Meadows School named 2012-13 Apple Distinguished Program

Owen Arts Center at SMUSMU’s Meadows School of the Arts has been named an Apple Distinguished Program for the 2012-13 school year for its creative implementation of Apple technologies.

The Apple Distinguished Program designation is given to programs that meet criteria for innovation, leadership, and educational excellence, and demonstrate a shared vision of exemplary learning environments.

“Artists have always been early and voracious adopters of technology,” said Meadows Dean José Bowen. “Apple’s products have provided us with technology that is powerful but invisible; the point is what the technology can do and not how big our computers are. This allows teachers and students to focus on expression, not the tool itself, which is what makes Apple products so special.”

Several years ago, the School adopted an unusual strategy: It removed computers from its classrooms and replaced them with a single audio and video port and a platform on which to place laptops, an area nicknamed the “e-nook.” At the same time, MacBooks became standard equipment for all faculty and students in the school. All users therefore had equivalent hardware and applications that could be used in the classroom or at home. This has allowed Meadows to reduce support and maintenance costs while equipping users with the latest, most powerful technology.

The school has also implemented creative uses for iPad. For example:

  • The music therapy department has been using iPad to help children and adults with autism and other special needs, enabling them to explore and express themselves using various music applications.
  • A journalism professor used iPad to study how mobile technology and social media are used by mainstream news outlets, and he is now publishing the results.
  • A group of graduate students in advertising conducted their entire study-abroad program in India on iPads, using them for all coursework and documentation of their travels.

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