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Oklahoma State To Test iPad in PR and Marketing Courses

Oklahoma State University plans to run an Apple iPad project during the fall 2010 semester to research the use of the tablet device in a classroom setting. The initiative will integrate the iPad into classes led by two faculty members, one in the school of journalism and broadcasting and the other in the school of business. The experiment will involve about 125 students at two campuses, the main campus in Stillwater and the other in Tulsa. Each class will integrate the iPad differently but will focus on specific measurable outcomes.

The university is looking to answer questions with the pilot such as how the courses are academically enhanced with the use of the devices, how the iPad and its specific apps and Web-based tools can be integrated, and how the integration of the mobile tools can expand the tactical abilities of students as they move into employment.

"This pilot initiative will provide valuable insight into the research benefits of the Apple iPad in the classroom," said President Burns Hargis. "The iPad has had an amazing impact since being introduced, and we are excited to be able to put this powerful and creative tool in the hands of students and faculty and see what happens."

"I certainly have ideas of how I would like to use an iPad," said Tracy Suter, associate professor of marketing in the Spears School of Business and one of the professors involved in the pilot. "But collectively we will discover new uses a single individual might not have conceived independently. Putting the newest technology in the hands of students allows them to stretch the limits of how it can be used."

Cost savings for students will also be evaluated. In one case, students using the iPad in a single course will save more than $100 on one textbook, which can be downloaded in the digital ePub format. Students will be allowed to keep the iPads at the end of the semester; the university will be purchasing those at a slight discount through the institution's operating funds.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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