"We pay close attention to the way young people consume news," says ACU's Kenneth Pybus, faculty adviser of The Optimist. "They tend to use all the tools at their disposal to get information. With the iPad, we foresee the potential for an explosion in news consumption."
Professors Pybus and Bacon believe the iPad and its publishing platform will yield a marriage of audio, video and text unseen even since the advent of laptops and smart phones.
George Saltsman is executive director of ACU’s Adams Center for Teaching and Learning. "The work we will do leading up to the formal debut of the iPad is an outgrowth of research that's been happening on our campus for three years," says Saltsman. "Our campus community is already riding the next wave of digital communication. Publishing The Optimist on the iPad means our students will be ready to work with this revolutionary technology in the marketplace the minute they graduate. For some of our students, that day is right around the corner -- so of course they'll have a major jump on not only their peers, but also on veteran software developers nationwide."
The aspect of this software development drive that most fascinates Bacon is how it could revive the publishing sector as a whole, and newspaper publishing specifically. "The news business must find a way to keep news delivery profitable. Remaking the model for news delivery is the single most important discussion in journalism under way today," she says. “If our students and faculty, by being in the middle of that discussion, can help devise a profitable new delivery system, we will have accomplished something extraordinary.”
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