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If you need further evidence that Apple is reshaping the educational landscape with the iPad, look no further than Freed-Hardeman University in Tennessee, who has recently introduced iPads into their innovative iKnow 2.0 program as digital textbooks for students as well as training for the faculty.
Freed-Hardeman University is about to kick education up a notch with the introduction of iKnow 2.0, an upgrade to the Tennessee college’s educational arsenal which launched in 2008 in an effort to integrate technology into the classroom. When the revamped program launches in the fall of 2012, every freshman student and faculty member will be armed with an iPad, with current students able to opt-in for a one-time fee as well.
“We want our faculty, our staff, our university, to be at the forefront of technology,” explains Mark Scott, vice president of technology and innovation “This program will continue to allow for that, while creating an atmosphere of shared knowledge and a higher education experience unlike any other.”
The iPad isn’t simply a gimmick for the university -- students will be able to access their complete textbooks from the tablet, saving hundreds of dollars each semester on traditional printed books, not to mention having to lug them around the campus as well.
“We are not the most popular people with the bookstore staff right now,” Scott says jokingly. “But they understand, as we do, that this is the future and we have to continue to progress, if we want to continue to provide the best Christian education possible.”
While the FHU students embrace the change, some of the faculty were initially apprehensive -- but soon warmed up to the idea after seeing the possibilities.
“Technology scared me at first,” explains Lisa Beene, chairperson of the behavioral sciences department. “But after meeting with our CIT staff and learning the capabilities of the iPad, I am going to do everything I can to make this part of my everyday teaching activities.”
Freed-Hardeman University has partnered with Inkling to provide their iPad content, where both students and faculty alike will have the ability to make notes, watch videos, see 3D models and more without ever having to crack open a physical book. “Once we saw a demo of Inkling, it was obvious how limited traditional textbooks had become and how limitless the digital textbooks seemed on the iPad. That is very exciting for us,” concludes Scott.
“For the first time since kindergarten, I will have to learn how to go to class again,” proclaimed prospective student Katie Scott after hearing about the new program.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter