The decision to require all full-time ACU undergrad students to have an iPad by August 2013 has yet to be made.
Team 55 sent an email to rising juniors encouraging them to choose the iPad option from the Mobile Learning Initiative because all full-time undergrads will be required to have an iPad in the fall of 2013. However, George Saltsman, executive director of Educational technology, said this email was incorrect.
“No official decision has been made to require iPads,” Saltsman said. “We are still a ways off of any decision like that. Such an announcement would require significant planning and we’re just not there yet.”
Team 55 sent an identical email to all incoming freshmen in April. Saltsman said then that no decision had been made.
Team 55 declined to comment.
Saltsman said the idea behind a possible iPad mandate is to move away from handing out smartphones and toward having only digital textbooks.
“Our numbers indicate 83 percent of incoming students will already own a smartphone, so it would be better to be prepared for digital textbooks than to select a second smartphone,” he said. “We are working toward a goal of digital textbooks by fall of 2013. Something this big takes a lot of planning and coordination and we’ve just started in that organizational effort.”
Saltsman said should students be required to have an iPad, he didn’t know if they would have to pay for it or if the university would provide it.
“It’s possible we can get the price down to where the iPad and digital textbooks cost less than current textbooks, but there’s an assumption digital textbooks will ultimately save students money,” he said. “We don’t know yet how they will be paid for.”