Faculty members left the Campus Store iPad-less on Saturday. At least 20 iPads, designated for members of the iPad Exploration Team, did not arrive in time for the store’s special one-hour opening.
Those who purchased one of 22 retail devices that did arrive could not find the anticipated Optimist application in the App Store. It was not approved by Apple in time for release day.
Despite these disappointing developments, Saturday’s crowd could not be demoralized. Three display devices were enough to keep both the curious and the faithful highly entertained.
The store had 22 Wi-Fi devices on hand for sale and will receive 22 3G devices when they are released in “late April,” according to Apple.
Several ACU students attended the release event Saturday, including Drew Dixon, sophomore Biblical studies major from Sugar Land. Dixon was with several family members who traveled to Abilene for the holiday weekend. Randall Dixon, Drew’s father, and Al Dixon, his grandfather, huddled together around one of several display devices and took turns exploring.
“To an 80-year-old, it’s amazing,” Al said. “I very well might get one to have communications and information like that in any place you can think of. It’s wonderful.”
Kenny Jones, associate professor of art, picked up his iPad at the event; he’s one of 20 faculty members in the iPad Exploration Pilot Program. Jones uses his iPhone in class to show demonstration videos but said its screen size allows him to show only one student at a time. The iPad’s size and gestural interface would allow him to do things in class that even his laptop would not. He also sees the device’s potential to transform textbooks into “cloud e-texts” that present customized content based on the individual student’s interests and hobbies.
“What good is content if it’s inaccessible?” Jones said. “It’s accessible when it’s beautiful. Without that aesthetic component, there’s a sense of detachment at best.”
Jones already has students working on an electronic brochure for Jacob’s Dream. The project utilizes animation and interactive illustrations to highlight design elements and describe the design process.