The new iPhone 4S has ACU’s mobile learning program and students on their heels with future possibilities and new heights of technology.
The iPhone 4S is packed with new features. The voice activation software is called “Siri” and provides its user personal communication with the device. It also has iOS5 which comes with the notifications center, twitter integration and camera enhancements.
Some Faculty will probably receive the iPhone 4S during the next couple of weeks, said Lyndell Lee, educational technologist in the Adams Center for Teaching and Learning. Faculty members receive a new phone every two years with about 50 percent of faculty trading in phones during any given summer, Lee said. Many who were eligible have already received their reimbursement for an iPhone 4S, a new iPod Touch or funds toward an iPad 2, but 30-40 percent of faculty still have the opportunity to choose a cutting-edge device, Lee said.
“The faculty who currently own 3GS’s will be the ones to receive the iPhone 4S,” he said.
Some students will receive their iPhone 4S in the fall. Meagan Wilcox, senior psychology major from Sacramento, Calif, said the new iPhone will be worth the wait.
“I am super excited for the new iPhone 4S and its new features.” Wilcox said. “I can’t wait to see how ACU will utilize the new software.”
Scott Hamm, director of mobile learning research, said until faculty members have the phones and experiment, the university can’t say with certainty how the new technology will benefit learning. However, Hamm said he was excited about some of the new features.
“Technology is more of a servant than a server,” Hamm said.
Meagan Wilcox, senior psychology major from Sacramento, Calif, is excited about the new iPhone.
The advanced capabilities of the new iPhone will allow mobile learning staff to explore more learning opportunities as they “play” around with its features to figure out how the phone will be integrated into the classroom.
“We have learning outcomes and goals,” Hamm said. “When new technology comes out we kind of look at what we’re already trying to accomplish and see if that will be a vehicle that will help us get there.”
George Saltsman, executive director of the Adams Center for Teaching & Learning, is a beta tester for Apple. He will have an opportunity to become familiar with the new iPhone’s iOS 5 software before the students. This will help the mobile learning program to integrate it into the classroom as well.
The iPhone 4S will help bridge the technology gap in human-device interaction, Lee said.
The mobile learning staff will be looking for feedback from students and professors as the new technology becomes more prevalent on campus, Hamm said.
“From a diverse stand point, studies show that diverse backgrounds respond better to audio feedback.” Hamm said.