September 7, 2007
“ . . . he will use its features to radically change the creation and delivery of learning resources in the Samford arts program . . .”
Samford University School of the Arts dean Dr. Joseph Hopkins paid close attention to Apple's Sept. 5 announcement of its revamped iPod. He wants to be among the first in line when the newest iPod music and video player goes on sale.
Hopkins already knows how he will use its features to radically change the creation and delivery of learning resources in the Samford arts program. During the summer, he put the finishing touches on plans for an "iPod community" in the School of the Arts, which includes academic areas of music, theatre, dance and art.
Students and faculty will be linked by two new websites: one created for Samford by the new iTunes University and one being created by Samford graphic design students this semester.
"Students will be able to go to the site and see recent Samford performances, listening assignments, video podcasts of classes and lessons, and other instructional and learning downloads," said Hopkins.
Apple experts will provide training in podcasting and other creative uses of the iPod.
"Designing an iPod community challenges us to rethink what are the limits of the library, classroom and practice room," said Hopkins.
"We envision students reliving lessons in the practice rooms, hearing a recital they missed as they drive down the highway, or reviewing a lecture as they walk across campus. We are working to make learning more accessible."
Hopkins will purchase the iPods, podcasting and audio/video accessories, as well as the professional training, through the generosity of an estate gift which will support the full implementation of the iPod community.
"We too often forget that estate planning can be transforming. This gift is trendy and powerful," said Hopkins. "The generosity of this bequest is going to help Samford radically change the way faculty and students teach and learn."
Hopkins offers several examples of potential iPod use in the arts curriculum:
Samford School of the Arts claims more than 350 students with majors or minors in art, graphic design, theatre, dance, music theatre, instrumental music (band and orchestra), church music, music education, theory, music history, vocal/choral music, piano, organ and composition. The school is also proud of its community outreach through its preparatory music program and Wright Fine Arts Center, Hopkins added.