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iPad Mobile Learning Initiative

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The College of Education began the mobile learning initiative in 2016. As part of this initiative, students in certain education courses are required to purchase or obtain an iPad for use in the class.

This initiative is focused on transforming our classrooms to reflect the new reality: places of learning are becoming increasingly democratized, and students expect engagement and increased ownership of the classroom experience.

Further, this is an opportunity for UCA to further its commitment to explore new technologies to improve student learning and success and to increase collaboration among faculty (InTasc, CAEP, & ISTE standards).

Why tablets?
Tablets offer true mobile access to “always on” teaching materials anytime and anywhere, including access to UCA resources, like Blackboard, Google Classroom, as well as electronic textbooks and a wide variety of productivity and content-specific apps. Tablets, unlike laptops, are extremely portable, are multi-functional, and have long battery life. They can serve as interactive response systems, cameras, notepads, mind-mapping spaces, PDF and image annotators, calculators, video recorders, e-readers and more.

Okay, so why iPads?
iPads are part of a larger ecosystem that includes open access resources (iTunes U & iBooks Author), built-in productivity and multimedia authoring apps (GarageBand, iMovie, Keynote, Pages, Numbers), and connectivity among multiple devices (AirDrop, Airplay). Additionally, the iPad has a number of accessibility features built into the device’s hardware and operating system, including assistive technologies for the visually and hearing impaired as well as those with physical or motor skills impairments. These accessibility features not only help those with disabilities but also benefit all learners in a variety of ways through the principles of Universal Design for Learning.

Some students have asked why they have to have an iPad specifically for these courses. Besides the reasons stated above and the fact they no longer pay $150 for a textbook in many of their courses, it is important to remember that by learning how to use the iPad and the apps within the Apple ecosystem, they are expanding their ability to incorporate a wide range of technology-enhanced activities and assessments.

Some students may even be teaching at a school with 1:1 Chromebooks, and they may ask, “So, why not have us buy a Chromebook?” The short answer is that “You can do anything you can do on a Chromebook on an iPad, but you can’t do everything you can do on an iPad on a Chromebook.” Teaching and learning with the iPad allows students to experience a wider range of options than the Chromebook, which limits students to web apps and browsing. Furthermore, students with the iPad can easily share their digital creations with the instructor and their classmates with AirPlay and AirDrop.

One might also consider that there is so much more creative potential and more mobility using the iPad. In many classes, we use most of the creative apps from the Apple side and the productivity apps from the Google (as well as Microsoft) side. Students should be well-versed in both ecosystems because they really don’t know where they will be teaching and what devices they will have available to them.

Read Our Mobile Learning Story!









Meet Our Apple Distinguished Educators:

Dr. Victoria Groves-Scott
Dean, College of Education
ADE Class of 2017
Dr. Donna Wake
Associate Dean, College of Education
ADE Class of 2017
Dr. Michael Mills
Department Chair, Teaching & Learning
ADE Class of 2013
Dr. Louis Nadelson
Department Chair, Leadership Studies
ADE Class of 1995
Mrs. Jessica Herring Watson
Teaching & Learning
ADE Class of 2015


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