iPad + Me = iGraduate?

For those who choose to go beyond undergrad and continue on to a graduate school it is imperative that they get the most out of their program as they continue on in their area of focus. For those whose focus is in the medical sector, it is very important that as they go through their graduate classes they are maximizing their learning by any means necessary. An article on the Educause website discusses the effectiveness of Apple iPad technology in the Biomedical Sciences graduate school setting at the Ohio State University College of Medicine.

iGraduate

The article points out that there is little research that looks at the use of the iPad in the classroom, but there is an increasing amount of people adopting tablet technology. For example, the article states that the percentage of American adults who own tablets almost doubled over the 2011 holiday season, from 10 percent to 19 percent, as did the ownership of e-book readers.

Current research indicates potential for the iPad to serve as a teaching tool because of its light weight, high connectivity, and functionality with both typed and hand-written note taking. From the two-year experience of equipping all of Ohio State University College of Medicine first-year graduate students with iPads, they found many advantages of an iPad-enabled curriculum in our graduate program, but challenges remained. The main advantages included:

  • a portable device with constant access to the web while on campus
  • consistency with the educational goal of active learning
  • excitement among our students to receive an iPad
  • increased enthusiasm for the graduate program that benefited recruitment efforts
  • a sense of newness, with the deployment of this technology enhancing the graduate student experience

Overall, the adoption of iPads in graduate education enhanced the educational experience by increasing classroom connectivity, promoting engagement, and putting a wealth of new teaching and learning tools at the fingertips of students and faculty.