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SMU Meadows Named Apple Distinguished Program for 2012-2013

Designation given to programs that demonstrate shared vision of exemplary learning environments

SMU Meadows School of the Arts announced today that it 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 José Bowen, dean of the Meadows School. “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.”

The selection of the Meadows School as an Apple Distinguished Program highlights its successes in enhancing and extending teaching and learning with a thoughtful and innovative implementation of technology. Several years ago, the Meadows 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. And 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.

The Meadows School of the Arts, formally established at SMU in 1969, is one of the foremost arts education institutions in the United States. The Meadows School comprises 10 academic divisions: the Temerlin Advertising Institute, Art (including the Center of Creative Computation), Art History, Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship, Communication Studies, Dance, Film and Media Arts, Journalism, Music and Theatre. The mission of the Meadows School is to educate visionary artists, scholars and arts and communications professionals prepared to create sustainable and transformative impact. It is also committed to providing an ongoing opportunity for all SMU students to grow in the understanding and appreciation of the arts. The Meadows School is a leader in developing innovative outreach and community engagement programs, challenging its students to make a difference locally and globally by developing connections between arts entrepreneurship and social change.

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