Several years ago, the university partnered with AT&T and Alcatel-Lucent in developing its wi-fi network, and the several thousand mobile devices distributed through ACU’s mobile-learning initiative are powered by an AT&T connection. The company has long been committed to higher education, making it a perfect partner for ACU’s pioneering efforts in the field of mobile learning. Today, AT&T awarded a three-year, $1.8 million contribution to Abilene Christian to help develop three interrelated initiatives:
The AT&T Learning Studio, which will be housed on the top floor of ACU’s Brown Library, will include recording booths for capturing podcasts and interviews, editing bays for audio and video creating, media screening spaces and a production studio with high-definition recording capabilities. It will support mobile media experimentation and encourage faculty and students to publish and share their work in new ways. Trained staff will be on site to provide technical help and support.
The K-12 Professional Development Institute will train primary and secondary teachers around the world in new media usage and help them deploy mobile media for teaching and learning. The institute will focus on introducing mobile learning to teachers in the U.S., the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, El Salvador and Croatia. The university has already received statements of interest from school districts representing more than 20 million students.
The Mobile Learning Research Program at ACU conducts research on the effectiveness of mobile-learning initiatives and strategies. The grant will support the work of the mobile learning research coordinator and help enhance ACU’s Mobile Learning Fellows program, increasing the number of faculty members who conduct research in the expanding field. Their work will help refine best practices, and add to the body of knowledge at the university and K-12 level.
For more information, please visit the ACU Connected Web site, the ACU Connected blog and the Consortium for Innovation & Research in Converged Learning.