iPad College Course Required for Freshman


The iPad continues to make inroads in schools. Numerous schools are providing iPads as part of the schooling experience and several are now requiring iPads.

Arkansas State University is requiring incoming freshman to have an iPad and to take a course called “Making Connections” – a course designed to help first-year students transition into higher education by teaching them study skills, personal organization and how to conduct research, as well as familiarizing them with campus resources. Last year there were over 1700 students in this course.

Arkansas State Chancellor Tim Hudson said that requiring students to use the popular tablet computer will lead to “improved education performance.” The effort, which is the first time a public university in Arkansas has required all freshmen to use iPads, is getting ASU faculty more involved in developing multimedia curricula especially for the iPad, via iBooks and iTunes U.

Students can either get an iPad from the student store or provide their own. In addition they will purchase a $48 “connection kit,” which includes the course textbook; a copy of the course’s common reader book, “Zeitoun” by Dave Eggers; and a suite of productivity and creative apps, including Apple’s Pages, Numbers, iPhoto and iMovie apps. There’s also a $25 gift card to the IT Store, which students can use to buy an iPad case.

In addition to providing the course ASU has also worked to make sure students can access plenty of content with the device. In an effort that coincided with the tablet-intensive “Making Connection” course, ASU’s Dean B. Ellis Library spent $500,000 to buy the complete online resource of 14,000 scholarly e-books collected by JSTOR, a nonprofit digital library that supports higher education. The library says it will provide full access through its website to the entire collection of titles from 34 publishers, including the Modern Humanities Research Association, RAND Corporation, and university presses at Princeton, Kentucky, Illinois, North Carolina and Texas.


Are iPads Showing Up In Schools?

I am often asked for references to schools in specific areas that are implementing iPads. My default resource for finding those locations and deployments is typically to do a search in Google and look for references or articles about those deployments.

Eric Lai, a writer for a technology publication called ZDNet, has created an interactive list of over 130 schools, school districts, colleges and universities deploying tablets to students for the first time this fall. Use this interactive map he created to find out more about these deployments.

View School iPad & Tablet Deployments, Fall 2012 in a larger map

The following infographic developed by creative media agency MDG Advertising, shows more than 1.5 million are currently in use by students, and schools bought some 47,000 in the first month-and-a-half after its release. There are currently more than 20,000 apps meant for education, and 80% of learning apps in the App Store target kids. Some studies even show that students who have access to iPads do better in school than kids who don’t.

All this information comes from sources including CNN, The Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch and others to produce the following infographic. Check it out below for the fuller picture.

The iPad is Changing Schools


ipad in schools

It’s been about 2 years now since the iPad was first realized and a lot has happened in that short time. Apple has sold approximately 64million iPads in two years. To put that into perspective, I believe, no other product of any kind has ever sold this many units in that time frame. And, at a price point of $400 or more that’s no small feat.

I’ve written before about how I feel the iPad itself won’t make the difference. What is truly needed is a rethinking of the ‘how’ as well as the ‘what’ in schooling. Teachers must become much more learning facilitators and coaches – and the idea of singular subjects as curriculum just won’t cut it for 21st Century success. That said, the iPad is still making a significant impact on schools and schooling.

The following are only a few ways the iPad is changing schools:

  • much like a computer but with a smaller and more accessible form factor, the iPad can be used for much of the same things computers have been used for in schools: to do research on the internet, take notes, write papers, create presentations, shoot and edit a video, or take advantage of the 100s of applications being developed specifically for learning.

California School District Uses iPads to Help Teachers Deliver Quality Physical Education Program to Students

Sweetwater Union High School District (SUHSD) uses the SPARK PE curriculum on iPads to optimize outcomes for their students.


  • there are general applications – like Pages, Numbers, and Keynote – that can be applied in many different learning scenarios, and there are specific applications designed for particular subjects.
  • there are also applications designed to support teachers in the managing and delivering content including the distribution and collection of assignments, grading, as well as feedback and improvement. Some applications also allow both students and teachers to access files on school networks – like ClassLink’s LaunchPad app.
  • there is at least one iPad pilot program in every state in the US – including pilots in elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, and universities as well as hospitals and medical schools.

A sweeping vote by the Detroit Lakes school board Tuesday night launched the district into a new realm in education.

With what seemed to be cautious enthusiasm, the board approved the purchase of 244 iPads, which will go to every single 5th grader in the Detroit Lakes Public School Districts, as well as every 5th and 6th grade teacher.

Two additional carts holding roughly 30 iPads each will also be purchased for Roosevelt Elementary and the High School, which will be shared amongst classrooms. Rossman Elementary already has an iPad cart, and the Middle School recently purchased one as part of their budget.

The cost for this initiative is roughly $105,000. http://www.dl-online.com/event/article/id/67926/


  • some schools are providing iPads to specific groups (grade levels or classrooms) while other schools are providing iPads to every student at the beginning of the school year. There are even a few schools making the iPad mandatory for all students

UTICA — Utica High School students are going to be connected in a new way next school year.

Every student will be given an iPad on the first day of school in the fall.

“I think it’s the way education is going,” Principal Mark Bowman said. “Myself and my staff are very excited, and my students are very excited. Any time you can get kids excited about coming to school, that’s great.”

The North Fork Local School District is leasing 560 iPad 2’s at a cost of $74,500 per year for four years, with the option to buy each for $1 at the end of the lease, Superintendent Scott Hartley said. Teachers district-wide also will receive iPads.

The devices are being paid for through textbook and Title I money.  Utica High School Putting iPads in Student’s Hands


  • at some schools the enthusiasm for adopting and implementing iPads is overwhelming.

Farmington teachers line up to be iPad early adopters

190 Farmington teachers submitted applications to be among the first to have iPads in their students’ hands when the 2012-13 school year starts in the fall. The district hopes to roll out 1,730 of the tablet computers to students.


Here’s additional articles illuminating just a few of the many schools that are shifting to providing all students iPads:

Johnston School Board OKs Concept of iPad for Every High School Student
The initiative would provide iPads for each high school student starting the second semester of the 2012-13 school year.


Jefferson Elementary School in Oshkosh to buy iPad for every student


All Mansfield high schoolers will get an iPad


If School Superintendent Jim McIntyre has his way, what started as a pilot at Pond Gap and two other schools this year will be extended to every student in all 87 of Knox County’s public schools by 2015. That means procuring some 56,000 iPads or similar devices and installing a robust wireless network and other infrastructure in every classroom in the county. With a multitude of instructional apps to choose from, teachers would have some leeway in picking the ones that work best for them.


  • New Zealand may be the first country to have all students have iPads in a 1:1 program that requires parents to provide them –  School iPad revolution may go nationwide
  • many of these schools are shifting to using digital textbooks – taking advantage of textbooks created with Apple’s iBooks Author.
  • some schools hire new technology support personnel while other schools use students to help support new iPad programs.
  • Apple has even created an app that can be used to deploy and mass configure many iPads, iPhones, or iPods. Apple Configurator makes it easy for anyone to mass configure and deploy iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch in a school, business, or institution.
  • in Britain there has even been, for the first time, a pilot of an exam administered on iPads

School trials iPad exam

The traditional pen-and-paper school test could become a thing of the past after a leading exam board successfully trialled the use of iPads for pupils sitting a mock GCSE.


  • there are even significant experiences taking place using the iPad with special education and learners who have various disabilities or are challenged learners – in particular young people with autism.
  • finally, this summer the largest education construction project – The American International School – will open in Asia

Stamford American The Most Advanced International School Ever Built – Coming To Singapore

See the future of education today. 1 to 1 iPad program, virtual lecture hall and more. $300 million investment – largest K-12 education project in the region.

These articles reflect only a small portion of what’s happening today (almost all of these articles were posted or printed in the last two weeks). In the future we’ll highlight some of the behind the scenes requirements of implementing iPads in school.


Why the iPad Should be used in Classrooms

As I’ve written in previous posts, the iPad is having tremendous success being used in school classrooms – from kindergarten classes to university classrooms. The iPad has spawned what I’ve called the ‘tablet wars’ with a wave of tablets introduced at CES in January is just the tip of the iceberg.

Lower price points will make tablets even more appealing to schools over time. For close to a year, Apple went virtually unchallenged in the tablet market. Increased competition should drive down prices. With dozens to hundreds of offerings, many based on Google’s open source Android OS, we can expect to see prices falling quickly just as they have for laptops, smartphones and HDTV sets. If you look at the right time you can even find Apple’s original iPad for as little as $349 (if you get the timing right and don’t mind a refurbished model).

It’s worth noting that the iPad has surpassed even the most optimistic of projections to define a brand new product category and become the best-selling gadget of all time, and Forrester analysts project that in 2011, tablet sales will more than double.

How close are we today to tablets displacing computers on campuses? As I’ve mentioned I don’t believe the tablet should replace computers for certain things – but there is certainly a place for the tablet in every student’s learning experience. Tablets are definitely ready for the classroom. In his Mashable article of May 16, 2011, Vineet Madan makes an argument for colleges and universities to consider as he lays out 6 reasons why he believes the tablet is ready for the classroom.

In that article, he cites positive reports from recent iPad pilot programs at schools across the country and notes that some colleges have even begun distributing tablets to all of their students.

Here are the top reasons Vaneet says the tablet is ready for the college classroom (and I would argue that these reasons are applicable to younger age classrooms as well).

1. Tablets Are the Best Way to Show Textbooks


ipad edu image

Tablets are capable of offering enhanced ebooks featuring images, video and audio. These elements are impossible to include in print or in a standard ebook. Read about music? No thanks, I’ll follow my auto-advancing sheet music as the audio plays. See a picture of Martin Luther King, Jr. as I read his “I Have a Dream” speech? I guess that’s fine, but with one tap of my finger, I’m watching it. The result is a more integrated learning experience, which is more engaging for students. This isn’t the future — this is today.

By allowing students to highlight text, take notes in the margin and access a dictionary directly within the book itself, tablets are matching (and in some cases, surpassing) everything that a traditional book — print or digital — can offer.

2. Classrooms Are Ready for Tablets

Though tablets are a recent phenomenon, many students in high school and college have been using smartphones for years, and are already well-acquainted with touchscreen technology. Because they’ve become so accustomed to using these devices, students are increasingly expecting to use them in the classroom setting. When classrooms don’t implement what has now become “everyday” technology, we’re doing students a disservice.

Additionally, students — and consumers in general — are becoming more comfortable using tablets for advanced tasks. According to a new Nielsen survey, 35% of tablet owners said they used their desktop computers less often or not at all now, and 32% of laptop users said the same. Most tellingly, more than 75% of tablet owners said they used their tablet for tasks they once used their desktop or laptop for. While tablets can’t totally match laptops in terms of functionally (yet), they can get today’s students most of the way there.

3. Tablets Fit Students’ Lifestyles

The appeal of tablets to a college student is obvious: They’re thin, lightweight, and spring to life without delay, making them much easier to take to (and use in) class than a laptop or netbook. Longer battery life means that students don’t have to worry about carrying a charger with them. Forgot what the professor said at the end of class about the mid-term? Launch Tegrity, tap the lecture and replay it in just seconds. That’s faster than texting a half-dozen classmates and waiting for what might be an inaccurate response.

4. Tablets Have the Software to Be Competitive

Some of the most innovative software around is being developed specifically for tablets. In addition to the thousands of exciting educational apps available, tablets are fully compatible with online teaching and learning platforms, such as Blackboard, which are becoming the norm at colleges and universities. In fact, tablets’ current shortcoming — limited multitasking — could be their greatest asset in education, as it forces students to focus on one task at a time.

5. Tablets Integrate With Education IT Trends

Cloud-based solutions have become ever more popular with colleges and universities, which are looking to deliver synchronized experiences that are device agnostic. Tablets align well with this trend, given their portability and options for constant connectivity. With tablets and cloud-based systems, students can work anywhere on campus and make sure that their work is saved in a central location and accessible from all of their devices. They also don’t have to pay for computing power that they no longer need.

6. Tablets Are Becoming More Available

One of the primary reasons that tablets have been slow to penetrate the higher education market was their limited availability. Apple’s supply chain issues and the difficulty that some Android tablet manufacturers have faced in getting their products to market have made it difficult for schools to get serious about adopting. As these issues are resolved over the coming year, expect to see more and more tablets popping up on campuses.

This post taken from an article by Vineet Madan, Vice President of McGraw-Hill Higher Education eLabs. His post is entitled, 6 Reasons Tablets Are Ready for the Classroom and was published on Mashable, May 16, 2011. He wrote the article on a tablet with a touchscreen keyboard.

Do iPads in School Change Behavior?

iPad goes to college

I was just reading an article about some studies being conducted at Wharton Business School to see if the iPad changes behavior in the learning environment. I imagine the study will find that it does – but we’ll wait until the research is reported.

Combine that research with a recently published study by Reed College that concludes the iPad can meet the demands of a higher ed curriculum, and it’s likely we will see more iPads showing up on college campuses in the near future.

From the Reed College report:

After extensive student interviews throughout the Fall 2010 semester, “The bottom line feeling was that the Amazon Kindle DX was not adequate for use in a higher education curricular setting,” Chief Technology Officer Martin Ringle tells Fast Company. “The bottom line for the iPad was exactly the opposite.”

The most impressive iPad feature was also the simplest: a smooth scrolling touchscreen. “The quick response time of the touch screen was highly praised and seemed to be extremely beneficial in class discussions because it allowed students to navigate rapidly between texts to reach specific passages,” notes the report.

Add the smooth scrolling touch screen to the growing list of positives for the iPad (the battery life, the apps, the size and weight, etc.).

Several business schools have been testing iPads for use with students – and now Wharton is also going to be adding a small iPad test for their EMBA program.

On the business school front, IMD (The International Institute for Management Development) broke ground by giving all 400 participants in its Orchestrating Winning Performance executive programme (spelling intentional as this ‘program’ is based in Europe) iPads back in April 2010 just after the iPad was released. The intent for using iPads in the Orchestrating Winning Performance program was to run a completely paperless program. No text books, no handouts, no printed reports or case studies.

Many other programs are initially attracted to the iPad for its form factor and for the ability to reduce the need to carry around heavy text books. But now, these same programs are looking beyond just delivering course materials to see how the iPad might influence the learning environment in other ways – like team based learning, the culture, communications, etc.

At Iese Business School in Barcelona, which is running an iPad pilot with 60 EMBA participants from April, assistant professor Evgeny Kaganer says the device will enable participants to remain in touch when they are back at work between modules. “For the full-time MBA students this is less important because they are on campus and they see each other all the time.” Prof Kaganer points out that the pilot has to be more than just a means of distributing course texts.

“We want to run a research study, observing how people interact. How does this [tablet device] affect team-based learning, social culture, collaboration. The critical thing is that it should go beyond delivering course materials.”

At Wharton, as in some of these other programs, administrators want to see if the use of the iPad is really the next stage in the evolution of teaching.

On the other end of the spectrum we can see a marked impact on behavior when using the iPad with autistic and other learning disabled youth. The article referenced below tells an amazingly touching story about a young boy that has ended up using the iPad for vocalizing his thoughts during class – as the particular type of autism he has was impacting his vocal chords. Until using the iPad to articulate what he was learning and what he knew, no one in his environment had any idea what he was picking up and what he wasn’t.

Imagine the joy of being able to express one’s self and being able to be in mainstream learning environments – all enabled by the iPad.

On a less than optimistic note, it’s also important that we not forget there are still many things that can be done to improve the iPad in a learning environment. There are weaknesses that have been discovered/experienced in using the iPad in business schools. From another article it says:

The virtual keyboard is a pain for composing anything beyond short notes. The nonexistent file system makes finding important documents difficult and sharing across applications nearly impossible. Finally, managing a large number of readings in PDF format becomes a major time-suck. Syncing PDFs via iTunes was found to be “needlessly complicated,” emailing marked-up versions back to oneself was “prohibitively time-consuming,” and even the cloud-based storage, Dropbox, “failed to work seamlessly with PDF reading/annotating applications.”


Reed College Report

Business Schools testing iPads

iPads used for Autism