Students, Faculty, Staff Test Educational Applications of iPad

Student leans ipad on her desk to demonstrate how easy it is to use.

Senior communications student and King Library employee Diana Teddington demonstrates how quick, clear and user-friendly the iPads are at the library (photo by Amanda Holst).

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

Apple’s iPad is popping up all over campus, providing students, faculty and staff with the opportunity to explore the potential educational benefits of mobile technology. King Library is the latest place to give it a try.

“Right now we are experimenting and figuring out how often students are using them and in what ways,” said John Wenzler, associate dean for digital futures, technical services and information technology.

Students, faculty and staff can borrow any of the available 26 iPads at Student Computing Services for a four-hour block of time for use in the library.

A Quick Start Guide shows those who checkout iPads how to easily connect to the library’s wireless network, locate multiple apps, and access and use the library catalog.

Recipients cannot owe more than $10 in library fines and must be able to take full responsibility if the iPad is stolen or damaged.

CASA iPads

Two iPads are available for CASA students at the CASA Student Success Center. The long-term plan is to find ways to use such tech tools to enhance retention rates, according to CASA Student Success Center Director Kathryn Sucher.

This term, the iPads will be used in workshops to help students with notetaking.

“You can sync your notes to your computer and use the material in a variety of different places, creating presentations or portfolios,” said Dane Riley, an Apple higher education system engineer.

For now, CASA peer mentor and senior kinesiology major Michelle Pascua is using the iPad to go online.

“The benefit of having it at the success center is that if you need to do a quick search, it’s literally at your fingertips,” she said.

Lurie College iPad Initiative

The Connie L. Lurie College of Education may be the only place on campus where instructors can check out enough iPads for an entire class. This program, funded in part by an iPad mini-grant last spring, is designed to explore whether the iPad is a good tool for teaching in a K-12 setting, according to Interim Associate Dean Mary McVey. This semester, three classes will participate in the pilot program.

“The iPads have the potential to help instructors create K-12 classrooms that are flexible and individually-orientated,” McVey said. “If it is a good tool for that setting, then we need to have our students trained and ready to use them.”