ACU’s Mobile Learning Initative has reached a proud turning point: every student on campus has an Apple device. Now is the university’s chance to take off with Mobile Learning. The problem presented by students without devices is gone.
Apple touts a massive selection of nearly 500,000 apps which make communication more efficient, free time more fun and studying for Organic Chemistry a little more bearable.
But at ACU, paper quizzes, a map in the back of a planner and a schedule only accessible on myACU still meet students in the classroom. And ACU only offers a handful of apps via Apple’s App Store.
ACU SA Vote, an app, allowed students to vote for amendments in 2010. And ACU Connected, created for the Connected Summit, provided information about speakers and schedules. However, both of these apps were made for a specific event and are now outdated. ACU MindWire, which allows professors to publish study materials for students, is rarely used and hasn’t been updated since 2009.
For a university that so heavily promotes mobile learning, we have created little programming to allow these devices to better our education. While myACU is mobile friendly, ACU still lacks an application to bring a range of university information together in a convenient form.
Stanford’s campus app, iStanford, does many of the things that would be nice in an ACU app. Students can browse and enroll in courses, view athletic news, schedules and scores, access a campus directory, check their student account, follow local events, search an interactive map and even find books in the library, all in one app.
While we look forward to (hopefully) seeing all this in an app we propose a smaller-scale, ACU-specific app: the ChapApp. The ChapApp would provide students with their Chapel credit status at their fingertips and send notifications when the student is on the verge of Chapel probation. The content of Mark Lewis’ weekly Chapel email would be as easily accessible on Friday as it is on Monday – no digging through email inboxes necessary.
It can be hard to get a good idea of what Small Group Chapels are available each semester. The ChapApp would make a complete list readily available and easily updated.
Chapel Forums add great variety to the Chapel experience, but they tend to sneak up at odd afternoon or evening hours. A push notification from the app would remind students of added Chapel opportunities.
A large-scale ACU specific app that isn’t a bookmarked website would make checking grades simple and keeping track of classes and assignments effortless. An application could make our time in and out of the classroom more productive and beneficial, but a great place to start is with an app for Chapel.
Apps for ACU are the key to the success of ACU’s vision of mobile learning. Putting the device in the students’ hands is not enough. ACU needs to take the initiative and create the apps students need.