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App-lying Mobile Technology in the Classroom – iPad Pilot

The beginning of the semester brings an exciting new effort for the use of iPads in the classroom.  The Provost’s office, CELT, and CTS are jointly sponsoring a pilot that will allow faculty accepted into the program to experiment with how the devices can be used for teaching, learning and other innovative uses.

In her vision and goal for starting the program, Provost Lorrie Clemo said she is looking to “take a major leap into the mobile world by rolling out wireless gear and a rigorous professional development program through CELT on teaching with mobile technologies. We strive to use technologies across the college in the same way that students will be expected to when they graduate. Our goal is to apply the latest in mobile technologies to the teaching and learning environment to help students become more engaged, more collaborative and more creative.”

In August, an announcement was sent to all faculty encouraging those interested to submit a proposal with a brief description on how they plan on using the device.  A representative from each school and college reviewed the proposals and selected ten people to participate. Winners were announced at the Provost’s Faculty Retreat.

John Kane, the director of CELT and an advanced user of the iPad and apps, spoke of the winners as “a group of faculty from a diverse set of disciplines who will examine how mobile devices may be used to enhance student learning.”

Among the planned uses of some of the proposals are field exercises in geology and archaeology, creation and use of e-books, multimedia creation, gaming, digital drawing and painting, creation of iOS apps, and controlling the classroom computer so students can participate in exercises that are displayed on the projection screen.

David Kahn, the technical lead for the pilot, prepared each iPad with a base set of commonly used apps.  Faculty may also install other apps to assist them in pursuing their goals.  David has worked with a few other departments in their efforts to use iPads, but is “eager to see what the faculty, CELT, and CTS can achieve during this pilot iPad program on campus.”

In addition to the learning outcomes,  another of CTS’s goals of the pilot is to determine what level of support will be needed to continue the use of iPads beyond the pilot group.  Sean Moriarty, Chief Technology Officer, commented that CTS will “gain a better understanding of the requirements of supporting these new tools, from acquisition and provisioning with apps, education and training and to the infrastructure and wireless requirements to effectively use these tools.”

At the end of the pilot, faculty will share their experiences with the broader campus at campus events such as the CELT sponsored Winter BreakOut.