Classroom iPad Programs Get Mixed Response – Wired Campus – The Chronicle of Higher Education

Faculty members at Seton Hill University, which gave iPads to all
full-time students, are working with the developers of an e-book app
called Inkling to come up with new
ways to integrate the iPad into classroom instruction. The textbook
software–one of many in development–allows students to access
interactive graphics and add notes as they read along. Faculty members
can access the students’ marginalia to see whether they understand the
text. They can also remotely receive and answer questions from students
in real time.

Catherine Giunta, an associate professor of business at Seton Hill,
said the technology has changed the way students interact with their
textbooks and how she interacts with her students. While reviewing the
margin notes of a student in her marketing class, Ms. Giunta was able to
pinpoint and correct a student’s apparent misunderstanding of a concept
that was going to be covered in class the next day. “The
misunderstanding may not have been apparent until [the student] did a
written report,” Ms. Giunta said. “I could really give her
individualized instruction and guidance.” The Chronicle

I am not using the Inkling textbook, but I love the idea of being able
to see the marginalia that students post in their texts. We can do that
on a large scale, of course, with the Kindle App, but I’d love it if I
could pick a random chapter of The Scarlet Letter and see what a student
has highlighted. (I do something similar, of course, by asking the
students to post a quotation and a brief statement about each assigned
reading, but if I could see the students’ private annotations, I’m sure
I’d learn a lot more from their passive, ambient annotations, rather
than the piece they choose to display to the public.)

3 thoughts on “Classroom iPad Programs Get Mixed Response – Wired Campus – The Chronicle of Higher Education

  1. In that case, I think it would be a great idea. If the student can control the privacy settings, then I think it’s a good way to make sure they’re grasping the material.

  2. Good point, Karyssa. I woukd not really want to see all a student’s marginalia for a novel, but maybe for an academic article, a grammar handout, or a specific how-to document. Of course, the students would need to know in advance how the marginalia work, and ideally they should be able to mark comments as public or private.

  3. From a professor’s viewpoint, I can understand why it would be beneficial to be able to see a student’s marginalia as it would definitely aid the professor in understanding what he/she needs to do in order to help the student. However, as a student, I feel like this would be an invasion of privacy. I would write less marginalia than I usually do, or I would change the content of my usual marginalia, because I would want to keep some thoughts to myself.
    Other people might feel differently, but for me, my marginalia is the visual display of the personal effects a book has on me. It’s not something I would want to openly share, almost like a diary. I prefer your method of having students blog because it lets me examine my personal connection and present it to my peers the way I would want them to see it, so I can maintain some privacy. It’s like when you tell someone an account of something that happened to you earlier in the day; you tell the important parts of the story, but you don’t reveal everything you were thinking at the time of the events.

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