Arkansas State first considered using the iPad when its teaching program outgrew the school's existing Mac lab, where student teachers were learning to integrate technology into their instruction. Dr. Gina Hogue, Ph.D., spoke with AppleInsider about ASU's adoption of the iPad, and how the university hopes to improve its education by requiring all students to have one.
Starting in this year's fall semester, all members of the incoming first-year class for Arkansas State will either have an iPad upon arriving on campus or will be required to procure one shortly thereafter. The requirement is part of the university's iPad Initiative, the motto for which is "Learn on the move."
Hogue, the university's Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Services, said the initiative has its roots in Arkansas State's Teaching Methods course. Instructors would send student teachers out into the field equipped with an iPad, allowing administrators greater freedom in monitoring teachers' progress. "We can use it for far more than teaching," Dr. Gina Hogue said of Apple's iPad.
"We'd introduce our student teachers to the iPad in the Teaching Methods course, letting them get used to it," she explained. "Then, the next semester, they'd use the iPad during their teaching internship. We can use it for far more than teaching. It was an opportunity for us to use it to monitor students using FaceTime."
The iPad's videoconferencing capabilities allow for remote observation and more immediate feedback than was previously possible, according to Hogue.
"Our service area extends two hours away from campus," she said, "so this allows us to observe them more often and to preserve a closer connection with teachers who are remote from our schools."
Hogue said students have been eager to integrate Apple's tablet into their studies. "Our students love the iPad," she said.