Dr William Rankin, Director, Abilene Christian University
Dr. William Rankin is an associate professor of English and Director of Educational Innovation at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas. Along with colleagues, he helped design the initiative that became ACU Connected, ACU’s pioneering one-to-one that gave every student an iPhone or iPod touch as a platform for exploring next-wave mobile learning. As part of this initiative, Rankin has worked on everything from defining pedagogical approaches to designing interface elements, and along with others on ACU's team, Rankin continues to work to discover and create new ways to engage learners through mobile technologies.
ACU’s efforts have received a number of accolades, including winning 2009’s New Media Consortium’s Center of Excellence award, ACUTA’s Institutional Excellence award, and Alcatel-Lucent’s Dynamic Enterprise and Analyst Choice awards. As project lead, Rankin was named Campus Technology’s Innovator of the Year for mobile learning in 2008. In 2009, he was named an Apple Distinguished Educator and in 2010, he was named to Apple's ADE Board of Directors. Interviews with Rankin have appeared in such periodicals as Wired, The Guardian, and The Chronicle for Higher Education and at online sites including InsideHigherEd, TUAW, and Open Culture. Rankin has also contributed to stories featured on US National Public Radio, the BBC, the CBC and NBC Nightly News. With more than 20 years’ experience in higher education, Dr. Rankin has received numerous awards for teaching and has presented on the implications of mobility and emerging educational technologies throughout the world.