For decades upon decades, the formula for teaching students went like this: you sit with a book in front of you, while a teacher talks and you take notes.
It’s also a formula…due largely to the Internet…that’s on it’s way out.
Take for example Abilene Christian University, a private university in Texas. Last year they started handing out iPhones and iPod Touches to incoming freshman. They also developed apps for these devices. And they started using them as part of the teaching process.
Why? Because they noticed that students weren’t really taking notes during lectures anymore. Instead, they just used Google or Wikipedia to find the information they needed. Of course the problem with that method is the information student’s found may not be reliable.
So Abilene Christian University merged the two. A professor discusses a topic and tells the students to use their iPhones to find more information. Then, while still in the classroom, they discuss the information their iPhones returned, while the professor helps them determine what is accurate and what is not. An indirect, but a very effective, hands-on, method of learning.
Other professors use the iPhones to do instant, anonymous polling during discussions and even to distribute quizzes.
Sound crazy? Well it’s working quite well according to the university. To learn exactly how well, you can read the entire article that Wired.com did on the university and their iPhones by clicking here.