The decision to require all full-time ACU undergrad students to have an iPad by August 2013 has still not been made yet.
Dr. Phil Schubert, president of the university, created a new team to work together to come to a consensus on the direction the university will go with mobile learning. The educational innovations team, made up of many faculty and administrators from several different departments on campus, met Thursday hoping to make progress toward its goal. However, George Saltsman, executive director of educational technology, said the members left the meeting confused.
“We met to re-examine where everything is going with mobile learning,” Saltsman said. “There was confusion among the team because we’re unsure if one decision has been made across the campus, or separate ones among the different departments working on mobile learning.”
The team will meet again in two weeks for further discussion.
Team 55 sent two separate emails to incoming freshmen and rising juniors in May and June 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, Saltsman said these emails were incorrect.
Team 55 declined to comment.
Saltsman said mobile learning wants to move away from handing out smartphones toward having only digital textbooks.
“Our numbers indicate 83 percent of incoming student 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.”
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.”