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Apple Distinguished Program

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Apple Distinguished Program

The Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Oklahoma is the first collegiate journalism program in the United States to be named an Apple Distinguished Program for its comprehensive integration of Apple-inspired technology throughout its building and curriculum. The Apple Distinguished Program designation is reserved for academic units that are recognized centers of educational excellence and leadership.

Gaylord College named an Apple Distinguished Program


Gaylord College students have become master storytellers with Apple hardware, software and servers, which provide students with a virtual environment to work collaboratively – on and off campus.

“Apple’s transparent integration of software and hardware enables our students to focus on being creative and not on the software or equipment,” said Buddy Wiedemann, Gaylord College director of information technology.

An innovator on the OU campus, Gaylord College was the first and dominant contributor of content to the university’s iTunes U portal, the first to develop its own internal iPhone application, and the first college to introduce a QR code virtual tour of its facilities, among other initiatives.

As an example of Gaylord College’s integration of technology innovation and public service, journalism students are using specially equipped iPod touch devices to find new ways of encouraging citizen journalism to alert the public about severe storms. Under the direction of professors John Schmeltzer and Julie Jones, students have developed “StormCrowd,” a system using crowdsourcing software to locate real-time weather events and report on them. The team is partnering with Weather Decision Technologies, a Norman start-up company, to build the system.

In addition to supporting citizen journalism in the local community, Gaylord College demonstrated its strong international commitment by pioneering the use of the iPad 2 just weeks after it was released. Using the iPad 2 as the sole tool for communication, as well as for video and image capture and editing, a group of South Asian students involved in a U.S. State Department grant learned new media reporting techniques. This international experience brought together students from five countries, all unified by one device, the iPad 2, to develop media on devices that had not been released in their own country.  

“When innovative companies and innovative academic programs come together, good things happen,” says Gaylord College Dean Joe Foote. “Our technology strengthens our creative work.”

The College received the designation for the third time for 2013 to 2015..