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Career college turns to iPad for students

Published On: Oct 07 2013 07:56:54 AM CDT
ipad, schools, education

Gone are the days of chalkboards and basic paper and pencil. Students at Globe University, a career college with two campuses in Madison, will soon leave textbooks at home and instead take their new iPads to class.

For days, students have been picking up and training on iPads as the school moves to the Education User Experience, or edUX, an adaptive learning model that incorporates the tablet technology.

Veterinary technology student Matt Pharo said the ability to interact through the tablet would help him as a student because he was never a fan of speaking in front of large groups.

"I've always suffered a little bit with learning out of a textbook. You don't always get excited about it. It kind of lags on a little bit," said Pharo, who is expected to graduate in 2015.

Pharo and classmate Ayla Huffman said their new iPads have already saved them money on textbooks. Both spent around $600 on books last quarter. This time they're looking at about $400 now that they have more electronic books to study.

This fall quarter Globe University will become an "iPad zone." It was able to distribute the tablets to more than 500 students with the help of scholarships. A school representative would not say how much it cost to implement the digital model, but said the school sees this as an investment.

The same representative said tuition was not affected by the change.

Students must complete two quarters to take advantage of the program. If they do not complete two quarters they must cover the remaining cost.

Heather Wipijewski is the veterinary technology program chair at Globe. She said with the change, students are up-to-date with advancements in their field and can take class work wherever they go.

"We're all busy with a lot of things outside of school that students have to deal with as well. Now they don't have to lug around textbooks. They don't have to try to look through five different textbooks to find an answer," said Wipijewski.

At Milton Middle School iPads have been part of the classroom for nearly three years now.

Shelly Kress, a seventh-grade teacher, helped get the program started.

"Students are eager to come back to school and use their iPads. They enjoy using that technology for their learning. We've seen a lot of growth in their 21st century skills and collaboration and creativity," said Kress.

Kress added they've seen test scores improve, and teachers have learned how to better help and assess their students.

They know kids enjoy the addition through student surveys.

However, the road has not been perfect. Last year, their system crashed when 520 middle schoolers tried to log in at once, and there are days the Internet goes down. Kress said issues are remedied quickly and the positives are overwhelming.

Milton's school district is looking at other devices they can add to their elementary and high schools, including Google's Nexus 7 and laptops.

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