iPad on College Campuses?

ipad on college campus

Well, it looks like this year the iPad isn’t the overwhelming winner on college campuses. Maybe surprising (or maybe not) is the fact that the iPod is the device showing up on college campuses. Sure there are some iPads in use as well – particularly in certain classes – but students themselves seem to be bringing and using iPods more this year.

What’s interesting about the reasoning given by professors is that the iPad makes them rethink their lectures. In my opinion, that’s a great thing and one of the reasons I created this blog. I want to see how the iPad impacts schools and schooling – and the teaching and learning process.

Professor Satti Khanna at Duke teaches Advanced Hindi; he told FoxNews.com that the “very exploring of iPad use in the classroom makes a teacher rethink the goals of his or her class. The iPad makes me break away from text-dominated lectures to more media-sensitive teaching.”

In the case of the Stanford University School of Medicine, they are experimenting with first year medical students by giving them iPads. But they are having challenges finding the right mix of ‘input’ and ‘production’ (my words). As I’ve mentioned the iPad is a great device for consuming but has some weaknesses in producing content.

The Stanford web site says,

The School of Medicine in August undertook a trial program for iPad use by distributing the device to 91 first-year medical and master’s of medicine students. Charles Prober, senior associate dean for medical education, noted growing challenges from the rapid flow of information, which the iPad’s mobility and graphics might manage better.

From another article about Stanford it talks about the challenges,

Stanford University School of Medicine’s aim to digitize its curriculum “as a way to lighten the load of textbook-toting students, and to learn how best to teach an extremely¬†tech-savvy generation of students who’ve grown up in a wired world,” according to the school’s website, means the entire incoming class is equipped with 32GB Wi-Fi iPads. The challenging process has been somewhat hit or miss.

“It definitely facilitates studying and recall because you don’t get bogged down by all the paper,” noted first year medical student Ryan Flynn. But it’s still a work in progress. “The iPad isn’t the best input device. Some people have gone back to paper and pencil.”

In another case, the University of Leeds in the UK has students swapping out text books for iPods. I haven’t tried reading a complete book on my phone but I don’t think that’s the right way to go – so this experiment might just lead the way for the larger screen tablet in coming semesters.

The UK’s University of Leeds is issuing smartphones to all fourth and fifth year medical students. This will be the first time that a UK medical school has provided undergraduates with all the tools they need to study off-campus via mobile phone technology.

So, the verdict is out on whether the iPad specifically will be a winner on college campuses but my prediction is that we’ll see continued use and experimentation – and as new models of the iPad come out with cameras and the ability to both record video and video conference more and more college campuses will use them.

Sources:
iPads on College Campuses? Maybe Next Year
How the iPad is Changing Med School
Stanford News Briefs
Student Doctors Swap Textbooks for IPhones

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