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Our Lady of the Lake College Publishes PT Mobile Apps

The Physical Therapy Assistant app from Our Lady of the Lake College
The Physical Therapy Assistant app from Our Lady of the Lake College

Our Lady of the Lake College in Baton Rouge, LA has launched five mobile apps for Apple devices in the last six months for students in its Physical Therapist Assisting program. The latest app, released in late July 2011 and titled "Manual Muscle Testing of the Scapula," provides text on what muscles are involved and what they do and provides both audio and video demonstrations and questions for self-assessment.

The apps, which publicly sell for $3.99 each, are licensed under a Creative Commons license by Eric Seneca, director of distance learning. They run on the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad with iOS 4.2 or later.

The college turned to the Apple devices as part of a mobile learning initiative. According to Seneca, the focus of "m-Learning," as the program is called, is to "deliver formal instruction into informal learning opportunities."

Previously, the college had experimented with the use of netbooks. That approach was discarded for several reasons, Seneca said. "The value of the netbook did not outweigh some of its limitations of portability and maintenance for our clinical students. We found that our students were more likely to get virus infestations on the netbook devices. We have not experienced those problems with the iPod touch/iPhone/iPad."

He also noted that the average price of the netbook, $299, was more than at least one of those options--the iPod touch, which sells for about $229. And while the iPad is about $499, that extra expense is counter-balanced in at least one course by the use of less expensive e-textbooks instead of traditional texts.

Besides his college work, Seneca runs his own iOS development company, Nichware Consulting, to develop apps for law enforcement, weather, and flight status information.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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