prof. e.

Mass Communication, [multi]media, methodology and much, much more!

Welcome to Campus: Here’s Your iPhone

Posted by prof e on August 29, 2008

At the risk of making you want to transfer to University of Maryland or Abilene Christian University in Texas, you might as well know that several higher ed institutions are giving iPhones or iPod touch mobile devices to students this fall. While the “wow” factor is certainly one part of the equation, the other reasons cited are; online research, instant polling of students, and safety (students on the network can be instantly notified if an emergency arises).

In 2004 Duke University gave 20GB iPods, equipped with Belkin voice recorders, to 1,650 freshmen and encouraged the students to use them to record lectures. The iPods were preloaded with orientation information, a calendar of events, and, of course, the Duke fight song. They even envisioned a daily audio editorial to be downloaded from the campus newspaper. According to Duke University the experiment was a success on several fronts–one of which was the publicity generated for “Duke’s institutional commitment to technology.” The positive effect on learning was more difficult to measure.

Which leads us to the question: is mobile communication technology a help or hindrance when it comes to the enterprise of higher education? Clearly there are benefits to having internet and intranet resources at your fingertips when studying. And the online collaboration afforded by portable media devices cannot be denied. But what about when communication technology in the classroom competes with the professor for the attention of the student? According to the NY Times, one professor said he would ban the use of iPhones in class because it would detract from their opportunity to develop a, “wide range of complex reasoning abilities.” On the flip side one student speculated that professors might work harder to make classes interesting if they were competing with iPhones. What do you think?

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16 Responses to “Welcome to Campus: Here’s Your iPhone”

  1. juan said

    in my personal opinion i would consider the ban of iphones due to the fact that it would take the students attention from the teacher.

  2. I believe it is a brilliant move when schools try to adapt and incorporate new technology into the classroom. In addition, this is not an obituary device with a one time, one class use. It can be used in many classes and Intertwine with students personal lives. With this device professors are given a range of tools to teach students with, from pod-casts to giving students written material without the need for students to purchase additional books or make frequent trips to the library. With the ability to connect to the internet students are given up to the minute news on emergencies on campus and class cancelations. On the matter of distraction I have faith that students in a university setting know what is the appropriative use of the device in the classroom.

  3. Nikki said

    I think that this is a good idea. Students will be able to use them for many of their classes, for several years as well as being able to use it in their personal lives. Professors could provide the students with material on the phone rather than having to find other means to access it. The use of the phone in the case of emergency situations is also a good idea as well as a professor being able to text or email the cancelation of a class. I also think that students who are in colleges know when it is or is not appropriate to be using their phones.

  4. Amanda said

    I agree that the iphones or ipod touch is a very good idea. It can benefit the teacher and student in several ways. The students can record their class lecture which will help them study later on. The student can listen to it over and over no matter where they are. The phone or ipod is also very convenient. If the student needs to look up something online or a past lecture they have it right at their fingertips. This also will give the professor a variety of tools to use to teach the students. If all colleges started giving out iphones or ipods then that means as technology starts changing then all the colleges will adjust and give out the newest inventions.

  5. Gentry Simons said

    I think that the use of iphones of the ipod touch in schools is a very good idea. The use of new technology in classrooms allows professors to be more innovative in their teaching styles and makes it easier for students to participate in class. It also allows all students to have convenient access to online course materials, and makes it easy to notify students of a class cancellation or emergency. Not only can students use the iphone or itouch for school but it can also cross over and be used in everyday life. The use of iphones and the ipod touch teaches students and professors alike how to navigate and use technology that is rapidly becoming available, which is a must know in todays society.

  6. Adam Winick said

    I would be a complete supporter of making the i-phone apart of the college campus. this is because if the students use it properly. then it would be very useful strategy to increase proficency of organization and access to resources faster and easier. it will also make it an easier load to carry to classes. there is many more ways it could be a useful tool on the college campus if the students use it as a tool and not a toy.

  7. Edward Garcia said

    In some ways it’s good, in others it’s bad. The idea of using it as a voice recorder is smart, but would students actually use it? If you’re in class you’re either going to be listening to the lecture, or fiddling with your shiny new iPhone. Depending on what class you’re in, most students would rather mess around with the phone. On the flip side though, depending on what class you’re getting lectured in, some teachers will probably work harder in order for the students attention to be on them and not on the phones. However, with more and more digital devices offering access to the internet, the idea of giving students their own iPhone seems more like an expensive gamble then as a way for students to use these resources as a way for study.

  8. Alicia Beaver said

    Is mobile communication technology a help or hindrance when it comes to the enterprise of higher education? I believe it is a little of both. If CSU-Pueblo gave all of it’s students an iPhone, I’m sure that the increase of enrollment would be outrageous. I also think that it would be very beneficial to the students if they were to have easier access to the internet, or the school’s website through their iPhone. I believe that the campus newspaper probably isn’t very successful, but if a daily audio editorial were to be downloaded onto one’s iPhone from the campus newspaper, more students would read the paper. The only bad thing about every student having an iPhone to use in their classes would be that they are an easy distraction. Most students would take advantage of the awesome features of the iPhone and surf the web during class instead of listening to the professor’s lecture, or they would be distracted by the easy availability of music on the phone. Regardless of the positives and negatives of having the iPhone in class, I wouldn’t turn one down if CSU-Pueblo were giving them out!

  9. Nate said

    It is a good idea to give phone out to the students of the school. Like it said in the article it would also help with safety at the school. If they gave me a phone i would accept it and I would also do research on it as well. If you have one of the phones it could be also distracting to other students and the teacher when you are in class and thats another problem.

    Nate Lawrence

  10. Lindsay Reeves said

    Technology has begun to rule the world we call home. It is everywhere, so why shouldn’t it be implemented in schools? High schools have begun to bring laptop computers to the classroom. In the higher education system, technology is more present than ever. You can’t walk through campus without seeing at least one person vigorously typing away on their laptop. Computer labs are always occupied, and the library is a technology haven. Why then shouldn’t every student attending an institution of higher education be given the technology to succeed? Not everyone can afford a laptop with the ever increasing prices of college tuition. As for the technology being a hindrance in the classroom, I do not believe it will be a problem. Students are paying so much to attend these classes, that the ones who actually care about their studies will not allow a simple device to distract them. I also believe if the instructor is proactive in making the technology useful in his or her classroom, only positive results will be eminent. It’s all a matter of the student’s commitment to their studies and being able to stay on track even when a distraction may be present.

  11. Brittany said

    I think it is a really cool way to get students to learn, study, and be more involved. If i had that kind of access on my phone I would always know campus activities. If all the students were recording the lectures then it might encourage students without the phone to record as well. You can always review things and my study habits would increase personally. I agree that it will probably distract some kids, but overall I think it will have a great affect. I do think it would also encourage prof. to keep class interesting as well. Over-all I think its an amazing benefit to everyone except for the kids who choose to abuse their rights but that is their own fault. I am really interested to see what the students and the school have to say after a year or two of trying the I-phone.

  12. George Morant said

    I think this is a unique way to teach or even learn things educationally. i believe this can be very good because look at duke and how they labeled this a success. my only fault is who would be paying for this and how can would you maintain the consistency. and to ask one more question what if the majority of students doesn’t pass they will simply blame it on the I phone leaving the campus directors to choose whether to stop it and lose alot of money.

  13. Deandra said

    Wow I think that is really innovative. If we did this at our school I would probably be more involved. I have interest in school activities but hardly hear the when and where. I think this is a great idea. But any phone, especially the iPhone, can distract a student from lecture. But I say this is going to happen whether it’s the phone the school handed them, or the one they own anyhow.

  14. In some ways it’s good, in others it’s bad. Bad things would be the most students would rather mess around with the phone. However they used great technology to make iPhones. But in my opinion I would rather use other phone than iPhones. It is too expensive that has many things on the phone but phones are phones.

  15. Keirra Levier said

    This could be a good and bad situation. It could be good because students could go back and listen to lectures for test or quizzes they may have. Also this can teach students ways technology can benefit you and you learn new ways this device can be used. On the other hand this could be bad because students wouldn’t be paying attention to the professor when they have a device in front of them to surf the web, shop, and all the other billions of things you can do on the web. I also feel attendants in class would decrease because you would be able to listen to the lectures from your friends computer so you wouldn’t have to attend class everyday. Teachers may start to feel less important because they have devices that distract them in the class room.

  16. Keirra Levier said

    In my opinion this can be a good and bad thing. The con’s of this situation would be how it would be a distraction to the students while they are in class or while they are out of class. They wouldn’t pay attention to the teachers while in lecture classes. Plus since the students would probably just record what their teacher is saying they can be doing something else.Also they wouldn’t be able to be studying for any of there classes because they would be infatuated with the phone. The pro’s of this situation would be when the student needs to do some studying or reports for a class they can just pull out their IPhone and listen to they auto recording. Since the Iphone has internet access, when the teachers says something that student doesn’t have knowledge on can just pull up the internet and look it up.

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