By Colter Hettich, Features Editor
More than the eyes of Texas are upon ACU this semester. The eyes of the world will watch as hundreds of scholars, technicians and administrators from as far as the UK, Japan and Australia journey to ACU’s Teague Center in February.
Representatives from more than 80 schools are expected to attend February’s ConnectEd mobile learning summit. On Feb. 27, ConnectEd will provide a place for mentorship, discovery and collaboration of ideas. Steve Molyneux, professor at Cambridge University, and a Harvard physicist are among the distinguished, presenting guests.
George Saltsman, director of the Adams Center for Learning and Teaching, said before the event was officially scheduled, between 55 and 60 schools expressed serious interest in attending such a conference.
“The purpose of the conference is for schools who want to deploy the iPhone and iPod touch to come and see what we’re doing,” Saltsman said. “And somebody cool – a high ranking person – from Apple will be here.”
AT&T and Apple representatives also will join ACU in welcoming and assisting attendees, and the university will offer a limited number of scholarships that will allow students to attend the conference.
“We want to make a number of scholarships available to students who want to attend with no cost,” Saltsman said. “We also expect that there is going to be some product announcements [during the conference].” Faculty members of ACU’s Mobile Learning Initiative worked on much more than organizing the conference during the fall semester and Christmas break. Mobile Learning Initiative research fellows are nearing the end of their allotted time, and much of their findings have been compiled into volumes ready for publishing. Applications for the next round of research fellowships will be collected by Jan. 31 and the recipients announced at some point this semester.
Several pilot programs, led by faculty members from departments across the campus, are also underway. The programs include faculty podcasting, student response systems and mobile blogging.