According to a release on its website, the University chose the Lumia because it was “solidly built” to stand up to “the abuse a college student is capable of providing” and because it would easily integrate with the school’s existing Microsoft infrastructure. (The school will cover the first year’s service contract with AT&T; after that students will be responsible for costs.)
Students will also have access to SHUMobile, an app that provides campus news feeds and maps, in addition to a new customized app called “Freshman Experience,” which will have enable students to connect with classmates, peer advisers and roommates.
Michael Taylor, Academic Director, Center for Mobile Research & Innovation, said:
Mobile technology has become ubiquitous and pervasive, but we are just beginning to understand the breadth of its impact across campus. Smartphone use in higher education has tended to rely on finding a specific app to fulfill a specific curricular purpose. With the close collaboration between Nokia and Microsoft on the Lumia 900, the phone itself takes center stage.
The Professor also said that the initiative will increase opportunities for students to connect and collaborate with faculty, and enhance the University’s commitment to teaching and learning with technology by allowing it to take place not only in but outside the classroom. SHU has focused on integrating technology into the curriculum since 1997, and has ranked high as a wireless university.
The University also will track how the students use the smartphones. What do you think about the SHU Class of 2016’s shiny new toy? Will it bolster connectivity among students and faculty, or will it be a waste of resources? (Presumably, many of the incoming freshman will arrive with their own smartphones).