We've endeavored to imagine a world where classes become untethered from the stony isolation of four walls, where information is accessible in new contexts and situations, where learning becomes truly mobile, permeating our students' lives. And having labored to foresee this, we've also striven to enable it, committing our time, our passion, our abilities, and our hopes to manifesting our vision.
We've had some amazing successes since we launched our mobile-learning initiative: international accolades, speaking appointments around the world, conferences attended by representatives from the most prestigious schools. People have seen our vision for the future and responded enthusiastically. From the first showing of our Connected video to the most recent reports from our mobile-learning researchers, the world has watched our vision unfold and has commended it.
Why we are doing this
Of course, all this attention from our peers has been immensely gratifying, and we're proud of our accomplishments. But that's not why we're doing this. We're pursuing the future of learning because we know our students will live and work in a world that doesn't yet exist - a world whose challenges and possibilities are only now beginning to coalesce. If we can offer them the advantages not only of seeing the new world these changes will create, but also of pioneering that world for those who will come after us, then we've done something truly valuable. This is at the heart of ACU's mission to educate students for Christian service and leadership throughout the world.
The ACU Connected initiative is built upon the theory that humans learn best when they are in community - collaborating with others in a learning environment without boundaries. A technological solution that aims at increased learning must enhance communication and convergence. Mobile Learning at ACU seeks to connect learners through engaged, collaborative, distributive, integrated, and evaluative models, all of which combine to produce a profoundly connected learning experience.
Measure of success
We will consider this initiative successful if we fulfill the following goals: to extend or enhance faculty teaching and research, to lead to more engaged and active student learning, to improve campus community and interactions, and to establish conversations and relationships between ACU and other campuses.
The following pages provide an overview of our initial vision. The resources were written in 2006 by the ACU LINK Team - a technology advisory team made up of faculty, administrators, and campus technologists - shaping a vision for ubiquitous deployment. They provide a foundation for further exploration of the Connected vision.
- Convergence and the 21st-Century Classroom: Our case for mobile learning in higher education; here are some key issues that we think will shape teaching and learning in the 21st century.
- Envisioning the 21st-Century Campus: A series of case studies for mLearning applications in higher education; these stories inform what we're doing - and where we're going.
- Solutions for the 21st-Century University : An initial list of academic, social, administrative, and infrastructure applications; these show what could be addressed by pervasive adoption of converged mobile devices.