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Freed-Hardeman joins list of universities giving students Apples

Beginning this fall, Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, Tenn.,  will give all students an opportunity to have an Apple MacBook and an iPhone or iPod Touch.
Today’s announcement places Freed-Hardeman in elite company: Currently, three universities in the nation combine the MacBook and iPhone/iPod as part of their academic curriculum.
Freed-Hardeman President Joe Wiley said the move isn’t about the equipment; it’s about the overall campus experience.
“I have always tried to look at new, innovative ways of learning,” said Wiley. “I am a big believer in using technology to enhance learning.”
Following the traditional Apple products’ names, the university decided to call its program iKnow, releasing videos to the students on Friday in chapel similar to the Apple advertisements.
iKnow, which will cost students the equivalent of one additional hour per semester, has been in the works for about three years, according to FHU’s Chief Information Officer, John Bentley.
“We’ve been researching different solutions/programs for the last three years. We got serious about implementation for the fall semester when we saw that Apple was releasing their iPhone SDK and support for Exchange this past spring,” said Bentley.
With a post-doctoral fellowship in computer science, Wiley believed the program was an obvious choice.
“It isn’t something that I made up when I came here. IT has been working on it for a long time. The program is very well-thought-out,” Wiley said.
In an annual survey conducted by the university, the satisfaction for student technology had fallen over the past year. To improve satisfaction on campus and meet their growing expectations, the program was developed.
In a national survey by Student Monitor’s Lifestyle and Media Study in the fall of 2007, 31 percent of college students believe that Apple has the best laptop computers, compared to only 25 percent who preferred Dell, the next highest vote-getter. In another survey by Lifestyle and Media Study, 49 percent of students said they plan to buy an Apple computer in the next 12 months. Coming in second to Apple was still Dell, with only 11 percent of the votes.
“Going with Apple products seemed to be the best choice to provide the students with a better computer, better support, fewer problems and more peace of mind,” said Bentley. “It’s the technology the students want.”
Freed-Hardeman was able to create the program with the help of Oklahoma Christian University, which offers its students MacBooks and will, like FHU, begin providing the iPhone/iTouch option for all this fall. Information was also received from Abilene Christian University who will be implementing a similar program.

Filed under: Partners Staff Reports

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