Mobile Computing

IIT Rolling Out iPads to Incoming Class

First-year freshmen entering the Illinois Institute of Technology will be receiving Apple iPads as part of their welcome packages. The school, a Ph.D.-granting institution in Chicago, said it's distributing the devices as part of a larger effort to to integrate technology into learning and "foster educational innovation among faculty and students."

IIT enrolled about 450 first-time freshmen in fall 2009.

According to information released by IIT today, students and faculty will be using a variety of applications on the iPad in and out of the classroom and will be developing new applications for the device as well, particularly those that aim to engage students further in learning and to enhance their educational experiences.

The move, according to IIT, is part of the university's increasing focus on mobile technologies. IIT introduced courses in mobile application development last year and has also opened a facility, called the "Idea Shop," designed for interdisciplinary collaboration, including mobile application development (as well as scientific computing, visualization, and prototyping). According to the university, "The Idea Shop will be the home of the Interprofessional Projects Program (IPRO), where students from all disciplines collaborate in teams to solve real-world problems, some of which turn into entrepreneurial ventures through the Knapp Entrepreneurship Center, which helps students take their ideas and products from the classroom to the marketplace."

"University education is much different today as compared to even 10 years ago," IIT Provost Alan Cramb said in a prepared statement released Tuesday. "Students live in a world where technology is seamlessly integrated into virtually every aspect of their lives, where information and collaboration are available anywhere, anytime. IIT is committed to providing students with the tools and support to thrive in a constantly evolving technological landscape."

The university said it's also developing an app that will provide students, faculty, and visitors with information about the university and will allow the institution to send emergency alerts to iPads and other Apple mobile devices.

IIT serves about 7,700 total students. Roughly 2,600 are undergraduates.

About the Author

David Nagel is the executive producer for 1105 Media's online K-12 and higher education publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. He can now be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/THEJournalDave (K-12) or http://twitter.com/CampusTechDave (higher education). You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192.

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