The class of 2016 was the last class to receive iPhones as freshmen, ceasing the program.
When the mobile learning initiative began in 2008, students signed a contract saying that after two years, they could receive a new device upon returning their old one. However, over the years with each new class that participated in the mobile learning initiative, clauses in the contracts were changed and updated to fit current technology needs of students.
Kevin Roberts, vice president of operations, said the contract signed by juniors who received iPhones did not include the clause about receiving replacements after two years.
Some students, however, say they weren’t aware of the changes and anticipated receiving new phones this year.
Katy Westerlage, junior speech pathology major from Fort Worth, said she was unaware her class would not be receiving an update.
“I know a lot of people were wondering about it,” Westerlage said. “The other classes before us got upgrades, even the seniors last year when the program had stopped. I just assumed we would too.”
Last year’s juniors received iPads as an upgrade, even though incoming students weren’t given a device.
The program, over time, has phased out as more students come to ACU with their own devices.
“We knew at some point in time, the program would come to an end,” Roberts said. “We just didn’t know when it would be.”
Roberts said now the focus of mobile learning is shifting to the tablet platform, with certain classes on campus requiring iPads as necessary course material.
As for the iPhones, Roberts said, “Two things started happening: everyone has one now, and tablets provide a much better learning platform.”