Monthly Archives: April 2012

iPads in the Classroom – Julie Newman’s Sustainability Course

In last week’s session, we learned from the Yale School of Medicine that iPads can be used to completely replace paper in a professional program. This week, Julie Newman, Director of the Office of Sustainability and lecturer in Forestry and Environmental Science, came to TwTT to describe her experience using iPads to replace paper and enhance teaching in her undergraduate seminar titled “Sustainability: From Theory to Practice in Institutions.”

The initiative started when the CLC set up a pilot program to loan out 20 iPad2s to a seminar that would integrate them most effectively into its structure. The library would loan the devices, and ITS’s Instructional Technology Group would provide technical and teaching support. After a successful spring 2011 project in the digital humanities, Julie Newman’s class won the fall semester challenge, both for its ambitious goal of eliminating paper use in the classroom and for its use of iPad optimized assignments and projects.

Julie described to the audience how her class goals were uniquely suited to the iPad. First she wanted to go paperless, both to lessen the seminar’s carbon footprint and to enhance text with media integration and instant research. She also wanted to go mobile with the class, leaving the seminar room to visit local sites while students could continue to watch the presentation or take notes. These would be accomplished without the social barrier of a laptop screen. Finally, she asserted that she wanted to start a conversation on not only about technology as a teaching tool but also the role of technology in sustainability.
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Student Work Kiosk at the Art Gallery

Recently the Yale University Art Gallery installed a touch-screen kiosk populated with work from Professor Laura Wexler’s seminar titled “Photography and Memory”. For the kiosk, we recorded students reading a short paper (or an excerpt of the same) written in response to one of the photographs displayed in the YUAG’s study gallery space as part of this course. Thanks to the YUAG’s touchscreen, visitors can browse the kiosk by person or by work to hear the students’ scholarship from the seminar. Along with short and full audio files from the student readings, the kiosk presents pictures of the students and the works discussed, as well as transcripts of the readings. This kiosk came together in a flurry of effort and coordination among Professor Wexler, the YUAG, ITG, and the Photo + Design group of ITS. The kiosk will only be up for another couple of weeks, so go take a look today!

students and instructor around the kiosk

Yale Medical School iPad Program

When the Stanford School of Medicine decided to incorporate mobile technology into the curriculum while reducing the use of paper in the classroom, students were issued iPads to access electronic versions of their course materials. Within a semester there was a general revolt, and paper was reinstated as the primary teaching tool.

When the Yale School of Medicine sought to use iPads to eliminate paper, after a botched experiment with flash drives, the goal was to take a big risk in order to have a big impact. The bold strategy paid off. With 84% of first year medical students saying that the iPad was their primary classroom tool, and 90% of students reporting that it was their primary tool for reading, adoption rates were better than the implementation team had expected. Now, not only has the program been recognized as a success, but the Yale Medical School is also now regularly contacted by other departments and programs, as well as other universities, for information on how to successfully deploy iPads in teaching. Joining us on Tuesday to talk about the history, implementation, and success of the program were Michael Scwartz, Gary Leydon, Judy Spark, and Mark Gentry, all from the team at the Yale School of Medicine responsible for the success of the iPad program.

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