During the Fall 2010 semester, an iPad pilot program was established at the Oklahoma State University (OSU.) Professor Bill Handy and Professor Tracy Suter led the project and published results at the end that were as illuminating as can be.
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iPad Integration into Classroom Learning
Prof Bill and Prof Tracy unanimously felt iPads must be completely integrated into class room learning and accordingly instructed Deans and Heads of Departments on its best possible use to increase student involvement.
Courses were modified to incorporate the device and one major benefit was the quick progress of the curriculum, at times weeks in advance. Prof Tracy ascribes this to the ubiquitous nature of the iPads which
- remove environmental restrictions on learning
- change classroom setting
- enable all students to access the same technology
How Students and Faculty used iPads?
Reports indicate students used iPad better than a desktop or laptop. They even felt it was a substitute for pen and paper.
Faculty felt it was easier to plan class activities and assignments as all the students had the same device. They could explore the thousands of educational software on Apple's App store and recommend course specific apps.
Benefits of iPad Integration
Evidence suggests iPad lessens expenses for both students and administrators alike, though it’s difficult to quantify the exact amount. Students can benefit, as e-books cost lesser than their traditional brethren, and the price difference can cover iPad costs in two semesters.
Administrators can save from reduced paper and printing costs and less storage needs due to cloud computing.
Enhances Academic Experience
Self assessment reports indicate that 75% agree more or strongly agree that iPad positively impacts academic experience. Further probe revealed 92.8% of Mac owners agreed about the positive impact while 70.4% PC owners felt the same.
The study indicates that overall impact of iPad on class room learning is positive. To conclude in the words of OSU President Burns Hargis, “We put this powerful and creative tool in the hands of faculty and students and the end result reached beyond enhancing the academic experience of our students. The report outlines a possible decrease to student and administrative expenses, increased productivity, and how the iPad crosses across academic and personal barriers."