When almost 1,000 freshman students showed up at Abilene Christian University on Aug. 16, they got something more than the usual medical release forms, parking permits, and Welcome Week T-shirts: They also got their choice of a brand-new Apple iPhone 3G or iPod Touch, plus a package of ACU-written web applications to use on them, Network World reports. The hardware is part of the Texas university’s pilot mobile learning project, which has been gestating for over a year. About 650 first-year students chose the iPhone, and about 300 chose the iPod Touch, which is a very similar device but without the 3G radio. (Both devices incorporate an 802.11g Wi-Fi adapter.) ACU pays for the hardware; each student (or his parents) select and pay for the monthly AT&T service plan. And after just six weeks, the freshmen seem fully mobilized…

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