- Joined Nov 13, 2009
Next fall's freshman at Seton Hill University will not only be handed a brand new Apple iPad but a MacBook laptop as well.
The Greensburg, Pa., liberal-arts school, with about 2,100 students, announced the mobile technology program this week. Freshmen will receive both an iPad, which is a tablet that can run iPhone smartphone applications, and a 13-inch MacBook laptop. After two years, the university will replace the laptop, which students can take with them on graduation. Current students will have the choice of opting into the laptop program.
"The iPad was chosen by Seton Hill because of its mobility and the ease with which faculty and students, in the future, will have immediate access to e-textbooks and comprehensive and integrated learning," according to Mary Ann Gawelek, provost and dean of the faculty at Seton Hill, in an e-mail cited in a story by The Chronicle of Higher Education.
The mobile project is part of Seton Hill's Griffin Technology Advantage program, which includes a campus-wide upgrade of the wired and wireless network infrastructure, based on gear from Enterasys. The campus jumped from 100Mbps Ethernet to a 1Gbps network, and has created a Wi-Fi blanket with more than 200 Enterasys 802.11n access points. The networks support VoIP and greatly improved security and management, according to the university.
Students will be charged $500 more per semester, or $1,000 each year, for the new technology program. The university is paying for the iPads, which become generally available this Saturday.
The TechAdvantage Web site says the changes are part of the institution's move to what it calls "creative literacy" – "teaching you not just how to find the information you need, but how to process it in the way that allows you to make sense of the information, apply the information to actual situations, and solve problems." Faculty are being outfitted and trained in the same client devices.
The overall goal is create a pervasively connected environment for learning and for campus life. Other resources include Web 2.0 innovations such as blogs, wikis, and Web casts.
Other schools, such as Abilene Christian University in Texas, are also making big-time commitments to wireless Apple devices (iPod Touches and iPhones in its case) in the name of advancing education.
This is pretty darn cool. Other universities should follow suit.
I can see it now. iPads replacing textbooks.
And we thought only the Kindle had to worry.
Eh, it aint gonna happen though. Textbooks are a big business.