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Posted February 18, 2009 | Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily
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For Shenandoah University, an Apple every day

MacBooks, iPods to be given to students and faculty beginning in fall

By James Heffernan -- Daily Staff Writer

WINCHESTER -- Shenandoah University has chosen a pair of environmentally friendly Apple-based technologies as the foundation for its new mobile learning program.

The program, dubbed the "iMLearning" Project," will enhance student learning and engagement and help prepare graduates for a technological world, according to a statement from the university.

Beginning with the fall semester, SU freshmen, some graduate students and a portion of the full-time faculty will be given a MacBook laptop computer and a hand-held iPod touch.

Apple will also be providing 100 "loaner" laptops, to be divided between the Alson H. Smith Library and Institutional Computing for use by students and part-time faculty.

The goal is to create a "classroom flip" model of learning, the university said. Instead of spending class time on lectures, quizzes and videos, professors can spend more time working with students.

"This integrated mobile learning program will radically transform the way students learn and professors teach," said SU's vice president for academic affairs, Bryon Grigsby.

The technology will enable online resources that open the classroom to worldwide experts, from Thomas Friedman lectures at the London School of Economics, to tours of medieval armor at the Metropolitan Museum of Arts, to drug interaction software for pharmacy and nursing students, the university said.

The touch-screen iPods will be used to notify students of campus news and events, professor office hours and locations, and course changes, and eventually could be expanded to course offerings, student registration and bill paying.

Currently, Shenandoah Conservatory students as well as graduate students in the MBA and pharmacy programs use Macs in their studies, the university said. The campus features wireless connectivity.

The project will also deliver on Shenandoah's commitment to the environment and campus sustainability, the university said.

Apple's new MacBooks are made with recyclable aluminum and glass enclosures, and many of the harmful toxins associated with notebook manufacturing have been eliminated, according to the company. The units are also more energy-efficient -- earning an ENERGY STAR rating -- and come in smaller packaging.

Contact James Heffernan at

1 Comment | Leave a comment

    Great to see Shenandoah implement Macs the way they are. They will see a big return on their investment in lower support costs. And the students and faculty will be getting a fantastic platform on which to perform their activities.

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