Metro university goes hi-tech


Saturday, August 23rd 2008, 7:12 pm
By: News 9


By Jacqueline Sit, NEWS 9

EDMOND, Okla. -- Oklahoma Christian University is adding new technology for teachers and students to use in classrooms this semester. Hundreds of students and faculty traded in their university-issued PC laptop for an iPhone or iPod touch.

Getting access to the internet, and a new mobile web application, called In Touch, will help with course information, class notes, campus events and entertainment.

"We think our students are at a much better advantage by having access to these platforms, because that's what they're going to be using in the professional world once they leave the university, so we're giving them the experiences they need now so they become lifelong learners," Oc Chief technology Officer John Hermes said.

The devices can help students in a fast moving, multi-tasking, competitive world, inside the classroom and out.

The iPhone and iPod are a hit with students. Tye Miller, an OC student, is excited for the new technology.

"I come from a farm, so it's pretty new to me...it helped me decide to come here," Miller said.

In the palm of student's hands is the power to get information from class changes to campus crisis to connecting with professors and getting instant feedback. Students paid about $200 a piece for the mobile devices, but they'll be carrying less books in exchange.

"I like it, it's not bulky, doesn't look like huge or anything," said student Leah Felts. "It's just convenient, it makes everything convenient and it's simple to use."

It can even help new students find their way around town.

"I haven't gotten into it all that much, but I mean I'm sure there's going to be stuff that helps me. If i get bored during class, I can always, you know, do whatever I need to so...I'm just kidding. I love teachers," Felts said.

Critics said having those devices in the classroom could be a concern from class distractions to cheating, but an OC faculty member said this is the first time they're getting their hands on these gadgets, so they'll see what happens.

Oklahoma Christian University is one of four schools in the country that uses the Apple products. The campus was one of the first to have complete wireless Internet.