develop applications and uses for the iPhone if used as part of the curriculum. Their research will dictate the next steps ACU will take with pursuing the iPhone.
Roberts also said students who already have iPhones may be used to help with research. However, if it is decided that students must pay for their phone and not be given one, the LINK team doesn’t want to waste that money.
“We don’t want to be wasting their cash,” Bill Rankin, professor in the English department said. “We want to be sure of that because we’re stewards to them financially.”
George Saltsman, director of Education Technology in the Adams Center for Teaching Excellence, said this collaboration could be a tremendous opportunity for ACU.
“This is the best opportunity ACU has had to become a national leader in higher education,” Saltsman said. “I think we’ll excel exceedingly well in that challenge.”