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iPads On American Campuses? Maybe Next Year 177

Posted by timothy
from the please-don't-overcommit dept.
Velcroman1 writes "Slashdotters have read extensively about the iPad pilot programs at colleges and universities: Australian schools are iPad crazy, we read yesterday, and thanks to the iPad's success, 2011 will be the year of the tablet. But on US college campuses almost half a year after the iPad's launch, it's a whole different story — at least so far this year. FoxNews.com reports that high-profile schools like Duke and Stanford are far more cautious about the device than has previously been reported. 'It definitely facilitates studying and recall because you don't get bogged down by all the paper,' noted first-year Stanford med student Ryan Flynn. But it's still a work in progress. 'The iPad isn't the best input device. Some people have gone back to paper and pencil.'"
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iPads On American Campuses? Maybe Next Year

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  • by matty619 (630957) on Thursday September 23, 2010 @02:35PM (#33678452)

    Just as a replacement for expensive heavy books at the very least. Laptops are too cumbersome, I'm sure teachers dislike staring out at just the tops of students' heads cresting from behind laptop screens. (think grade schoolers lol) I really do believe that the right tablet at the right price will be the biggest game changer for education we've seen in a long long time.

  • Re:Budget (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 23, 2010 @02:36PM (#33678460)

    What functionality would the average college student be lacking after getting a bluetooth keyboard?

    (Genuine question)

  • Hm (Score:3, Interesting)

    by iONiUM (530420) on Thursday September 23, 2010 @02:39PM (#33678500) Homepage Journal

    I was in university about 6 years ago, right during the shift when students were just starting to bring laptops (at least, where I went). I never had one, and I liked the fact that with notepaper I wasn't limited in any way: I can write, draw, colour, do whatever since a pen has no restrictions.

    That said, the amount of paper I had to lug around sucked, so definitely an iPad or similar device would help. If I went back to school now, I can honestly say I would definitely try an electronic solution first, but if I felt any slower or that I couldn't get all the notes down, I would switch back.

    One thing I never got is the students who recorded the whole hour lecture. I could barely even sit through them once... ah, who am I kidding, I often didn't :).

  • by recoiledsnake (879048) on Thursday September 23, 2010 @02:42PM (#33678546)

    I recently saw that that the a 'Restoring Truthiness' (Stephen Colbert rally) charity on DonorsChoose.org was requesting iPads.

    http://www.donorschoose.org/donors/proposal.html?id=439788&challengeid=39361 [donorschoose.org]

    My students need iPads to assist them in English, Social details
    Studies and Creative Writing!

    Creating writing on iPads with one of the worst input methods among electronic devices? But it worked, they collected $10,000+. In some countries you can build a school with that instead of contributing to Apple's really fat margins.

    Atleast with MS, you can run what you want, but with iPads? http://www.businessinsider.com/latest-app-store-rejection-outrage-apple-rejects-app-that-teaches-kids-to-program-2010-4 [businessinsider.com]

    Sigh, the things that shiny baubles can get people to do....

  • Paper and pencil (Score:5, Interesting)

    by massysett (910130) on Thursday September 23, 2010 @02:47PM (#33678606) Homepage

    As a law student, at first I used a laptop to take notes in class. I had a 14-inch laptop and it wasn't light, especially when you factor in the power cord. I got tired of lugging the thing around.

    This was years ago, so light laptops were quite expensive and there were no netbooks. One guy had a Palm and a fold-up keyboard. I thought of getting this but I couldn't justify the expense.

    Then I realized I was making this way too complicated. I got a bunch of $2 spiral notebooks and started taking those to class instead. I could write a lot faster on a laptop, but I realized that having page after page of class notes was not really helpful anyway. Without the laptop and all the distractions it brought, I could focus better in class. In the end I was glad I had stopped using the laptop. My bag was a lot lighter too.

    I think computers in the classroom could perhaps be helpful, but only if the professor actually takes steps to integrate them--maybe by teaching from materials that are online. Law school instructional methods do nothing to take advantage of laptops, so they just end up being a burden. An iPad is even less functional than a laptop, so I doubt it would be useful in most classrooms. I don't see how medical school would differ from law school in this regard.

  • Re:Palm + Keyboard (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pclminion (145572) on Thursday September 23, 2010 @04:04PM (#33679516)

    Well it all depends on how you take notes : if you're the "write down absolutely everything down", "hands directly wired to the ears, skipping the brain" type of notes, a laptop, a Palm or whatever won't help much more than a voice recorder sitting and recording passively the lecture.

    That always seemed terribly ineffective to me. If you spend all your time simply typing down what is said instead of actually listening to it, then you missed the entire lecture. All you have to show for it are some poorly transcribed notes -- you might as well have just read a book on the subject.

    For me it's the same thing with photography. I used to take tons of pictures when vacationing, until I realized that I was worrying so much about photographing everything that I wasn't actually LOOKING at anything. Now people complain that I don't have enough pictures, but at least I can remember what I did on vacation now.

  • by WillAffleckUW (858324) on Thursday September 23, 2010 @04:35PM (#33679960) Homepage Journal

    I'm not quite sure why you seem to think we don't.

    We have many iPads at the UW. We also have Kindles and netbooks.

    They all work. They're all in use in classes.

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