This year’s freshman intake at New Jersey’s Seton Hall University are going to be given a free smartphone. The University has its own social hub for students, freshman and academics and to make sure the newbies get accessed and assimilated easily, they are each going to give a Nokia Lumia 900 smartphone.
The school’s curriculum will be integrated with the technology and the university has its own app which means the days of missing an assignment due to bad organization are effectively over. Granted you may still be able to miss a due date or not find essential reading and notes but you would have to be really incompetent given the new technology makes information so accessible.
The phones also have a “Freshman Experience” hub, which I guess, is like a small internal Facebook for freshers. Like Facebook it will no doubt offer useful ways to connect with fellow students while simultaneously eroding social skills and alienating students from non-mediated experience.
The Univeristy’s press release says that the “Freshman Experience” hub will help students “learn about their future housing situation and get to know their roommates” – I get the former but surely… I mean, their roommates are right there do you really need an app for someone’s face?
Students will receive pre-paid access to AT&T for the first semester and then they will be expected to fund the contracts themselves which is probably fair enough.