FREMONT, Neb. – The recent “Midland 1:1” partnership between Midland University and Apple is more than the deployment of trendy tech to the institution’s 1,400 plus students: it also marks the largest investment in technology at the university in 136 years.
First announced last November, the Midland 1:1 initiative provides brand new Apple iPads and Apple Pencils to every undergraduate student on the Fremont campus, included as part of their education and used conjunction with newly redesigned core curriculum at the university.
Since the initial announcement, the university’s staff was brought up to speed on the ins and outs of the new tech through Apple Professional Learning (APL) classes. As part of these on-going training sessions with Apple, university faculty have taken part in 8 APL development days, had three workshops, office open hours training, and attended ‘Appy Hours’ to become Apple Teacher Certified.
“I have been impressed by how enthusiastically faculty have embraced this new initiative,” said James Miller, Director of Innovative Teaching. “It speaks to their dedication to our students. Learning new technology and altering teaching methods to incorporate a more active learning style can be a scary proposition for some, and the leadership here at Midland has ensured that all of our faculty have ample time, opportunity, and incentive to learn how to use these devices for enhanced instruction in the classroom.”
So far, nine faculty members have been certified this year with more certifications expected over the summer months.
Midland has additionally invested in more than four dozen Apple TV’s for use in classrooms and shared spaces across campus for consistency and compatibility with the new curriculum and iPad rollout. The university will also undergo an extensive infrastructure reconstruction to upgrade the existing Wi-Fi capabilities on campus this summer. Midland may also install a student-lead Apple Genius Bar, where students can teach other students as a second tier of the current IT helpdesk service.
The official rollout of Midland 1:1 will take place this August with the incoming fall class.