ACU Connected Year Two Interviews

0 Commentsby   |  06.11.10  |  Media

Last spring we gathered faculty from around campus to reflect on preliminary experiments and research in a fledgling program (see Year One Interviews here). This spring we wanted to expand that circle by asking a second round of faculty to discuss their work continuing to rethink student interactions, media, and blogging on a mobile campus.


Hello, iPad. Hello, Cloud 2

0 Commentsby   |  03.30.10  |  Learning

I have to thank Kenny Jones for bringing the following article to my attention. Marc Benioff chairman and CEO of message to 60 CIOs in various meetings throughout America’s heartland is:

We are moving from Cloud 1 to Cloud 2, and the iPad is the accelerator….What’s most exciting is that this fundamental transformation—cloud + social + iPad—will inspire a new generation of wildly innovative new apps that will change entire industries.

Moving from Cloud 1 to Cloud 2 doesn’t mean dropping all the functionality of cloud 1 rather it means we add the functionality of Cloud 2 to Cloud 1. It is a move from typing and clicking to touch and a move from chatting to video. More »

Mobile Devices as Engagement Catalysts

0 Commentsby   |  03.10.10  |  Learning

In the past several weeks I have attended several functions in which the speakers talked about their experiences in college. Unfortunately what they said about their experiences was not surprising and not very encouraging.  For example, one individual who retired at age 55 talked about his experience going back to university to get a degree that would help him in a new endeavor. In sharing his challenges of being an adult learner and not being in school for many years, this individual talked about cramming for tests, meaningless assignments and all the work that he had to do which really didn’t appear to have any significance toward the degree he was working toward. While it was disappointing to hear about this individual’s experience it was even more disappointing to listen to the majority of the audience grown in agreement with his experience.

The audience also laughed in agreement with the speaker when he indicated that he was looking for any opportunity to get out of finishing his degree. They also laughed reluctantly when the speaker indicated that he just had to buckle down and “jump through the hoops” to get through his degree. This is an example of an adult learner who is motivated, mature, and responsible enough to know that the degree that he was working towards would enable him to do the things he wanted to do in the future. And yet, he only saw his educational experience as a means to an end – not as an opportunity to learn, grow and to be enriched. As learning theorist and an educator I grimace when I hear these types of stories but I also recall similar frustrations with many of my classes. I also shudder to consider what the average 18 or 19-year-old, who is often less motivated and focused, is thinking about their experiences in college. NSSE scores confirm that many of our students do not believe that they are being engaged or challenged enough.

It doesn’t have to be this way – one’s educational experiences can be so much more. Learning should be an active, dynamic and engaging process in which learners construct new ideas or concepts based on new, current and past knowledge. The making of meaningful connections is key to learning and knowing and this can be very rewarding and motivating. I also know that we need to move from the passive educational environment of main lecture points, rubrics, individual competition and standardized testing to an active learning environment of interactive presentations, critical and analytical thinking, collaboration and meaningful projects.  We (the Academy) have the responsibility to create significant and engaging learning environments to make these types of stories to go away.

Fortunately, teaching & learning is changing and some people are speculating that mobile devices are one good way of fostering engagement and interaction. But what do we mean by engagement or engaging learning? More »

Mobile Learning – State of the Union

0 Commentsby   |  03.08.10  |  Announcements

Political Science classes gathered to watch the State of the Union in a unique screening with feedback provided by Turning ResponseWare.

ACU Connected Opportunities – 5 Programs

0 Commentsby   |  02.13.10  |  Announcements, Opportunities

The ACU Connected initiative continues to provide numerous innovative teaching and research opportunities that elevate the quality of ACU’s academic offerings and expertise. ACU is proud to announce five programs for research, innovation, and experimentation. You are encouraged to signup for as many programs as you are interested in. If you are awarded more than one, you may refine your choices at that time. Multiple programs may be stacked to provide optimal support, however preference will be given to maximize the opportunities for as many faculty as possible.

Questions should be directed to George Saltsman.

iPhone/iPod/iPad App Ideas

Have an idea for a great iPhone/iPod/iPad app?

Ideas are reviewed by the Mobile Learning Applications Team (a group of faculty, administrators and technologists) on a monthly basis. App ideas are routed to internal, external, and student programers for potential development as determined by the team. More »

Some Thoughts on the Future of Publishing

1 Commentby   |  02.12.10  |  Announcements

For more than a thousand years, books have been the primary medium for the exchange of academic information, and the act of writing a book has been seen as the chief indicator that one has achieved academic status. Indeed, the terms “author” and “authority” both come from the same Latin root (augere: to increase, originate, or promote), and they are seen as integrally linked to one another both within the academy and also in popular culture. To be an author is to have authority, and this has been both the cause and the result of the mechanisms of authorship being available only to a limited few due to the procedural complexities that surrounded publishing as a business.

With the advent first of desktop publishing in the late 1980s, of the Web in the early 1990s, and finally of Web 2.0 technologies in the late 1990s, the barriers to authorship have become increasingly eroded. This has led to significant concern on the part of both publishers and academics who have watched traditional notions of authorship and authority become unsettled by new participants. Indeed, the accessibility of both content-creation tools and of high-speed networking has enabled those who were traditionally outsiders not only to participate in publishing but even to threaten some parts of the industry with displacement. Newspapers, for example, face a complex mixture of challenges generated by the increase in distribution channels and the increase in those new participants who are publishing “news.”

As converged technologies like the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad become increasingly available, driving a desire for increased content and increased opportunities to participate in content-creation, the broader publishing industry and the academy will face challenges similar to those currently faced by newspapers. However, this does not necessarily mean that the newspapers’ fate awaits publishing in general. Rather, if both publishers and the academy can creatively understand the challenges and opportunities offered by technological change (and the accompanying cultural change it generates), we could see a flourishing of content, a dramatically increased audience for that content, and an unprecedented opportunity to benefit from the energy brought by an array of new participants.

Two key challenges have faced the publishing industry and the academy over the greatest part of the last five-hundred years: the narrow channels that provide access to qualified authors and the narrowly-defined genres which confine those authors’ intellectual labors. Ironically, these mirror the challenges that authors face as they attempt to break into publishing — narrowness of access and narrowness of genre. The complex economics of serious publishing and the rigorous requirements of academic integrity mean that only those authors vetted through an arduous procedure of proposals, marketing- or peer-review, and editing are allowed to participate, and the works they produce must fit into either article- or book-length formats. Driven by the particularities of print publishing, these limits have been unavoidable in the past. More »

Apple iPad Exploration

0 Commentsby   |  02.12.10  |  Announcements

Devices like the iPad appear to offer significant potential as an academic tool. The Educause/New Media Consortium place multi-touch devices like the iPad in the four to five year horizon. Thinking about the iPad as an electronic book reader places in it the two to three year horizon. ACU has invested significant research in the iPhone/iPod touch. Researching the iPad would appear to be a natural extension of that work.

All ideas for experimentation and investigation are welcome. Due to the larger focus ACU is providing to the future of academic text, scholarly publishing and the future of the book, some number of iPads will be distributed to further this research goal.

Proposals will be submitted electronically by the midnight (CST) on March 22, 2010 to Applications will be evaluated through a peer-review process consisting of members of the ACU Research Council and the Mobile Leadership Team. Announcement of awards will be made on or about April 1, 2010. Selected applicants will will be expected to provide brief reports on a regular basis to the mobile learning leadership team and to complete written interim progress report on August 1, 2010 and a final report on January 10, 2011. As with all research involving human subject participants, formal approval of the ACU Institutional Review Board (see instructions at will be required on all projects.

Apply Now More »

Course Redesign – Mobility Focus

by   |  02.11.10  |  Announcements

This year at ACU represents the convergence of two bold undertakings: Core Curriculum design and the Mobile Learning Initiative. With the first semester of the Core’s Cornerstone course and the distribution of mobile devices to all undergraduate students, we have an uncommon opportunity to explore the impact of technology to deepen residential education. Of course, faculty across campus also know that course redesign is a natural part of building on our experience. This fall the Adams Center for Teaching and Learning along with the Digital Media Center would like to support both groups with Mobile Course Design and Redesign appointments.

Since 1999, the Program for Course Redesign at the National Center for Academic Transformation has worked with over 120 colleges and universities “using information technology to redesign learning environments to produce better learning outcomes.” Their model begins at the Proof of Concept phase, combining new faculty ideas with instructional design partnerships and technical support. Their approach provides the structure to move learning innovation beyond the individual classroom or campus. NCAT now works with institutions around the world to implement their 5 Principles of Successful Course Redesign.

Applications are now being accepted for the Mobile Course Design and Redesign program to provide stipends as well as access to media specialists in the Digital Media Center for faculty designing Core classes or redesigning existing courses. These positions will be appointed through an application process overseen by the Adams Center and the Mobile Learning Leadership Team. Applications will be accepted through midnight (CST) on March 22, 2010. Each of two positions per semester will be funded with a $2,500 stipend, or its equivalent to “buy out” of teaching a course in a long semester, with appropriate chair and dean approvals. In addition, each faculty appointment will receive up to 50 hours of assistance with media specialists in the DMC on a project developed in association with an instructional designer.

One key goal of the Mobile Course Redesign program is to develop new pedagogical approaches that will serve as the basis of future research. Our 5 Principles of Successful Mobile Redesign have been adapted from the research of the NCAT: More »

Mobile Learning Fellows

by   |  02.11.10  |  Announcements


It is my pleasure once again to invite you to submit a proposal for research as part of the ACU Mobile Learning Fellows Program. The current plan for deployment of iPhone/iPod Touch devices is to have them in the hands of all fulltime undergraduate students by this fall. Over the past two years ACU has received tremendous exposure related to this initiative and we are uniquely positioned to contribute visibly to the growing literature on the impact of mobile device usage on both college campuses and in educational classrooms at all levels. In light of this context, I encourage you to consider how use of these devices in and/or out of your classroom might be formed into a research question and submitted to empirical evaluation.

In part with funding from a generous gift from AT&T, The Mobile Learning Leadership Team is expanding Fellow positions for 2010-2011 and beyond to include a salary stipend in addition to support of research expenses. Fellows are expected to be researchers who will help to conduct, document, and publish research on mobile learning at a national level. These positions will be appointed through a competitive application process under the oversight of the ACU Research Council and the Mobile Learning Leadership Team. Applications are open at this time and will be received through midnight (CST) on March 22, 2010. Each of the six positions will be funded with a $5,000 stipend and a $2,500 expense budget which can be used for project costs as well as related travel. There is also the possibility of reducing the stipend in order to “buy out” of teaching a course in a long semester, with appropriate chair and dean approvals.

The goal of the Fellows position is to generate quality research that broadly or narrowly examines one of the following targeted areas of investigation: More »

ACU Connected Faculty Interviews

0 Commentsby   |  02.02.10  |  Media

If you want to hear more from our faculty about mobile strategies in and out of the classroom, we have a number of faculty interviews available on the main ACU Connected site.


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