Some college campuses will start seeing fewer students coming to class with a pen and paper — and more carrying iPads.
The iPad will be used in classrooms to instantly share work with
professors. Students will also use it to take notes and replace
traditional textbooks with electronic textbooks.
Alycia Ferrett, a junior political science major who will be
transferring to Seton Hill in the fall, said, “I’m ready to immerse my
mind with learning and having to carry less of a load with books …
e-books here we are.”
Seton Hill students will receive the iPads as part
of a new program designed to incorporate more technology into daily
campus life. Each semester students will pay a $500 fee that, in
addition to paying for the iPads, provides incoming freshman with a
MacBook Pro laptop, and access to wireless Internet anywhere on campus. –-Natalie Podgorsky, ABC
While the students are very excited about the
physical gadgets, another piece of the puzzle is making sure that
faculty and staff know how to use the technology effectively, and of
course all the IT structure to support the users.
At Seton Hill, where I teach, training the teachers and staff has
been a big part of implementing the tech plan (which includes an iPad
and MacBook for all incoming full-time undergrads, and more). Simply
handing out the gadget won’t amount to much, unless faculty feel
comfortable selecting and using eBooks, coming up with assignments that
involve the capabilities of the new technology, etc.
Our students at Seton Hill, and I’m sure students at other schools
that take the plunge wisely, are are not just getting technology. They
are getting an educated faculty that is deeply interested in innovating
in order to make good use of the technology.
Our faculty and staff members submitted a proposal as part of a
process of requesting an iPad, and a big chunk of faculty went through a
couple dozen hours of training on new Mac laptops.
But not every school is ready to commit to that level of retraining.