First, it was calculators. Then, it was laptops. Now colleges across the country, including Arkansas State University, are requiring incoming first-year students to have an iPad. As part of its “iPad Initiative,” Arkansas State will ask all members of the incoming freshman class to purchase iPads prior to arriving on campus or rent the tablet through the university’s IT store.
Making the Transition
To help transition high school students into college-level learners, freshman will be required to download an ASU-developed iBook titled “Making Connections” which will teach students how to use the tablet in a learning environment. According to the article on Apple Insider, ASU is one of many primary, secondary, and post-secondary institutions to integrate the iPad, a move that has proved to be successful. Most recently, UC Irvine revealed that students who followed an iPad-based medical school curriculum scored an average of 23 percent higher on national exams.
Connecting with Students
At ASU, administrators report that students are eager to integrate the iPad into their studies. From math courses to geography classes, students are able to use the tablet for research purposes or to run programs to supplement what they learn in the classroom. Additionally, instructors are looking to measure the iPad’s impact on note-taking, cooperative learning, and other areas. Administrators believe the iPad Initiative will not only allow the university to meet students where they’re at but allow students to engage with the material in the classroom.
Can your graphic calculator do that? I didn’t think so.