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New App at MSU Gives Students, Faculty and Staff Quick Access to News

On any given day, Missouri State University’s Meyer Library is a busy place—students are studying hard, getting help with various subjects and working on papers.

Today, the library was the site for the announcement of a new resource for news and information for students, faculty and staff.

The USA Today classroom app for iPads and Kindles is available for free to students, faculty and staff.

It’s an enhancement to the USA Today Readership Program—copies of the New York Times, USA Today and Springfield News-Leader are available for free at various locations around campus.

Dr. Rachelle Darabi, associate provost for student development and public affairs at MSU, sees the app being used in teaching.  She says a lot of faculty members are starting to use the iPad technology extensively in their classrooms…

"We have the Kinesiology Department, for example, that is using it for all their majors, and the excitement level of the students and the faculty in the use of this technology is just amazing.  There are so many wonderful applications out there that we can take advantage of for educational purposes, and we're just going to continue to do that."

She says the university just restructured its general education program—one change was adding a public issues course…

"And I can see this application just having wonderful use for faculty and students in that public issues course."

MSU Student Body President Paige Oxendine is excited about the new app.  She says it goes along with the university’s public affairs mission…

"I think particularly when looking at the engaging citizenship aspect of the public affairs mission, being engaged not only in your local community but when dealing with a source such as USA Today that covers national and even international issues, for students to have immediate access  on their mobile devices such as an iPad or a Kindle and to be able to stay up to date with what's going on in the world around them I think it's more important now than ever before."

MSU’s Vice-President of Student Affairs Dr. Earle Doman says the new option in the Readership Program will help the university determine what technology will be needed for the university’s classrooms…

"Different classrooms are talking about different hardware.  We do have some courses that are saying, 'you need the iPad,' so what's the direction?  Where are we going to go?  And so it's the university working with our student leadership and trying to, you know, set the right course."

The app is available now.  Doman says they’re working to educate students, faculty and staff about the app and how to download it.