iPhone Technology Comes to La Sierra Students' Hands
July 1, 2009
By Larry Becker
Incredible growth in technology has transformed education in recent years. This fall, as part of its drive to remain on technology's cutting edge, La Sierra University will launch an initiative using a state-of-the-art smart phone to enhance first-year students' experiences both inside and outside the classroom.
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – (www.lasierra.edu) Freshmen students registering for 2009's fall quarter will receive, free, their choice of a new Apple iPhone or iPod Touch. These devices will come preloaded with applications that will be important tools for students. La Sierra is just the fourth higher education institution in the country providing these tools to their students, joining Stanford, Duke, and Abeline Christian University.
“This project would not have been possible if it wasn’t for the generous gift from our Board of Trustees!” says Yami Bazan, La Sierra University’s vice president for student life. “By investing in this project, our board members have initiated a movement that will ensure we create a campus culture of creativity, collaboration, communication, and innovation!”
The iPhone’s built-in capabilities will give students a simple, effective tool to take on challenging nontraditional assignments. "For example, a student might file a video report on an event direct to a class-specific website, including a GPS-based map link. All that could be done on an iPhone. Or they could create an audio podcast using only their iPhone and post it to the web," says Dan Tinianow, associate professor of English and communication.
Teachers can use iPhones to electronically take attendance, record grades, and other time consuming tasks that take away from instructional sessions.
And while the educational opportunities are impressive, iPhones/iPod Touches will enhance a student's life outside the classroom, as well. Applications are already under development that will make dynamic communication on campus a reality. La Sierra students will be served by:
- A messaging tool that allows multiple communication modes: individual, general and targeted (to specific classes, residence halls, clubs, groups, etc.)
- Continually updated university social, academic and athletic calendars, including real-time sports scores from La Sierra's NCAA Division III teams
- A campus map with real-time location reporting and directions
- A searchable directory of campus personnel and contact information
- And many others
Students will find the iPhone/iPod Touch program enhancing many of their interactions with the campus administrative areas, too. Applications under development include:
- An automated text messager and voice broadcaster for emergency information and status
- An e911 program that ties together campus and local police and medical personnel
Later plans call for development of:
- A "business office" extension that enables wireless transactions for bill-paying, bookstore purchases, food orders, and financial account management
- A "registrar's office" extension that facilitates course enrollment, interaction with academic records, and dynamic grading access
- And more
Complete information on the program will be shared with each incoming first-year student at the 10 summer orientation sessions in July, August and September. Additional information can be found on the university website at www.lasierra.edu/iphone.
PR Contact: Larry Becker
Executive Director of University Relations
La Sierra University