Students to Use iPads in English Class

For years, universities have been sweetening the deal of attending their institutions by providing students with “free” technology. Students have been bribed with laptops, iPhones, and even iPads. A California university recently began a program which will give journalism students iPads to help write their articles (which I think is a great idea. Does someone want to donate $10,000 to Onward State? Anybody? Bueller?).

Well, the iPad craze has made its way to Happy Valley. Although they won’t be given away to quite the extent as some other schools, Educational Technology Services and the English Department have teamed up to loan students of English 202C (Technical Writing) iPads for the duration of the course. Instructor Michael Faris points out that there’s more to this project then letting students play with some cool new technology:

The purpose of this project is to explore issues integrating new work environments, technologies, and platforms, such as the Apple iPad, into higher education and student writing processes. Students will receive an iPad during week two for the duration of the term, and will be reading (using an e-textbook on iBooks), writing (using Pages and other apps), peer reviewing each other’s work, and submitting their work on the iPad. Students will also receive a keyboard (because, frankly, typing a lot with the iPad’s screen is difficult).

As this will be an institutional-review-board-approved study, Faris and other members of the study will be conducting regular interviews with the students regarding their experience. I’d be interested to hear what impact the use of this technology has on students; it sounds like it sure beats carrying a notebook and textbook to class.

With students having these iPads for the duration of the semester, I wonder what other use they could get out of them. Hmmm…

  • Order Gumby’s Pokey Stix online…preferably at 2 in the morning.
  • Kalm Sutra app. Enough said.
  • Weather Channel app. If you know State College, you know that you need this.
  • Free WiFi Finder app. Because who knows if PSU is ever going to implement university-wide WiFi.
  • I Am T-Pain app. Sometimes you just need to Autotune. Ayyyyyyy.

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About the Author

Noah Simmons

Noah is an International Politics major minoring in French. Noah participates in the Mock Trial team, the Sailing Team, and is the president/founder of the Odyssey of the Mind club. Besides pushing the limit of what is journalistically acceptable, Noah enjoys long walks on the beach and football. In a previous lifetime he was William Wallace

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