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Law School Extends iPad Program to Faculty
California's Monterey College of Law has expanded in iPad program that it began piloting last summer, rolling out the devices to every faculty member who teaches a core subject.
What started as an effort to put iPads in the hands of students taking a supplemental instruction course turned into an iPad free-for-all among students, as the entire student body enrolled in the course, with 100 percent of incoming class and 70 percent of the rest of the student body signing up within the first week. That initial pilot, which Monterey's president and dean, Mitchell Winick, is now referring to as "phase 1," was the result of a partnership between the college and BarBri, the bar exam review provider that supplied the supplemental curriculum program tied in with the iPads. The college worked with BarBri to ensure that the students wouldn't have to pay extra to be able to receive the iPads.
Now, with every student equipped with an iPad, the program is being expanded into its second phase to include all members of the faculty who are teaching core subjects, which include "bar-tested subjects and legal research and writing," Winick explained. Twenty-four faculty members received iPads beginning earlier this month.
WInick said this marks the first time an accredited college of law has provided iPads to all of its students and faculty.
"The student iPad initiative has exceeded our expectations in only a few months," WInick said in a prepared statement. "It was an easy decision to move forward and include our faculty."
The first phase of the pilot was designed to create studying opportunities outside of the classroom for its students, who, with a median age of 38, are typically full-time workers attending school in the evening. Monterey had 36 incoming first-year students and a total of 105 students in the fall in its doctor of jurisprudence program.
The second phase has slightly different objectives, as Winick pointed out: "enhancing educational effectiveness, making faculty jobs easier, and bringing an element of novelty and fun into the mix."
Monterey's faculty members are practicing legal professionals, including lawyers and judges, and teach classes in the evening on an adjunct basis.
Winick said: ""It will be very interesting to get the faculty directly involved in the student's iPad-based educational community. In the traditional classroom model, the teacher designs and strictly controls the learning environment. As part of this initiative, we are asking our students to play a leading role in improving the educational process."
According to information released by the college, students have already established an academic support network based around the use of the iPads, and faculty members are going to become involved with that as one of the early objectives of phase 2. The support network encompasses virtual study groups, practice exams, and sharing of resources.
To help the faculty adapt to the new technology, Monterey is providing informal tutoring and will offer formal workshops in the spring.
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