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IPad Initiative has positive impact in classrooms

Published: Thursday, November 15, 2012

Updated: Thursday, November 15, 2012 16:11

ipad initiative

Xinzhong Zhao, Staff Photographer

Devan Harper, a junior R-TV major of Hot Springs, uses the Blackboard app on her iPad to do her sociology homework.

The ASU iPad Initiative was launched last year to distribute iPads to approved programs on campus in order to improve student learning and achievement in a variety of settings, and has recently been updated due to multiple inquiries about the information.

Several faculty members have created proposals, and have been granted funding to purchase and use iPads in their classrooms to improve the teaching and learning experience of the higher education learning space.

Distribution of the iPads began this summer, and as project leaders are now beginning to submit their status updates and progress, most are very pleased with the results.

Steve Leslie, of the Interactive Teaching and Technology Center (ITTC), is a supporter of the ASU iPad Initiative.

“Overall, based on feedback from those persons using iPads to enhance research, teaching and learning on our campus, digital devices such as iPads have had a positive impact,” Leslie said.

“I would also say that the integration of iPads into the curriculum has provided students and faculty with the opportunity to make the college classroom more responsive to the evolving needs of our students.”

The ASU iPad Initiative began in the spring of 2011 when the ASU Tech Fee Committee expressed a desire to explore the use of mobile technology in the classroom.

Based on research on the benefits of technology in the classroom, the committee approved $100,000 for a pilot study on the impact of iPads on the teaching, learning and research experience of students at ASU.

The next step of the iPad initiative took place in November 2011 when the iPad Ad hoc Committee was formed.

This committee is in charge of overseeing the distribution of the $100,000 in funding.

The money was distributed amongst an open request of submitted proposals for the use of the iPads.

In February 2012, the committee received 16 proposals totaling a request of $300,000 worth of funding.

 Ten of the 16 proposals were chosen and approved by the iPad Initiative Ad hoc Committee based on specific criteria for selection and the $100,000 budgetary constraint.

These 10 proposals were partially or fully funded, and some are currently under way in ASU classrooms.

As the semester has progressed, project leaders have submitted status and progress updates, and most projects have shown to be successful.

One of the most prominent features of the iPad is the apps available. No matter the subject matter, there is likely an app to assist in each learning process.

Examples of educational iPad apps include “Star Walk” for astronomy, “Molecules” for biology, and “iTranslate” for language courses.

These apps allow students to interact with the information presented.

These various apps allow the iPad to benefit many different courses in different fields of study.

The 10 proposals that have been approved are from a variety of learning fields, including education, theater, geography, art, IT project management, honors courses, geometry and music courses.

They have also been approved for use of a CSI-type investigation course using data analysis apps, and use in the library to aid librarians in questions and research.  
Evan Riekhof, a senior education major of Jonesboro, has benefitted from the use of the iPads within his own department.

“I used the iPad as a digital recorder. This allowed me to record
myself teaching and to self-evaluate my teaching skills and student
interactions,” Reikhof said.

To learn more about the ASU iPad Initiative, provide feedback on digital technologies in the classroom, or to submit or view proposals for future funding, visit http://ittc-web.astate.edu/mobilelearn/.    
 

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