School to give smartphones to students

June 12, 2012 at 7:16 PM
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SOUTH ORANGE, N.J., June 12 (UPI) -- A U.S. university is giving every entering freshman in the class of 2016 a new smartphone and the associated AT&T cellular service, school officials say.

Seton Hall University in South Orange, N.J., said the program is meant "to support the university's mission of providing state-of-the-art technology tools to enhance the student experience and prepare students for success in a rapidly changing world," reported Tuesday.

In addition to receiving Lumia 900 Windows phones, Seton Hall students will have access to the SHUmobile application that gives students access to campus directories, maps, news feeds and other information.

A new app written just for the Lumia 900 phones, called the "Freshmen Experience," offers social media integration and channels for communicating directly with fellow students, roommates, advisers and others, the school said.

"Mobile technology has become ubiquitous and pervasive, but we are just beginning to understand the breadth of its impact across campus," said Michael Taylor, head of mobile research at Seton Hall. "Smartphone use in higher education has tended to rely on finding a specific app to fulfill a specific curricular purpose."

The smartphones, Taylor said, will make it easier for students and faculty to follow the three C's: connect, collaborate and create.

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