By Laura Acuff, Opinion Editor
Campus Technology magazine named ACU a 2008 Campus Technology Innovator in the category of Mobile Technology for the university’s mobile learning initiative launching this semester.
Giving some ACU students and faculty iPhones and iPod touches to incorporate in the classroom, the initiative joined numerous submissions from other programs, said Dr. Kyle Dickson, associate professor of English and co-director of Mobile Learning Research, who submitted the application.
ACU’s mobile learning initiative earned a top spot among 14 other categories in the peer-review-based publication.
“I think those of us on the iPhone group were just happy to be in such company,” Dickson said. “It was a really nice surprise that, I guess, validates the year that we spent preparing for the launch of this programming. I think it was just kind of an encouraging, professional validation that this is an exciting step to be pursing and investigating.”
Dr. William Rankin, associate professor of English and co-director of Mobile Learning Research, said the group that headed the mobile learning initiative appreciated the peer accolades. “This is something that we’re really excited about,” Rankin said. “It’s been gratifying that the hard work of so many ACU faculty has been rewarded like this, and it’s great to have the larger world acknowledging that.”
The ACU group beat out 274 competitors also considered for this award, he said.
“I think that’s remarkably gratifying,” Rankin said.
For Kevin Roberts, Chief Information Officer and director of re-engineering, the award’s recognition symbolized far more than the praise of a magazine dedicated to higher-level education-oriented technology. It topped off additional worldwide recognition.
“We’ve gotten calls literally from around the globe from other schools, companies, newspapers-everything from the Wall Street Journal to the New York Times,” Roberts said.
The innovative nature of what the group is doing helps the recognition of the school, and ultimately, helps the value of an ACU degree, Roberts said.
“As more people recognize and know about ACU around the world, the more valuable your degree,” he said. “What comes along with that, and really the reason that we do this, is that it helps you, ultimately, whenever you graduate.”