The iKnow Initiative is a new and exciting change happening at Freed-Hardeman University (FHU). Already gaining national attention, iKnow is an initiative aimed at improving the overall student educational experience using mobile technologies. These technologies consist of Apple MacBooks and either an Apple iPhone or Apple iPod Touch.

Starting in the Fall of 2008, all incoming freshmen and freshman faculty at Freed-Hardeman will be provided the MacBook and their choice of an iPhone or iPod Touch. The purpose of integrating these mobile technologies with the overall educational experience is to enhance instruction, to engage the students more effectively, to prevent the learning process from being a passive-only activity, and to improve learning outcomes, thereby effectively helping our students become life-long learners.

It is important to recognize that the purpose of iKnow is not to place mobile technologies into all student and faculty hands because it is simply available; rather, it is to integrate the mobile devices into the pedagogical and social experiences that students participate in while pursuing their college degree thereby helping achieve the University’s goals..

Certainly classroom usage of the mobile devices can allow for misuse; but, compared to the overall benefits of having the mobile technologies available, the iKnow Initiative benefits outweigh potential misuse. 

The first area of benefits is the iKnow Suite of Applications developed by the iKnow Development Team at Freed-Hardeman. These applications consist of functions as simple as taking class roll to giving online quizzes. 

Below is a brief overview of the iKnow Suite. To Access the iKnow Suite go to http://m.fhu.edu.

Selecting the iKnow link, carries one to the login page where, once authenticated, the student or faculty member will access the iKnow portal. Students and faculty have access to various types of functions and applications. 

A second benefit of iKnow is that the mobile technologies serve as communication tools. The iPhone and iPod touch enhance communication between faculty,  students, and Freed-Hardeman at large:

  • Faculty members are able to extend the classroom beyond the physical limitations of traditional rooms by using the iKnow applications. 
  • A campus-wide emergency alert system called LionAlert is now available to all students. 
  • The Pipeline is an iKnow application that serves as a campus information feed similar to an RSS feed. Content providers can post to the information feed and students can elect to subscribe to any feeds they want. Currently, more than twenty-five (25) feeds are available with the capability to add more. These feeds are Twitter-like in that you can post only 140 characters. Pipeline is intended to be a conduit of burst-able information.

A third benefit of iKnow is the preparation of the student for working in a technology-filled work place. It makes sense to integrate the technology students are using and interested in while using it to enhance the educational experience while at the same time preparing them to be efficient in these pervasive technologies.

 

 

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