According to Apple rumor site AppleInsider (which has a good reputation for accuracy as far as these things go), Apple is getting ready to launch a pilot of something called iPhone U with Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Yale, and Abilene Christian University (ACU). (“One of these things is not like the other, One of these things is not quite the same….”) Sounds like a combination of iPhones/iPod Touches for all students with a beefed up and more integrated version of iTunes U. ACU is apparently first out of the gate with a full-scale program, providing iPod Touches to all students. According to AppleInsider:
“At ACU — the first university in the nation to provide these cutting-edge media devices to its incoming class — freshmen will use the iPhones or iPod Touches to receive homework alerts, answer in-class surveys and quizzes, get directions to their professors’ offices, and check their meal and account balances,” the university said in a statement.
In addition to those functions, ACU said it has already developed more than 15 other useful web applications for use on the Apple devices as part of its vision to “Connect” every student, faculty, and staff member. In a subsequent posting to its mobile learning website, the school offered a demonstration video portraying fictional, yet conceivable day-in-the-life account that highlights some of the potential benefits of its ideal mobile wireless environment.
This has the potential to be disruptive in a bunch of ways. The demonstration video is well worth watching.