Students at the University of Southern Mississippi just took a giant leap forward when it comes to learning in the digital age. The University announced plans to provide Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 to students in the Honors program this fall.
A groundbreaking initiative for the Honors program, this project fits in line with some of the fundamental values of university leadership. Along with active learning courses designed to put into practice theory and experience, Honors College students are part of smaller classes which emphasize more interaction with professors. By providing tablets and sharing the same operating system, students and educators can easily share video, audio and other content that can take education beyond the classroom.
The tablets are pre-loaded with Blackboard Mobile which contains course syllabi, references, schedules, contact information, class message boards, e-textbooks and more. These tablets provide the tools necessary to having a centralized platform where ideas can be shared and students can gather all the information needed to not only complete the course, but excel in it as well.
University President Dr. Martha D. Saunders took office in 2007 and stresses creating a climate for academic success. By launching this initiative in the Honors program, Southern Miss is leading the way in implementing a learning model using the latest technology to engage students to learn more efficiently.
Not only is Saunders a forward-thinking president, but she has experience to back it up with a 30-year career in higher education. She is a role model for students and is a campus leader for her use of social media with an active blog and Twitter (@MarthaSaunders). Additionally, Saunders is considered a leader among women university presidents and is recognized for her expertise in public relations and branding and is an APR (Accredited Public Relations) professional.
The new millennium generation is seemingly born with social media and computing as an inherent trait. There’s no doubt that arming them with cloud computing through a versatile tablet will create and sustain a culture more perceptive to critical thinking and lifelong learning. This initiative is a great first step for this campus and is a wonderful model for other campuses to follow.