ACU students utilize iPhones to innovatively engage with State of the Union address

Posted January 29, 2010 sotuAs President Barack Obama delivered the annual State of the Union address to the nation, Abilene Christian University students used their iPhones to weigh in with their opinions on the speech in real time.

"The opportunity to give instant feedback felt as though I was more part of the group in this process," says Charles Gaines, senior criminal justice major from Cedar Hill, and president of the Students' Association. 

While Obama spoke, superimposed questions occasionally flickered across the screen.  Seconds later, polling results from the students' responses appeared as bar graphs in the screen's lower right corner.

 The latest iPhone application, Responseware, allowed this interaction to take place. Once students walked into the classroom where the address was being presented, they downloaded and accessed Responseware and were ready to take part in the event.

"We are getting to be a part of something bigger, something national," says Kristen Goodspeed, sophomore broadcast journalism major from Abilene.

"Anytime you can make learning more fun and interesting and in the process get them interested into things that are really truly important, that's a great use of technology," says Dr. Cheryl Bacon, professor of journalism and mass communication and chair of the department.

To watch video of ACU students using the iPhone during the State of the Union address, visit the ACU YouTube page.

To learn more about ACU learning mobile initiative, visit