Seton Hall Smartphones

Article excerpt

Students and technology go hand in hand, especially when you hand out smartphones at orientation. Seton Hall University (N.J.) did just that with Nokia Lumia 900 smartphones during orientation in June. "It's an exciting time here at Seton Hall," says David Middleton, assistant vice president for administration and executive director of the university's Center for Mobile Research and Innovation. "This is part of an ongoing effort we've been taking on for a few years," he says, adding that students also receive a PC.

Smartphones are the next evolution in their laptop program that started in 1997, he says. "The value of having that history and these established partnerships was critical for us to be able to do this and do it effectively." There is an assumption that all students come to campus with a smartphone, but the ones who don't won't be broadcasting it, Middleton points out. "But by ensuring they all have the same technology in their pockets, we can be sure we're providing the same experience to them all equitably."

The move to handheld devices is an acknowledgement of the "meteoric" rise in mobile technology, as well as a desire to ensure graduates are prepared to work with a variety of devices when they enter the professional world. "We have a primary partnership with Microsoft, AT&T, and Nokia," Middleton explains. "That allows us to provide a greater package than we could afford. There are no extra technology fees associated with it."

While strategies are being developed to integrate the devices into the curriculum, the goal of distributing them during orientation was social development. …

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