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Drexel School of Education Creates iPhone App for National Constitution Center

Drexel School of Education Creates iPhone App for National Constitution Center

PHILADELPHIA, January 28, 2011

Thanks to a cutting-edge application developed by the School of Education in Drexel University’s Goodwin College, iPhone and iPod users can have access to the National Constitution Center’s educational tours at their fingertips anywhere, anytime. This is part of a larger initiative at the School of Education that develops more innovative approaches to mobile learning, including mobile resource portals for students enrolled in the School. “I could not be more pleased with our Drexel partnership,” said David Eisner, president and CEO of the National Constitution Center. “We love the energy and passion of Drexel’s technology team and look forward to more outstanding results as we partner on future initiatives.” The Learning Technologies Group, a team of experts in graphics, audio, video, animation and databases, works to build the apps once the design and workflow have been provided. “Creating these applications is one of the highlights for us. It gives us the opportunity to provide educational opportunities in an interactive way,” said Cory Schmitt, director of learning technologies at Goodwin. The latest step in a series of collaborations with the Center was taken in November with the debut of an iPhone app. The free app, which is available through the iTunes website, offers updated news, links to the National Constitution Center’s store and new blog, and important information on hours, tickets and directions. Users also have the ability to purchase interactive multimedia tours (for 99 cents) of the Center’s core exhibition, The Story of We the People; Signers’ Hall; and feature exhibitions, including Art of the American Soldier, which is currently on exhibit at the Center. The response from customers has been excellent with an overall rating of 4+ out of 5, according to Kerry Sautner, the Center’s director of public programs. In another ongoing project for the Center, the Research and Demonstration Lab at Goodwin has created nine separate iPod Tours – three for permanent exhibitions and six for feature exhibitions – that visitors to the Center can access by renting an iPod. The tours have included an interactive “Mission Impossible” game that guides users through the core exhibition as they try to uncover exhibit-based clues to discover the original location of the President’s house. “The first tour took eight months to develop,” Schmitt said. “The second tour took two weeks. We have a system and a template now, which makes it easier and faster to produce new apps.” The Goodwin team also has worked with the Center to create virtual field trips that include live video and interactive discussions with students and to produce “Constitution Hall Pass,” a video program that was broadcast to more than 6 million students on Channel One. As part of the School of Education’s internal mobile learning initiatives, each academic program within the School has a resource portal tailored to its needs that students can access from their smart phone. The portals offer course information, calendars, discussion boards, videos from instructors, listings of job opportunities, news links and more. “These portals allow the students to socially connect with each other,” said Obinna Otti, the Research and Demonstration Lab Manager at Goodwin. “The students love the information posted on the apps because it is directly related to their programs.” Another key aspect of the internal initiative is mobile surveying. Goodwin students have used iPods to conduct surveys at several major sporting events, including two Eagles games, the Pocono 500 and the U.S. Women’s Open. The data from the iPods can be quickly uploaded, calculated and made into pie charts and graphs so the students can create reports on the findings. Forming a more perfect union between technology and learning has always been and will continue to be an integral part of Drexel’s School of Education. ### Photo caption: The iPhone app for the National Constitution Center that was created by the School of Education at Goodwin College. News media contact: Chris Silvestri, media associate, Drexel News Bureau 215-895-2705, 215-668-0780 (cell) or csilvestri@drexel.edu