iPhones on Campus

27 Feb 2008 - 2:36pm
6 years ago
15 replies
821 reads
Rob Nero
2005

Just found this article on AppleInsider:

Apple holds big plans for 'iPhone University' on college campuses:
http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/08/02/27/apple_holds_big_plans_for_iphone_university_on_college_campuses.html

You can follow a link from the article to this page:
http://www.acu.edu/technology/mobilelearning/index.html

Interesting video on the 2nd link, showing how an "average" freshman
student at the university could use an iPhone as a "lifeline" to the
university. For such uses as: interactive maps, class schedule, ebooks for
classes, class podcasts, sms messages from teachers, links to
facebook/myspace, etc...

The video was kinda cheesy at times, but overall, a powerful concept. I
remember the stress and agony of being a freshman at university, not
knowing anyone, and not knowing where anything was. I can imagine this
would seem second-nature for a modern freshman, already used to sms'ing
their friends and utilizing a multitude of social networking options.

Comments

27 Feb 2008 - 3:55pm
Jerome Ryckborst
2007

I watched half of the iPhone University movie, Part 1. Random thoughts:

* Shooter on campus. With everyone having an iPhone -- provided by the university?! -- it no doubt gives the administration an instant channel to all students when someone goes ballistic with a gun. [Sarcasm: Who needs gun control when everyone on campus has iPhone?]
* Think green. The key to broad adoption of these devices would lie in the quality of the services that the university offers via iPhone -- changing course sections, GPS-style wayfinding with a campus map, e-mailing your professors, finding the syllabus for each course, and finding your book list. it's all paper free.
If it weren't for the books themselves, the paper-free university would have arrived last year. Is the iPhone itself green?
* Hand me my cane. A device + service like that would have made my student life So Much Easier, but I went to school last century.

27 Feb 2008 - 4:15pm
Matt Nish-Lapidus
2007

i agree completely. .. i remember what a pain it was to transcribe all
my course schedules into my old palm (yes, i was/am a nerd) ... if
that type of information was available in a consistent way it would be
amazing.

On Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 3:55 PM, Jerome Ryckborst
<JRyckborst at gemcomsoftware.com> wrote:
> I watched half of the iPhone University movie, Part 1. Random thoughts:
>
> * Shooter on campus. With everyone having an iPhone -- provided by the university?! -- it no doubt gives the administration an instant channel to all students when someone goes ballistic with a gun. [Sarcasm: Who needs gun control when everyone on campus has iPhone?]
> * Think green. The key to broad adoption of these devices would lie in the quality of the services that the university offers via iPhone -- changing course sections, GPS-style wayfinding with a campus map, e-mailing your professors, finding the syllabus for each course, and finding your book list. it's all paper free.
> If it weren't for the books themselves, the paper-free university would have arrived last year. Is the iPhone itself green?
> * Hand me my cane. A device + service like that would have made my student life So Much Easier, but I went to school last century.
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
Matt Nish-Lapidus
work: matt at bibliocommons.com / www.bibliocommons.com
--
personal: mattnl at gmail.com

27 Feb 2008 - 4:24pm
kimbieler
2007

Oooh, geezer thread!

I remember what a pain it was to type my term papers on a manual
typewriter with two fingers and no correction ribbon. Footnotes, anyone?

On Feb 27, 2008, at 4:15 PM, Matthew Nish-Lapidus wrote:

> i agree completely. .. i remember what a pain it was to transcribe all
> my course schedules into my old palm (yes, i was/am a nerd) ... if
> that type of information was available in a consistent way it would be
> amazing.
>
>

-- Kim

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
Kim Bieler Graphic Design
www.kbgd.com
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

27 Feb 2008 - 4:30pm
Paul Trumble
2004

Not a manual typewriter, but an electric portable Smith Corona. Then again,
I seem to recall I usually wrote them out longhand.

Paul

On Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 4:24 PM, Kim Bieler <kimbieler at mindspring.com>
wrote:

> Oooh, geezer thread!
>
> I remember what a pain it was to type my term papers on a manual
> typewriter with two fingers and no correction ribbon. Footnotes, anyone?
>
>
> --
The truth is more important than the facts - Frank Lloyd Wright

http://www.flickr.com/photos/paultrumble/

28 Feb 2008 - 1:48am
martinpolley
2007

This is turning into Monty Python's "Four
Yorkshiremen<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xe1a1wHxTyo>"
sketch...

--
Martin Polley
Technical Communicator
+972 52 3864280
<http://capcloud.com/>

Not a manual typewriter, but an electric portable Smith Corona. Then again,
> I seem to recall I usually wrote them out longhand.
>
> > Oooh, geezer thread!
> > ...
>

28 Feb 2008 - 9:50am
cybrdr
2008

We're designing a "video news interface" for the iPhone. Sort of a
way to do interactive TV on a small screen. Everyone on campus could
watch a live stream of "local headline news."

Stories are linked to meta data so an appropriate news item could
call your iPhone and play itself.

Think IM for Live TV.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=26579

28 Feb 2008 - 9:42am
Geoff Barnes
2008

While the video has all the subtlety of an Old Navy TV ad from 2001
(obvious lure is the iPhone, not so much the university), the
potentialities revealed are riveting - and a bit disturbing.

Some of my disturbance comes from concern that, if students don't
have to look at a map and learn where a room or building is, perhaps
they never learn to "figure out" those types of things. IE,
perhaps we encourage devolution by accepting such heavy reliance on a
replacement for brain-power and the mental calisthenics by which such
power is developed and nourished.

Am I just old and paranoid? I don't think so. Left unstimulated,
neural pathways go dark. I think that we, as IxDs, have some
obligation to maintain engagement while providing ease. I personally
don't want to help bring about a world akin to "Idiocracy."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=26579

28 Feb 2008 - 2:26pm
Jeff Howard
2004

Geoff wrote:
> Am I just old and paranoid? I don't think so. Left unstimulated,
> neural pathways go dark.

I think this is a real concern for design. There's a lot to find on
the topic by searching google for the keyword "de-skilling"

// jeff

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=26579

29 Feb 2008 - 1:17pm
Geoff Barnes
2008

Surely so. More frightening to me than the specific notion of de-skilling
is the dilapidation of the human mind that will be a part of human
evolution.

On Thu, 28 Feb 2008 11:26:21, Jeff Howard <id at howardesign.com> wrote:

> Geoff wrote:
> > Am I just old and paranoid? I don't think so. Left unstimulated,
> > neural pathways go dark.
>
> I think this is a real concern for design. There's a lot to find on
> the topic by searching google for the keyword "de-skilling"
>
> // jeff
>
>
>
--
Geoff Barnes

"Fortune favors the bold." -Virgil

"Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive." -Sir
Walter Scott

"Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it." -G.B. Shaw

29 Feb 2008 - 1:54pm
Geoff Barnes
2008

Well I agree, to an extent, with the basic thesis of deskilling.

That said, what keeps me up at night these days is not deskilling,
per se, but the degradation of fundamental problem solving skills,
the development and maintenance of which have been for eons the
cornerstone of evolution.

We're systematically closing down many of the avenues for such
practice, in myriad ways. And UX designers often end up the
unwitting instruments of this foreclosure.

Just a thought.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=26579

29 Feb 2008 - 3:08pm
Jeff Howard
2004

Geoff wrote:
> More frightening to me than the specific notion of
> de-skilling is the dilapidation of the human mind
> that will be a part of human evolution.

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion,
butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet,
balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take
orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a
new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal,
fight efficiently and die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."
--Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love (1973).

// jeff

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=26579

29 Feb 2008 - 3:52pm
SemanticWill
2007

My biggest fear of de-skilling comes from what I consider the wide scale if
not complete functional illiteracy of children that have graduated [sic]
from high school in the last 20 years. This trend is accelerating at an
exponential rate such that almost every child born today will be
functionally illiterate by the time they graduate from high school in 18
years.
So - yes, but Will - how do you define "functional illiteracy?"

Simple. The ability for any child in the US to read any work from the
"canon" [unabridged] understand it, and write a coherent, well formed paper
from that reading.

I don't think the iPhone will lead to a dilapidation of the human brain as
part of evolution since it would require heavy, consistent use over a
minimum of a few hundred thousand years for natural selection to actually
change things.

I believe illiteracy is already having significant effects on society in
America today, and the functional illiteracy of most of the population will
definitely have effects over the next millennium.

On Fri, Feb 29, 2008 at 1:17 PM, Geoff Barnes <texburgher at gmail.com> wrote:

> Surely so. More frightening to me than the specific notion of de-skilling
> is the dilapidation of the human mind that will be a part of human
> evolution.
>
> On Thu, 28 Feb 2008 11:26:21, Jeff Howard <id at howardesign.com> wrote:
>
> > Geoff wrote:
> > > Am I just old and paranoid? I don't think so. Left unstimulated,
> > > neural pathways go dark.
> >
> > I think this is a real concern for design. There's a lot to find on
> > the topic by searching google for the keyword "de-skilling"
> >
> > // jeff
> >
> >
> >
> --
> Geoff Barnes
>
> "Fortune favors the bold." -Virgil
>
> "Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive." -Sir
> Walter Scott
>
> "Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it." -G.B. Shaw
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
~ will

"No matter how beautiful,
no matter how cool your interface,
it would be better if there were less of it."
Alan Cooper
-
"Where you innovate, how you innovate,
and what you innovate are design problems"
-------------------------------------------------------
will evans
user experience architect
wkevans4 at gmail.com
-------------------------------------------------------

29 Feb 2008 - 3:25pm
Peyush Agarwal
2007

I do not subscribe to the notion of de-skilling as applied to this context. Throughout human history, tools have continued evolving, making difficult and time-consuming tasks easier and quicker. I don't see atrophy in the brain muscles or any lack of mental calisthenics at all. Nor is it evident to me that stopping a particular activity leads to any weakening of brain power.

I mean, if it's not maps, it's something else that picks up in the vacuum. There was a time during my early education when calculators were that big devolution device in the classroom - huge debate about letting calcs in vs. making students work out the math on paper. Eventually calculators became acceptable where they weren't before, but there isn't any evidence that kids are fundamentally dumber (or smarter) due to calculators, nor do students sit around for lack of learning opportunities in the extra time. Same is true for human reaction to each successively more capable device in any arena. Are we worse off for declined abacus usage? What about the use of auto-focus or auto-exposure on cameras? Or not building a radio? Or not manually tuning one? If anything, sometimes keeping the old around just serves to muddle the new. Why the heck do we need f-stop values or film-speeds on digital cameras, and not more relevant units of measure?

Sure it's great to have map-deciphering skills. But just like I'm not too worried about the lack of my fire-starting skills in the wild, I just don't see a big deal about losing hitherto useful skills if they are made redundant by improving tools. If students can now obtain reliable geo-guidance on their iPhones, so much the better. Who's stopping the adventurous types from exercising their survival skills?

It would be a problem however, if humans were inclined to kick back on the basis of newly improved tools, but I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon. Neural pathways will always be stimulated.

-Peyush

"Some of my disturbance comes from concern that, if students don't have to look at a map and learn where a room or building is, perhaps they never learn to "figure out" those types of things. IE, perhaps we encourage devolution by accepting such heavy reliance on a replacement for brain-power and the mental calisthenics by which such power is developed and nourished.

...Left unstimulated, neural pathways go dark."

29 Feb 2008 - 5:48pm
Jerome Ryckborst
2007

I'm not sure that illiteracy is the problem.

By the way, I'm not in the Excited States and don't understand the reference to this "canon" that kids are supposed to be able to read and comment on, as a demonstration of literacy.

Things are changing. Here's an anecdotal tale: while editing a blog posting of mine, online with a remote colleague, using Skype (voice only) and a basic HTML editor on the Internet so we could both see the content of the blog changing, we realised that straight text offers an impoverished experience. In one particularly juicy paragraphs, there were many tangential thoughts -- extra information that provides richness: background or interesting asides. We were struggling with the limitations of the technology, looking for ways to progressively disclose the "richness" without distracting the reader from our main point. We found that we needed hypertext in order to express ourselves fully. Is this because we're not good enough at writing to be able to convey what we wanted in the simpler, linear/analog experience that we call text? I don't think I'm illiterate. Stupid, maybe, "unacademic", sure, but not illiterate. The concept of hypertext (hypermedia) has been around since before computers were invented. The effect of iPhone on the way [young] people consume (two decades ago I'd have said "read") their media (two decades ago I'd have said "text") doesn't make me say "Kids are illiterate" as much as it makes me say "Where the hell are the courses in information architecture for students?" I'm expecting courses like that in later elementary school and definitely in high school, alongside courses that teach kids how easily their opinions and emotions can be manipulated by multimedia experiences -- much more easily than with pure text.

In the previous paragraph, when I write iPhone, I really mean the whole domain of permanent communication experiences. The sensory experiences -- including text -- that previously could only come at us at a "human' speed -- limited by our eyes, by flipping pages, by walking/running legs, can now be edited and spliced, pumped up, and compressed. Text isn't necessarily static or linear, and it shares the stage with sound, visual movement/animation (including all the mass-market 3D virtual reality that's coming), and touch (all the mass-market haptic crap that's coming).

So, no, it's not that illiteracy is the problem, it's that the whole communication experience has increased in complexity. But, yes, I suppose you could still call the problem "illiteracy" at root. But it's so much larger than being able to read a "canon" and then write about it.

29 Feb 2008 - 3:49pm
Geoff Barnes
2008

Good point. What a strange nexus for such a thread.

As for evolution's ways: whether evolution takes place in fits and starts
or over thousands of years is a matter of unresolved debate. As for whether
or not We (humanity, or specifically the thin IxD slice thereof) will effect
evolutionary changes, we (you and I) won't likely be privy to any such
change. But I've got faith (why not confuse add another dimension to the
thread?) that given time, We'll be proven to have been far from ineffectual.

//GB

I'm amused that the "iPhone on [a Christian university] Campus" thread has
> lead us to discuss evolution.
>
> You're suggesting we have control over evolution? Evolution takes place
> rapidly in the face of an environmental change/challenge, but still only
> over periods of 10,000s of years, I believe. In most democratic countries
> it's difficult to get in place government policies that last beyond the next
> election.
>

Syndicate content Get the feed