According to Claudia Ruiz, Assistant Director of Instructional Technology, at the beginning of the year, six faculty members from a variety of disciplines were selected to use their faculty issued iPads in the classroom. In the spring term, five more professors started using iPads.
In the fall, the original six faculty members shared their responses to Ruiz. Surprisingly, even though not every student in the classes had an iPad, 67 percent of the faculty members said they used their iPad in every class. The rest in the study said they frequently used it.
The participating professors were also asked what the strengths and weaknesses of the iPads were. The strengths included:
- Organization during the lecture
- Student interaction
- Students could share group work efficiently
The weaknesses included:
- Not every student had an iPad
- Relevant apps sometimes cost money.
John Lax, Professor of Marketing, has been using iPads in his 300 level marketing classes for the whole year.
“From what I have seen, students who use the iPads are doing even better than those who use laptops,” said Lax. “The iPads seem to be helping students take better notes and do research quickly and efficiently.”
However, only eleven professors are using iPads in their classrooms, which means that most students are not assigned an academic use for their iPads.
Les Lloyd, Chief Information Officer, performed a study in the fall about what students were actually using their iPads for. The study found that 94 percent of the 31 students surveyed used their iPads for checking e-mail and using the SLU-portal. 87 percent used it for browsing the internet.
Freshman Ashley Reynolds said, “I never use it. It’s been turned off since November.”
Freshman Kenna Dieffenwierth gets more use out of hers. “I don’t have a cell phone, so I use it to text my friends. I also use it for Facebook, YouTube, and games.”
Other freshmen interviewed including Carrie Sylvester and Amber Evans said they use their iPad for games, e-mail, and Facebook.
Lloyd said, “IPads will be given out again next year. They are just another device for students to use if they want, and since they are using them, we will keep providing them.”
Professor Lax is confident that the iPads will soon become more integrated into University life. “IPads give people what I like to call the anyplace, anywhere, anytime syndrome, and that’s what I like about them,” said Lax.
“I find that I don’t even carry a notepad to meetings anymore, I just bring my iPad. They will soon replace bringing laptops to class. We just have to figure out how.”