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With the start of a new school year, art history students at Seton Hill University will be using “Art Authority for iPad” as an integral part of their classes, the app's creators and the University announced Monday. The app is a key part of a pilot program aimed at understanding how the iPad and the app can aid, extend and transform the traditional learning environment.

In March 2010, Seton Hill announced that it was providing an iPad to every fulltime student this semester. At the same time, Open Door Networks Inc. and Project A Inc. shipped Art Authority for iPad, a top-10 reference app that provides access to over 40,000 paintings and sculptures from over 1,000 western artists, organized by artist name and artistic period. The natural synergy between the two was immediately obvious.

“When we heard about Seton Hill's program, we immediately realized what a great opportunity it was to understand how an app like Art Authority can supplement that type of learning environment, and how in turn that environment can supplement and evolve Art Authority,” said Alan Oppenheimer, president of Open Door Networks. “It benefits the students, the university and us, the developers. It's a huge win-win-win situation, and the way of the future.”

Art Authority for iPad will be a key component of AR 200 Italian Renaissance Art and AR 205 Modern Art in the fall semester, which began Monday, August 23.

“The use of Art Authority on the new iPad will give our students enhanced learning advantages in the classroom as well as outside the classroom. Being able to instantly access visual information streamlines instructional technology in a fun, exploratory way,” said Pati Beachley, associate professor of art and director of the art program at Seton Hill.

“The Art Authority app for iPad is a tremendously rich resource. The app places much of the western cultural traditions into our students’ hands. The wealth of images, gallery tours and access to biographical information will augment class discussions in Italian Renaissance Art and Modern Art,” said Maureen Vissat, assistant professor of art. “The app will be a valuable tool to supplement traditional texts. I am eager to work with students to discover how to make the art of the past more immediate and accessible.”

We-Envision.com is providing free copies of the app to art faculty and students as part of the pilot program, and will be working throughout the term to elicit and react to their feedback.

“One of the great things about the whole iPhone/iPad development system is that we can make a change and potentially have it available within a week or two,” concluded Oppenheimer.

Art Authority is also available for the iPhone and Macintosh, and is offered to educational institutions at half price through Apple's new App Store Volume Purchase Program.

We-Envision.com is an innovative collaboration of two separate software companies (Open Door Networks and Project A). The mission of We-Envision.com is the design, development and deployment of the best independent software solutions for the Apple iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch.