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University Tries "One iPhone Per Student"

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the enrollment-and-dropout-numbers-to-spike dept.

Education 281

alphadogg writes to tell us that one freshman class has a little more than usual to be excited about. When students at Abilene Christian University showed up for their first days of class they were greeted with the choice of either a new iPhone 3g or an iPod Touch plus a package of custom web apps to use on them. "The hardware is part of the Texas university's pilot mobile learning project, which has been gestating for over a year. About 650 first-year students chose the iPhone, and about 300 the iPod Touch, which is a very similar device but without the 3G radio (both devices incorporate an 802.11g Wi-Fi adapter). ACU pays for the hardware, student (or their parents) select and pay for their monthly AT&T service plan."

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281 comments

Rates (3, Insightful)

jadedoto (1242580) | more than 5 years ago | (#25359911)

Now do the students have to pay the extra surcharge that offsets the cost of the phones, or does the University pick up that tab as well?

Re:Rates (-1, Troll)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360063)

I'm glad that it's a private university. I'd shit in disgust if Apple's shiny gadgets were being shoved in my face at my public university.

Universities should be OS-agnostic when it comes to student requirements(is it really that difficult to have interoperability with Java and almost universal support of most popular formats and protocols?). Texas [macobserver.com] seems to be the best(worst?) place for Mac-friendly universites but the madness [bsu.edu] continues elsewhere...

Re:Rates (2, Insightful)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360215)

I can think of Departments that have OS specific requiremetns (Specifically Windows). Mind you, this is because the applications they require students to use are not available for other OS's. Engineering programs routinely have this trouble.

Re:Rates (2, Interesting)

Kemanorel (127835) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360253)

I didn't know that the iPod or iPhone was limited to one OS. That's so very odd...

Oh wait, it's not. Get off you anti-Apple soapbox and grow up a bit.

This is similar to a grant awarded to the 7-8 Jr. High School I teach at to give every student a Palm for a year. Didn't work too well, but then again, the software we had wasn't what we needed, we had minimal support, and 12~14 year olds are considerably more immature than college freshmen... Well, maybe not that much less mature, but you get the point. It didn't work well 5-ish years ago, but maybe the software and support has caught up with the theory.

iXxxxx OS? (1)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360647)

I didn't know that the iPod or iPhone was limited to one OS. That's so very odd...

What, Linux is now a viable OS for the iPod? you can run Windows on your iPhone? there's a Touch-enabled QNX port coming?

I'm sure some of those lucky kids are really looking forward to running Ubutntu Mousy Mastiff on their shiny new toy.

Re:Rates (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360397)

Universities should be OS-agnostic when it comes to student requirements

You can make that argument in this specific case - but in the broader scope, it just doesn't work in the real world. In our department (electrical engineering) we have a number of software requirements that are industry driven. Several of these are Windows only. One could argue this is a bad thing - and I wouldn't disagree - but we have to keep in mind that a university's end goal is generating students that are employable, and the university's IT staff is employed specifically to help acheive that goal.

Re:Rates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25360499)

I'd hate it too. I wouldn't want either product.

I know OSU is good for cross-platform in most cases. We have site-licenced software for Windows, MacOS and Linux (I've gotten some of the Linux stuff working on FreeBSD [grin]).

Many departments do tend to have their favoritisms. I know a few that like MacOS, some tend to favor Linux. Some have no preference. Not sure of any favoring Windows at the moment.

Re:Rates (1)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360381)

Of course, the students are the ones who end up paying. Basically, what they do is remove the option of choice from the students and raise their bill. It makes things easier for IT, and I'm sure it helps to market the school.

Is it better for the students' education? That's very doubtful. In these days of sophisticated web applications, there is no good reason to be tied to a particular platform. This will inevitably lead to scalability issues.

Coming... (5, Funny)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 5 years ago | (#25359925)

...to ebay in 3...2...

Re:Coming... (1)

PlatyPaul (690601) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360137)

Not if it's necessary (or at least very useful) for various classes.

(See Duke's take on things [duke.edu] [PDF warning], for example.)

Personally, I think it could be extremely useful for teaching coding, nontraditional photography, etc. Besides which: a growing number of private schools are already requiring standardized laptops for ease of pushing out course content and regularizing CS/ECE hands-on curriculum. This is just the next (inevitable?) step.

Re:Coming... (5, Insightful)

marc.andrysco (1173073) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360435)

Personally, I would be seriously pissed if I knew that some of my tuition was going to pay for an iPod/iPhone. I don't want an iPhone because Verizon has been working perfectly fine for me so far and I'm not about to switch. I don't want an iPod touch since since, after all, I've been perfectly content without an mp3 player at all. Great, it might be useful to some classes when a professor decides to integrate it into their class. How many classes are going to require this? Would a laptop (which I already own) suffice instead? I don't really don't want to get stuck with a single company force feeding me their products because of the university I attend. Give me some third party options at the very least. What gets me so epically pissed is that they pass it off as ACU paying for it when we know where that money comes from: tuition aka students.

Granted, I have some classes where internet access is more or less a must, but I'd rather have a nice, full keyboard and a reasonable screen that I can put my own software on rather than being shoved a piece of hardware required by the university. Give options, don't mandate one (or two nearly identical) devices.

Re:Coming... (3, Funny)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360527)

I don't think those examples warrant the word "extremely". Perhaps you meant to say "moderately" or "slightly" or "not".

Re:Coming... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25360571)

Yeah, useful in coding like in how to agree an NDA and a non-competing agreement, be forced to buy a mac to develop and learn about vendor lock-in... The other useful thing nontraditional photography or how take photos with a crappy camera is a really useful one, don't forget the important lessons about piracy, and how to take notes in pen and paper because the recording is crappy and the text input is too slow.

Why not give them WoW accounts too? (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#25359933)

When we wanted to waste time and not study back in my day, all we had were fraternities and sororities. Kids today with their new-fangled distractions and time-wasters don't know how lucky they have it. They've got hundreds of reasons not to go to class right there at their fingertips. We had to *WORK* at it when we goofed off! We didn't even have pagers or MUD's back then!

Re:Why not give them WoW accounts too? (2, Funny)

Gewalt (1200451) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360537)

Even betterer! I'm currently building an MMO for the iPhone!

Awful idea (1, Interesting)

TheIzzy (615852) | more than 5 years ago | (#25359941)

Awful idea.

If I wanted one, I would buy one myself. Decrease tuition, let people buy whatever type of cellphone they want.

Re:Awful idea (1)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360039)

That's not the point, especially if there are standardized applications tailored towards this platform.

The only other option would be to decrease tuition but make an iPod or iPhone mandatory (much like some schools make a Mac or PC a mandatory part of classes).

Re:Awful idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25360561)

especially if there are standardized applications tailored towards this platform

But isn't the "right" solution not to tie anything to a particular platform? When I was in college, nobody forced me to use any particular platform... That's the whole point of, say, common formats, and, you know, that thing called "the web".

This article's summary even says that the applications they want are "web applications". Implying that they're forcing them into iPhones so they can run... Javascript? Sounds like lazy/dishonest/stupid developers to me.

Re:Awful idea (1)

Kelbear (870538) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360207)

Agreed.

I think they were trying to offer a volume discount to the students, but they don't have a way to opt-out and save money!

In fact, a better idea would be to offer the devices for sale at a discount, so that the program is opt-in instead.

And the best idea would be to ditch it the program altogether because I don't see these devices significantly improving the student's education. However, I can easily see them distracting the students.

Internet on-the-go is neat and all, but there are computers available for that. You certainly wouldn't want to do any serious writing on a little gadget so you'll be at a computer to do your writing anyway.

I might be able to understand a program for buying EEEpcs(or a similar mini-laptop) but not Iphones and ipod touches.

Who's sleeping with who? (2, Interesting)

Theanswriz42 (458434) | more than 5 years ago | (#25359957)

Doesn't sound like this is going to do much for "mobile learning". Nice gimmick though....

Re:Who's sleeping with who? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360021)

Not at ACU. I had a friend that went there. Very nice girl but had to sneak to a different town so she could go dancing.
Very strict Christian school. Hey I don't have a problem with that since you only go if you want to go.

Re:Who's sleeping with who? (5, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360401)

Pssst. There nothing in Christianity that would prevent someone from going dancing, unless by 'Christianity' you mean something other than living your life according to the principles espoused by the figure known as 'Christ' in the Gospels and accepting that same person as your 'personal Lord and Savior' (whatever that may mean for you).

Full disclosure: I was once but am no longer Christian; however, I understand more about Christianity than most people who would call themselves 'Christian'.

Re:Who's sleeping with who? (2, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360459)

Oh I do agree with you. I am a christian and even go to church.
ACU is just a very strict school and there belief system says that dancing is bad.
I felt bad for my friend because she choose to go to that school yet felt the need to had the fact that she liked to go out dancing.
But that is just me but I am with you that I don't think that there is anything immoral with dancing. I just try to respect others faith even if I don't share it.
 

It's crap like this... (2, Interesting)

slapyslapslap (995769) | more than 5 years ago | (#25359959)

...that keeps pushing up the cost of a college education.

Re:It's crap like this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25360093)

It's crap like this that keeps pushing up the cost of a college education.

Two words: Private institution.

It's crap like this...money. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25360097)

Not really. As a percentage tuition comes in as the number one expense with dorm being number two and the rest falling behind that.

And they get away with it... (5, Insightful)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360159)

because every time the cost goes up, the politicians go all "rising costs of education!!!" and give them more money. My econ prof called it the "cookie monster" effect. Colleges go "Me want cookie!!!!" and spend $$$ on this, and super-fancy new buildings with HD video projectors in every classroom, and clubhouses for their sports teams, and what-not... om nom nom nom.... and, when they're done, there's another cookie there waiting for them! Rinse and repeat. Wonderful incentive structure there, no? Mmmmhmm....

Re:And they get away with it... (1)

PlatyPaul (690601) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360229)

An increasing spiral of government spending that ends up improving higher education facilities....

Is this really a bad thing?

Re:And they get away with it... (4, Insightful)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360355)

Well, that depends on whether your goal was to have the Feds fund a really nice stadium, a brand-new library building full of Internets, a student body full of iPhones, and HD projectors in every classroom.... or simply providing young adults with an affordable high-quality college education. At a minimum it's not really proving that good at addressing Affordability.

Re:And they get away with it... (2, Insightful)

GigG (887839) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360493)

There is no evidence that an increase federal tax dollars improves education. All you have to do is look at a list of the schools that have the highest per student federal spending and you will, in most cases, be looking at a list of the worst schools in the counrty.

Donors (2, Informative)

qwertphobia (825473) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360373)

Usually it's the donors who give a large chunk of building costs that decide the new facilities should be super-fancy.

And they have to one-up each other too, so you could also blame the competition.

Re:It's crap like this... (5, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360193)

No I think it is due more to poor administration of funds.

In my undergrad this was the case:
Every Department gets a budget. If they don't fully use that budget then the next year their budget will get cut. This created an effect where departments will wast money on a whole bunch of little things just so they can get more next year. So say the computer science department will need to find a way to spend 20k each year so they will have money budgeted for when their computers actually get out of date.

Then there are professors who keep their door locked and closed during their office hours so they won't be bothered (while they are getting paid)

Spending millions of dollars on these big events to attract politicians and other big names to boost up the prestigious level of the college. Putting in new "High Tech" Buildings where they just need some more internet cable spread across the building...

Re:It's crap like this... (1)

scatteredsun (981481) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360757)

I know for a fact this is true...I had to help spend $2m in a few months just so we'd get more in the budget next fiscal year. It was lots of fun :P

It's idiots like you... (5, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360383)

Can we get some realistic math for once? Attending a private school like ACU costs close to $110K for four years [acu.edu] . A fancy $300 PDA doesn't even begin to account for that.

Also, colleges now rely heavily on the web and email for communicating with students. Bulletins, class schedules, online study materials, web-based paperwork... It's efficient and cheap. This works better if everybody has a standard device that works the same way with the campus WiFi network. Usually, colleges accomplish this by making all the students buy a standard laptop or tablet.

That route makes sense to me, but I can guess why the ACU people went the PDA route. People take their PDAs everywhere, so ACU can get information out to the entire student body quickly. That makes for a convenient fact to cite when parents want to know what the school is doing to prevent another Virginia Tech.

Re:It's idiots like you... (1)

icebrain (944107) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360677)

That route makes sense to me, but I can guess why the ACU people went the PDA route. People take their PDAs everywhere, so ACU can get information out to the entire student body quickly. That makes for a convenient fact to cite when parents want to know what the school is doing to prevent another Virginia Tech.

Except that it doesn't prevent another attack, or stop one that might be in progress. It's like trying to prevent fatal car accidents by putting up lighted signs warning about accidents ahead. You might catch a few people before they go in harm's way, so to speak, but it doesn't prevent the original accident or give those involved any way to help themselves.

Not so fast (1)

ciaohound (118419) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360405)

Does the iPhone replace a more expensive student "necessity?" Most universities either explicitly or implicitly require a computer, and in most cases, a notebook. I read the article and found no mention of a traditional pc, though I'm sure they're used. I graduated from college in 1988, when you had to go to "the computer center" to use a pc that cost several thousand dollars. Can I reimagine it now, just toting around a little iPod Touch? More connected, fantastically more portable, AND cheaper? Hell yeah.

Re:It's crap like this... (1)

TheLostSamurai (1051736) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360415)

As mentioned above, this is a private institution and an expensive one at that. Giving students a free iPod is the least they could do. I know a married couple that goes there and I constantly wonder how they will ever possibly be able to pay back their very large student loans with their undergraduate degrees.

Re:It's crap like this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25360449)

That's not the only crap. It's the profiteering on the books, the overpaid instructors and faculty. (Yes, if you make 6 figures your ass is overpaid)

You go into education to further education, expand your mind and increase the knowlege of the human race. not to get a new fucking BMW every 2 years.

also your POS book you REQUIRE for the class and I never have to open that cost me $189.00 fucking dollars. Or how about the useless education I paid $1200 a credit hour for? what I learned in my last marketing class that was REQUIRED for my Business degree I could have learned walking the aisles at walmart for 15 minutes.

Honestly, iphones to students is not even a dent into as to why education costs so much.

Re:It's crap like this... (2, Interesting)

sunking2 (521698) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360533)

One can only hope that the college bubble bursts like all others do. College costs are more than slightly linked to the housing boom. People could draw more credit from their house than before in order to send to ludicrously priced colleges, so tutions went crazy. This is no longer the case. Now its a matter of convincing the administrations that they know longer have the money pool available and need to actually think about running on a realistic budget.

Unfortunately, this sort of thing is slow to react. I'm just hoping it actually does before my daughter starts in 4 years. Depending what happens after this sugar high in the market today there may still be a lot of people who are down 50% in their college funds. And with banks not lending its going to have to affect tuitions at some point. All bubbles burst at some point, even when it comes to providing for your kids who deserver everything they want.

Re:It's crap like this... (1)

bdenton42 (1313735) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360637)

...that keeps pushing up the cost of a college education.

Not necessarily. Standardization of hardware can reduce IT costs... tech support, system qne network administration can all be reduced when everyone is using the same couple devices. The potential cost savings could easily offset the cost of these devices. Of course it doesn't mean it is guaranteed to do so however.

What about those monthly fees? (2, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | more than 5 years ago | (#25359967)

iPhone plans are bloody expensive... the plans start at over double what even a very robust normal cell phone plan would cost. Unless you need one for work and your company can pick up the tab, I'm inclined to think that they are just a money sink.

Re:What about those monthly fees? (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360065)

I agree. Most college students are already getting laptops so that they can take them to class. Is there really a time when having Internet access via your phone rather than your laptop (which you have with you in your backpack all day everyday anyway) is going to be more helpful? I doubt it. Just sounds like a white elephant gift to me... Here's a "free" phone - good luck paying the monthly fee while you're a student. Guess that's what student loans are for now?

Re:What about those monthly fees? (4, Insightful)

kiwimate (458274) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360241)

Just...read the article. Okay? Answers all this. They didn't just do this at random; the question of laptops is discussed.

One example of what they're doing: (from the first page, I think): an interactive map, useful for the new students to find their way around campus in the first week.

Okay, another example: used for real-time polls conducted in classes.

Not necessarily anything that couldn't be done with a laptop, but please, read the article and then we can have a semi-intelligent discussion on the actual issues?

What about those slashdot arguments? (2, Informative)

Ostracus (1354233) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360573)

I really don't see any issue. It's a private institution doing an experiment that just might work out for other institutions. Also for those who read the article it mentions that the apps are designed so that in the future one could go with a different phone. So once again audience, where's the problem?

Re:What about those monthly fees? (1)

TuaAmin13 (1359435) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360279)

I go to college with a pretty widespread wifi network, and I also have a laptop, yet I do not carry it with me to class since it's a pain to carry while walking across our rather expansive campus (which you have to do since the buses are unreliable). I would love to be able to check my email or just idly surf the web between classes without going to a computer lab.

I'm intending to buy some smart phone or other device so I can use the internet wherever once I can figure out how to not pay for AT&T's 3G network since I live on a campus and will have "free" wifi for the next 2 years. I've considered the iTouch but I'm trying to avoid carrying around multiple devices if I don't need to.

Much better to give them a Eee PC (2, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360175)

It would be much more productive to give them a lightweight PC and free, Campus-wide WiFi so they can call people via VOIP.

Re:What about those monthly fees? (1)

DarkFencer (260473) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360223)

Well they have two options - iPhone (which requires cell phone service) and the iPod Touch (which short of being able to make phone calls, will function like an iPhone will with the appropriate 802.11 connection).

No one is being forced to get a contract. Yes - I'm sure many will but they aren't being forced.

Re:What about those monthly fees? (1)

ryanov (193048) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360543)

Seems to me iPhone doesn't REQUIRE a contract, does it? You can use the WiFi on there too.

Re:What about those monthly fees? (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360495)

Which is why the students have the option of using an iPod Touch instead. Both devices have a WiFi interface, and tying into the campus WiFi network is presumably what this is all about.

How much is Apple paying? (2, Interesting)

bigjarom (950328) | more than 5 years ago | (#25359969)

How much is Apple (or AT&T) paying said university to distribute these little profit-machines to these gullible students? Not that I wouldn't fall for it too, but honestly! I guess on the surface it's a win-win-win situation, but I can't help but think that someone is being taken advantage of.

Re:How much is Apple paying? (1)

NothingMore (943591) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360085)

Well since you had a choice between the non monthly payment ipod and the iphone im going to have to say nether (outside of a discount from apple maybe)

Re:How much is Apple paying? (1)

TuaAmin13 (1359435) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360183)

You overlook the App store, which both of these devices support. Students get a free iSomething, and then proceed to charge up their first credit card with worthless apps that eat into class time. Apple may very well pay (or severely discount) the devices knowing that these future sales will occur. Not to mention they just got the entire class to use iTunes,as if there were any students not using it before.

Re:How much is Apple paying? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360541)

*sigh*

Not that I'm much for defending Apple, as anyone who follows my posts regularly can attest to, but Apple has a long history of providing educational institutions with deep discounts. Long ago, when Steve Jobs still had all of his own hair, Apple sought to establish long-term relationships with various educational institutions, both at the K-12 level and at institutions of higher learning, in order to 1) help those institutions and support learning, and 2) get their machines into the hands of young people.

Over the years, little has changed in this regard at Apple. It should surprise no one that a university has a deal with Apple for any product Apple sells, iPhone included.

Re:How much is Apple paying? (1)

bigjarom (950328) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360363)

Even if only a fraction choose the phone version, it's still a huge profit to AT&T. It's basically free money in the bank. They don't even have to spend anything on marketing to these kids. Their marginal infrastructure cost are virtually nil for new customers. I can see this model spreading like wildfire if schools allow it to.

Intriguing Idea (5, Interesting)

jivemonkey (776115) | more than 5 years ago | (#25359997)

When I first heard about this idea a few months ago, I knew that there would be some interesting consequences. Being that I graduated from ACU in December of '06, I know many of the people involved and have heard stories about what it takes to accomplish such a task.

ACU had to re-implement much of it's wireless structure in order to accommodate all of the new devices and ensure that students would have wireless coverage at every conceivable place on campus.

It will be interesting to see how it pans out and whether or not it works as well as the faculty and staff have envisioned.

How time flies (0, Flamebait)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360523)

I graduated from ACU in December of '06

How time flies. That's almost 1/3000th of the Earth's age ago.

Oh my... (2, Insightful)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360001)

The length some universities will go to justify their ridiculously high tuition fees...

Re:Oh my... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25360077)

I'm sure you said the same thing when Duke handed out iPods.

Re:Oh my... (1)

prestonmichaelh (773400) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360135)

This isn't really a justification of their ridiculously high tuition fees, they have been perfecting that for years (I graduated from here in 2003). This is a new gimmick to get more people to attend, just like the fact that they switched the whole university email systems to Google apps a year or two ago (the first university to do so). I can almost guarantee you that the $150 technology fee that they charged when I attended just got upped by about $400 to offset this cost.
Apparently, just being first in the alphabetical list of colleges isn't cutting it anymore.
(I actually did like the school and think I received a good education, I just think it was/is overpriced).

Why not something like a eeepc? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25360049)

At least then the students would have a general-purpose computer to do work on.

ESR would be proud (5, Insightful)

Rinisari (521266) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360069)

The Cathedral [apple.com] versus the Bazaar [google.com] .

Re:ESR would be proud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25360151)

Cathedral wins!

Except... (1)

VValdo (10446) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360185)

I think ESR would be more on the side of the Bazaar. If only the G1s were available a few weeks earlier...

Then again, the Apple Cathedral does have a kind of Bazaar in their developer program. Although really, it's more like a tightly-supervised Mall.

W

Christians shouldn't be allowed to use technology (-1, Troll)

einer (459199) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360113)

Christians shouldn't be allowed to use technology until they acknowledge that:

The earth is round
It revolves around the sun
Evolution is real
Intelligent Design is not Science

Re:Christians shouldn't be allowed to use technolo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25360271)

Hello. I am a friendly neighborhood Christian. The earth is round, it resolves around the sun, evolution is real, and the fundamentalist nonsense that they call "intelligent design" is, in fact, garbage, and not Science. Now will you let me get back to my SNMPv2c-walking performance testing investigation? I think my simulator is in a bogus state; it's a pity I don't have more transparency into it...

In the meantime, Atheists like you should not be allowed to attack Christians for being stupid until they acknowledge that:

there's more than one type of Christian faith, from hardcore Fundamentalist to Unitarian Universalist
the loud type you hear about aren't the most representative
many are happy to acknowledge Science and such
most of them are tolerant enough not to go off spouting garbage generalisations like this post

Re:Christians shouldn't be allowed to use technolo (1)

ryanov (193048) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360659)

I'm not sure I'd call Unitarian Universalist Christian, exactly. Christian roots, certainly... But I don't think I'd consider myself Christian.

Re:Christians shouldn't be allowed to use technolo (2, Interesting)

nawcom (941663) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360351)

One thing that is interesting is that there are a large number of Roman Catholics that do acknowledge that. But other than that, every branch attached to Protestantism seems to follow the concept that the bible speaks the truth, and scientific theory is as theoretical as the theory that there are tunnels in the north and south pole that connect in the center of the earth. I completely disregard anything related to religion in my life. And that includes the so called morals from religion. I guess I'm good enough that i don't need to follow any rule to get that tolerance is the key to many issues.

Re:Christians shouldn't be allowed to use technolo (1)

prestonmichaelh (773400) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360683)

But other than that, every branch attached to Protestantism seems to...[think]...scientific theory is as theoretical as the theory that there are tunnels in the north and south pole that connect in the center of the earth

You have to love generalizations. I actually attended ACU and received my CS degree in 2003. There are many, many protestants out there that interpret the Genesis account of creation as more of a parable rather than scientific fact (basically it is to say God is in charge, not the means through which the universe came into being). I can specifically say that this view is widely held by all of the scientific faculty at ACU. I took astronomy as an elective and in class it was taught that the universe was 12-14 billion years old. Saying that all protestants think the Earth is only 6,000 years old is just like saying all Muslims are terrorists.

Re:Christians shouldn't be allowed to use technolo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25360587)

Yeah and it seems that ignorant and stupid-as-fuck athiests should not be let out of cages as it seems they are all socially inept. Until they acknowlege that:

People believe something different than them (GASP!)

They dont know everything like they want everyone to believe they do.

There are people way the hell smarter than they are that believe in God.

The hate that spews forth from their mouths (It's only the noisy idiots that we notice) only makes them and anyone else that says they are an athiest look like nimrods or idiots. How about shutting the hell up for once? You ramble on about how there is no God more than some evangelical christians do! Bla Bla Bla SHUT UP!

From your friendly neighborhood christian.

Why all the hate (5, Interesting)

servognome (738846) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360121)

The school is conducting a trial with a piece of hardware, maybe students will find interesting new ways to use it.
Sure the majority will use it to goof off, but it's possible a couple resourceful students come up with something useful and everybody gains. Is it the absolute best way to use resources, maybe not; but it's quite a neat capable platform and only time will tell what interesting things students can come up with.

Re:Why all the hate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25360345)

Because this is slashdot and it's an iPhone.

Rewrite the same article with google android as the hardware instead and all the low numbers will be waiting in line to give each other FOSS hand jobs.

Re:Why all the hate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25360733)

Because it's a ridiculous corporate lock-in attempt. Apple and AT&T hook students with free phones and get customers for life. This has nothing to do with education, research or open development. It's reprehensible marketing, pure and simple.

Some strange use of the word "free"... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360127)

...that I was previously unaware of.

How's this for a headline: "University gets kickback from AT&T for getting students hooked on iPones good and early".

Haha (1)

friedman101 (618627) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360129)

Do universities even know what they exist for these days? Certainly those thousands of dollars would have been better spent by providing students with better classrooms, attracting better professors, or more scholarships for families with financial trouble. Parents and students alike should be outraged that their tuition (and it was their money) that was meant to fund their child's education was instead spent on something so asinine.

I hope the bribe doesn't work and these kids recognize how poorly their tuition is being managed (although I suspect the reaction was more "OOOHHH SHINEY")

Re:Haha (1)

Ostracus (1354233) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360657)

"Do universities even know what they exist for these days? Certainly those thousands of dollars would have been better spent by providing students with better classrooms, attracting better professors, or more scholarships for families with financial trouble."

Hmmm. So how do you feel about third-world countries getting the internet?

How much is this costing them? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25360145)

Don't worry, they'll make it up in "lab fees".

I wonder if the school's administration (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25360247)

is getting some sort of "benefit" from AT&T?

Now students, pull out your iPhones or iPods and serf the net "researching" this term.

In the meantime, the kids rack up HUGE AT&T charges that mommy and daddy pay.

When it learned of the schoolâ(TM)s plans, AT&T, the iPhone's sole U.S. carrier, upgraded the campus area with 3G base stations.

Isn't that special. AT&T is just soooo nice! Aren't they? They just spent all that money out of the love of higher education. I DON'T THINK SO! This has to be one of the most brilliant marketing ideas I have ever seen by a cellphone company.

And remember kids, the cell industry is THE MOST complained about industry in America and they got that position for a very good reason.

Correction (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360263)

ACU pays for the hardware, student (or their parents) select and pay for their monthly AT&T service plan.

Students, parents, and taxpayers pay for the hardware, student (or their parents) select and pay for their monthly AT&T service plan.

There, fixed it for ya!
I'm also glad to see my tax dollars [wikipedia.org] hard at work buying kids iPhones, when I don't even have one.

Re:Correction (1)

icebrain (944107) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360713)

I think the school in question is a private religious institution, ergo no tax money being spent...

At WHAT baud to you talk to God? (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360277)

Or do you prefer to be gaudy with baud to God?

Maybe they can brand this thing as The GodiPod, hehehehe.

Parishners/donors might want to think about their charitable donations.... OTOH, Apple *could* just donate them... LOL!

Re:At WHAT baud to you talk to God? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25360311)

every post i see from you just keeps getting dumber and dumber.

Re:At WHAT baud to you talk to God? (0, Offtopic)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360455)

At LEAST i post under my name and am capable of poking fun at myself, wheres "anonymous coward" permits people to shamelessly insult or outright attack people from a position of comfort.

What's worse?

At least *i* choose not mot moderate people's comments because i'm not in a position to knock them. And when i disagree, i do it in my own name.

They're only allowed to drink Pepsi too, right? (1, Funny)

hol (89786) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360287)

Blatant corporate sponsorship. No wonder these kids think that Apple invented the Internet and the GUI.

Coming up next: Student suspended for listening to MP3's. Administration cannot decide whether it was because it was a Samsung phone or because the music was not sold by iTunes and subject to their DRM.

Abilene Christian University? (0, Redundant)

Godling (42833) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360293)

So then I guess it really is the "Jesus Phone."

Re:Abilene Christian University? (1)

nawcom (941663) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360583)

So then I guess it really is the "Jesus Phone."

Jesus loves me this I know
For my phone bill tells me so
'Nuff calls from heaven that I'm in debt
But I wanna go to heaven so I'll keep this bet
(everybody now)
That yes - Jesus loves me
Though I cannot set my mind free
Yes - Jesus loves me
My phone bill tells me... so.
*takes a swig of Jack*

Yea, free happy meal toy with your diploma. (4, Insightful)

stormesj (701697) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360299)

Get a free happy meal toy with each and every degree.

Who Would Jesus Call? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25360317)

Probably not this criminal [whitehouse.org] .

Cordially,
K. Trout

thank goodness! (3, Funny)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360443)

The title made me worry that we were only allowed to have a single iPhone per person. And I thought it was just some more unnecessary University restrictions.

Who pays? (4, Insightful)

Curmudgeonlyoldbloke (850482) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360557)

ACU pays for the hardware

No they don't. Whoever pays the students' fees pays for it, plus any admin charge the university adds for overseeing the moving around of the money.

Will these studentes become new iStore customers? (1)

netglen (253539) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360593)

I wonder how many of these students will become Apple iStore customers? Will they start buying iPhone apps and songs?

What is wrong? (2, Interesting)

teh nDn (1382681) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360599)

It's similar to issuing laptops in high schools. No costs for textbooks and easier to manage... This is actually a great idea

Re:What is wrong? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25360619)

Everyone here would agree with you if it were a Linux machine but since it's not that means there is something wrong.

Oklahoma Christian University... (5, Informative)

Auxis (1341693) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360623)

... is basically doing the same thing ( http://www.oc.edu/apple/ [oc.edu] ). They are also offering the choice of a Dell, MacBook, or MacBook Pro. Many of the students here chose the iTouch (including me) simply because they didn't want to pay the expensive monthly fees for the iPhone. My service charge would be $90 per month. I just can't afford that price being a student having other debts to pay off (like college tuition). OC released an enterprise app for our iTouch/iPhone that lets us track things such as events going on, which laundry machines are open (through LaundryView), etc. I think it's pretty neat, but I'm not sure if it's worth the price tag.

Freshmen forced to pay for Ipods... (2, Interesting)

kabocox (199019) | more than 5 years ago | (#25360627)

The real headline should be something along the lines of freshmen class of Abilene Christian University all required to pay for brand new iPhones.

When I read the "New York Times Says Thin Clients Are Making a Comeback" headline, I thought of cellphone/pda apps. Considering books cost me around $300 a semester back in 1996-2000 and all the other ways that the university tried to leech a buck off my family, I'm not surprised that a college is doing something like this. This sounds and looks like a decent killer app for cell phones/PDAs.

I'm kinda sad though. I'd have thought that we'd have figured out how to get all this done, and my kids using this in elementary school right now. I'm really sad that colleges are just now getting there. I remember back in 1998 when my college just started their web app for signing up for classes. It was much, much better than their telephone system that they'd used before hand. We loved it.

My kids public school has a web app that'll show their 9 weeks grades and an event calendar. O.k. it's nice that they have anything, but still as a parent and tax payer, I'd want all their text books to be in pdf and able to be saved, viewed, printed, quoted from anywhere. I'd also want teachers grade books and PTA meetings online as well. There is a part of me that thinks class rooms need forums or a school running their own version of facebook, yet geared more along the lines of keeping track of all of a student's progress, projects, entire school history, homework, quizes, & test history for everything there, and doing it as a glorified year book. Especially to pound it into the student's head, that this is to make you and us look "good"! ;)

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