- iPads for Students
BVU Students to Receive iPads in Fall 2011
Beginning in the fall of 2011, every Storm Lake student at Buena Vista University will receive an Apple iPad 2 along with a laptop. Students will not experience any additional charges or fees as a result of receiving the iPad.
A pilot program conducted during the spring semester affirmed the iPad’s usefulness in the students’ academic experience. The pilot verified that students found the iPads simple to use and versatile. Students also reported higher levels of engagement. The iPad interface is especially well-suited for digital textbooks, which are not as easily used with conventional laptops. The iPad’s presence further increases the potential use of multimedia content in the curriculum.
iPads are not quite ready to fully replace laptops. However, according to Dr. David Evans, vice president for academic affairs, “if they develop over the next several years on the trajectory that appears most likely, they may eventually replace laptops for most applications on campus.”
“Buena Vista University has a longstanding reputation as an innovator,” he says. “By our early adoption of the technology, BVU has the opportunity to help define and refine how iPads are used in higher education. Apple has an extensive array of educational materials that we will employ as we develop our own materials and hold ongoing development workshops.”
With the introduction of the devices, students will be given the option to use either printed or digital textbooks with their coursework. Other potential applications include the opportunity for computer science students to learn to program and publish for the iPad platform. Professors will have discretion how to use the new technology appropriately.
“The iPads have helped students in my class interact with their texts, share with each other, and work creatively,” says Jamii Claiborne, assistant professor of media studies and part of the iPad pilot. “These are all important to effective learning, which is really the most important thing. For students and faculty in media, the iPad means we can gather, create, edit, publish, promote, and then consume what we make – all from one small, mobile device. That's exciting! Students and I have all been searching for relevant apps and telling each other about them. Together, as partners, we're figuring out how to use this new technology effectively.”
“From live polling in class to multimedia applications to their ease for use in note taking, the possibilities for how the iPad can help in the classroom are limitless,” says James Day, instructor of exercise science and assistant athletic trainer who has used the iPad in his classroom. “In athletic training, iPads can help students document injuries and treatments. They will also be helpful in showing athletes multimedia information on the affected anatomy and possible treatments.”
In 2000, BVU became the first fully wireless campus in the United States. Since then, the University has provided laptops for all students who attend campus.