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Description: The main benefit of the iPad is portability and convenience, he says. “This is something I can easily pack, which doesn’t apply to textbooks.” It also helps with organisation. “I have stacks of material that fill up my entire small desk . . . I’m not even halfway through [the programme] and I’m drowning in text books.”


Date: Feb 16, 2011

Research on just how tablet devices change behaviour is already under way through trials at Wharton, where professors on the undergraduate programme and the MBA are using iPads in the classroom. One of the more interesting issues, says Deirdre Woods, associate dean and chief information officer at Wharton, is that when students use an iPad it is a “lean back” device, rather than a PC which is a “lean forward” one. “It makes a real difference to how you work.”  Read rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  • What are the benifits for students of using the ipad in thier classroom experience?
  • What are the downsides of using the ipad in a classroom experience?
  • Would you like to see the University adopt this ipad adoption for your studies? Why

14 Responses to “Business schools test drive the iPad”

  1. John

    The thing that interests me the most about this article is the effect that it would have on the publishing industry. The textbook market would become much more competitive and maybe students wouldn’t get forced to pay as much for text books. Yes it will undoubtedly change the distribution process in the school, in the bookstore in particular that still arguably has a monopoly on the market for textbooks used by the school. But, what about the select few of us that still want the hard copy books. I hate e books, they are hard to read, their formatting is frustrating, you can lose them, delete them, and a whole host of other issues. Yeah they can be backed up and everything, but really who wants to search through their computer and their online purchasers website for half an hour looking for a simple stat in a text book they can just pull of the shelf? I like the idea of classroom integrations with the iPad, but when I am stuck somewhere on the weekend and I go to read my book, I don’t have to plug it in and let it charge first.

  2. Mark McKee

    When the ipad was released it turned a lot of heads. They have sold millions of tablets since they have launched. After reading this article I did not find that it explains very well the purpose of using the ipad in a class room atmosphere. Personally, I think laptops are better to use in the classroom. So I do not think our university should adapt an ipad package with our textbooks. When it comes to taking notes a full keyboard from a laptop is much more practical then typing on a screen. I have seen the ipad being used in some of my classes so far at the university. Because it is a touch screen it makes it more interactive then a laptop. Therefore apple has created many interactive games that can be played by touching the screen and that is all I see students doing so far in the classroom.

  3. Brett Quinton

    The link to the story is broken, but I have an Ipad and use it for school work. I have all of the text books that were offered for my classes this semester, I only saved $350. I have a bluetooth keyboard that is good enough for taking notes but it is loud, I will say that it is not nearly as loud as the random guy in you class pounding on his laptop keyboard. The best part of using the Ipad is that I use another program that allows me to draw on the screen. It is perfect for math and science based classes as a laptop is useless in those situations. The Ipad is not even close to the perfect product but it is definitely a step in the right direction. To comment on the statement above that all it is used for is playing games could be true for some students, but those are the same students that are using their laptop for facebook all class.

  4. Kevin Beauchamp

    The iPad is merely the newest form of technology that helps make our lives easier and more efficient. As a student, I think one of the biggest benefit of adopting it in classrooms is textbook storage and cost savings. Some of the prices for textbooks are ridiculous, and the iPad presents a more inexpensive solution. It also holds the material in one tablet, rather than five or six textbooks. This protability will also lead to getting projects done faster and savings more time. It will be most effective if used by the majority of students as it providing a similar platform for group discussion. A downside that was pointed out was how some people still like to take hand-written notes, believing they could get more work done. This may be true, but this problem has always existed when PCs and laptops became popular. As long as technology evolves, there will always be those who resist it.

  5. Corey Bedard

    I have realized, as have so many other people, that the iPad is a cool new device that has an unlimited number of uses. However, I don’t find that the classroom is a good place for the iPad to function. The more distractions a person is given in the classroom the less likely they are to pay much attention to the professor. Countless times I have caught my self focusing way too much attention on what the person in the row in front of me is doing on their laptop, and thats with the only game to be played is solitaire. Now people start bringing in their iPad and playing Angry Birds in front of me, it is needless to say my attention won’t be on the lecture. Every professor has a computer in front of them in each classroom so anything that needs to be looked up online can easily be done by them. If they don’t think it’s that important…it probably isn’t that important. A good old pencil and paper will suffice for me.

  6. Caley Sinclair

    I persoanlly dont feel that an ipad is the ideal technology for use in the classroom. Apple products have been marketed and advertised to the extreme to push consumers in the direction that they are the best product on the market. When in class I would prefer a netbook or notebook. Having a physical keyboard to actually feel the keys you are pressing. It is understandable that some may think it will save money, you will have the initial cost of purchasing the ipad. I understand the University have WiFi, buut what if you wanted to use your ipad outside of a hotspot. You would then need to pay a montly fee to have access to the internet from whichever provider you choose. Overall, there are many other products on the market that can top the ipad but tablets in general are not the logical solution for classroom note taking.

  7. Wendy Rivers

    I believe the benefits of using of an iPad in the classroom could go either way. Students will have the opportunity to save money because they are not forced to pay high prices for text books. Students will also be able to carry the content of many books on their iPad instead of carrying each individual textbook. The iPad is a form of the newest technology that is meant to make our lives easier and more efficient.
    Every student has a preferred method of learning and taking notes such as taking hand-written notes, and typing notes. I believe that it is the responsibility of the students to pay attention in class. If you are paying full attention to the professor then you should not be paying attention to other students on their devices; it is up to you, where you focus your attention. The technology users should also be focusing on the class and not on social networks or games. However, if iPad users can not refrain from these games apps, then having iPads in the classroom should not occur because it is obviously not making class work more efficient.

  8. Jolan Naismith

    The should we or shouldn’t we make something mandatory will always be debated in one form or another. Personally I don’t know that constant technology work is good for students, especially at a younger level. Students are better at typing that they are at printing and hand writing is becoming a foreign subject all together. Every now and again as a society we need to take a step back and ensure that the “short cuts” and “benefits” that we are creating will be beneficial long term. I agree that textbooks are well over priced and often you only cover a third of the material in any given book, however that doesn’t mean that online material won’t increase in price as their monopoly grows. Furthermore several industries do not use apple products and learning exclusively on ipads will effect students transitions to the workforce. Unless Apple continues to grow into accounting firms, banks and so forth we may want to hold off on creating exclusively Apple classroom settings.

  9. Nyle Watts

    I can definitely see the pros and cons that iPads could have in a classroom setting. But I personally believe that there is very little difference in using an iPad in a classroom to take notes and having a labtop in the classroom to take notes. There is still a certain number of distractions that could take the student away from the lecture from both devices: Facebook, games, Youtube, even email. But it still has numerous benefits over a laptop: Having an iPad to store textbooks can save students so much money on purchasing textbooks from the bookstore, and its more useful in group presentations. Then again, this is also the big fad that everyone is talking about right now, so there still may be a lot of people that are resistant to the idea since the technology is so new. But think about before when students didn’t even have laptops to bring into the classroom and had to rely on pen and paper: do you think there was some people resistant to the idea that people could carry a computer into a classroom?

  10. Teigen C.

    I don’t see much difference between having an iPad in class versus a laptop. Both function to do the same things that would be important for school work. However, as mentioned above – the fact that you can draw for math and science based classes is a huge advantage. Before I transferred to U of L, we were not allowed to have laptops in class, and the classrooms were not set up to have laptops (i.e no power outlets). However, since being at U of L, I use my laptop in every class. I even bought a netbook just to make it easier to carry. I greatly debated between a netbook and an iPad. I think that the iPad would be a cool innovation in the classroom. Not only is it easy to use, the fact that it does so many things that a normal laptop does gives the classroom use endless possibilites. I would love to see the adoption of iPad use at U of L!

  11. Katelynne Swenson

    I definitely feel that there are benefits to using an iPad in the classroom. However, I also feel that most of the these benefits could be attained by just using a cheap laptop. I use a netbook in most of my classes and I don’t think that I need iPad to do the same things I would on my computer. I also don’t feel that having one in the classroom should be mandatory. Although it can be used for textbook purposes, which I am sure is great for some people, lots of students need the hands on style of a textbook, not a computer screen. Technology is constantly updating itself and soon the iPad will be out of date, another reason that it should not be manditory in the classroom. I think that it should be up to the student to choose how they want to learn, not the university.

  12. A.S.

    Apple Inc. is known for being a leader in new product development and innovativeness, which helps them maintain, sustain, and retain a competitive advantage in their respective market. The launch of the companies latest product the iPad has undoubtedly been a success in business endeavors, education and simply for leisure or pleasure purposes.
    In a sense, the iPad is beneficial for students to use in a classroom setting as described in the description of the article but in reality, there really is no difference in using a PC laptop or a Mac in order to access notes, power-points, and other resources online. In fact, with all the apps and games associated with product, some might even argue that it may be a distraction during lectures or seminars.
    It would be nice for the U of L to implement or adopt the idea of the iPad in classroom settings, but I don’t think it will make a huge difference as most students have their own laptops that they find convenient enough to access online resources.

  13. Megan

    I would love to see this adoption happen at my university. Other similar devices that could be used might be the eReader from Sony, which also has the capacity to carry textbooks. The one I have seen is only 2Gs, which might be an issue for some users. However, the iPad is an excellent idea for student users, especially when textbooks come to mind. I know that by the end of the day, my back is killing me from carrying around texts for 4 classes; it would be wonderful to have a lightweight substitution for them. As well, the local network capabilities that would be present if every student had an iPad would be incredible. From sharing files to seeing a PowerPoint presentation right in front of you, there are many ways the iPad could enhance the university experience. Some downsides to this have already been mentioned, including how publishers will feel when they start selling mass amounts of e-Books instead of hard copies. Environmentally responsible, but not great for their bottom line. If there were a way that universities and the publishers could collaborate to create a completely electronic textbook selling/renting program, this would be a great initiative in the way of cutting down on materials such as paper, the need for shelf space, etc. Another benefit exists if there was also a way to create electronic Coursepacks.

  14. M.lee

    I for one hate other students who use iPads in the class room because I believe they purchase this technology for the apps, which consist of games. Currently, students who have iPads in the class room are not using them efficiently because most of the time they are playing games and fooling around on Facebook. You may be able to save money when it comes to books however there are other technologies that are also cost efficient that provide you with the same functions. If professors are using the iPads as a main tool to format their lectures and connect with their students, then this will cause other students who can’t afford this technology to suffer and also be excluded. This technology can also allow providers such as Apple to become a dominate supplier and control the market price.

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