Overall I think the ACU Connected initiative validated a lot of the consulting, presenting and demonstrating I have done with Apple products around digital education. The leadership had all the right intentions in mind. They had done their research and were very forward-looking in the reasons why they proceeded with the project. Students and instructors were learning and teaching with tools they had never used before. The data backed up a lot of the assumptions that were made early on. Because of these results, new facilities and changes were made to the campus.
If there’s one thing I could take away from the ACU Connected initiative is that there were a lot of great leaders involved in the project. Everything they did was groundbreaking. What I see from the results now is that it’s hard to keep a great team together. Everybody wants your star quarterback. Everybody wants your greatest players and that’s what happen with a ACU Connected project. All the great players, great leaders aren’t still there.
Even though the research shows it what they were doing was the right thing and was working, they lost track of that research and data and proceeded to do the easy thing because the tools have become more ubiquitous. Everyone thinks that the tools just work on their own, but they don’t understand that you need to continue to support not only the students but also the teachers and how they use the products and use the tools.
The landscape is always changing. There’s always new skills that need to be learned. Skills like coding and skills like virtual environments. There are plenty of basic digital skills that need to continue to be learned and practiced. It would be great if ACU could realize that and get back to focusing on those skills.