Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, Tennessee, has been entered in to Apple's 'Distinguished' program for mobile technology use in the classroom.
Dubbed the 'iKnow 2.0' initiative, the scheme has run since 2008. In the beginning, each student was furnished with a MacBook and their choice of either an iPhone or iPod Touch. For the 2012/2013 academic year, all freshman will instead be issued with an iPad as standard, although students can bring their own device if they wish. Approximately 2,000 students are currently enrolled at the university.
FHU considers itself a 'MacBook campus', and therefore implements Apple technology in the classroom on a daily basis -- supporting both MacBooks and iPad use. However, as the academic institution also makes use of Microsoft products, it is common place for Macbooks to run Windows software, which students can have installed for free.
The use of iPads and MacBooks are firmly integrated into the school curriculum. Students enrolled at the university are now expected to bring a MacBook with them, or purchase one on-site.
Laptops are no longer provided by the school -- but students can expect a free copy of Microsoft Office after enrollment. The software remains the property of the student as long as they graduate from FHU. Mark Scott, vice president for technology and innovation said:
"We are extremely pleased to receive this honor from Apple. Since 2008, Freed-Hardeman has pioneered the use of mobile technologies to accommodate anywhere, anytime learning. The selection of FHU as an Apple Distinguished Program highlights its successes in enhancing and extending teaching and learning with thoughtful and innovative implementations of technology."
To qualify for the designation of the Apple Distinguished Program, an educational institution must be seen to be a "recognised centre of educational excellence and leadership." The use of Apple products, especially considering the recent release of updates to iTunes U and iBooks 2, appears to be becoming more popular and integrated within schools systems -- and by offering schemes like the 'Distinguished' program, Apple keeps this trend expanding.
Image credit: Screenshot C.Osborne
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