UT Tyler Office of News and Information
UT Tyler Brings iPads into Classroom as Part of Major Initiative
September 17, 2010
Media Contact: Hannah Buchanan
Public Affairs Specialist
News and Information
The University of Texas at Tyler
Editor’s Note: In efforts to continue providing quality customer service, The University of Texas at Tyler has begun implementing several enhancements in student-oriented areas.
The University of Texas at Tyler has implemented a pilot program that provides iPads for students in certain courses, UT Tyler President Rodney Mabry announced.
Mabry revealed UT Tyler’s technology initiative at opening convocation in August. He stressed the importance of incorporating technology into the university’s product to meet students’ technology expectations.
Dr. Ann Beebe, UT Tyler associate professor of English, and Dr. Robert Sterken, associate professor of political science, developed the project proposal last spring. The university started the program with 60 iPads to be used in designated sections of English and political science.
Students can keep the iPads upon successful completion of the courses.
There are many benefits for providing students this technology, including organization, time management and research accessibility, according to Beebe.
It also provides cost-saving measures for students as well as the university.
“Many students ended up finding the texts for all their classes in electronic format saving them hundreds of dollars,” Beebe explained. “I can post a quiz on the Blackboard application and set it to open just minutes before class starts. Students can take the quiz on their iPads in the first five minutes of class and turn them in electronically. This feature saves the university on copier costs.”
Freshman journalism major Audrey Westby of Shreveport, La., enjoys using the iPad in class.
“I’ve downloaded textbooks, so I like the fact you don’t have to carry around big books,” Westby said. “The note taking application is also helpful. There are just a lot of resources all right there in one unit. Plus, it’s touch screen, which is fun. I’ve never worked with an iPad before, but it was easy to catch on. Everybody’s really excited.”
Beebe added the iPad makes core classes more enjoyable.
“Since ENGL 1301 is a tough core class, I am always looking for ways to make the class more appealing to our incoming freshmen and help them enjoy the writing and reading process,” she said.
Students have downloaded iPad applications that provide resources not only for English but also other classes. The applications help them develop presentations, take better notes, record lectures and organize research.
The UT Tyler Office of Instructional Design, led by Cindy Smith, instructional design coordinator, assists faculty and students with educational technology and in discovering beneficial educational applications. Smith worked with Beebe and Sterken to incorporate this technology.
“Many students need little or no help, simply because technology is so infused in their lives already,” Smith said. “We see this as just another great way to get technology in the classroom.”
One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler offers excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 80 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of more than 6,400 high-ability students at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine.
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