iPad Initiative to make learning more interactive for ASU freshmen

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Starting this fall, freshmen at Arkansas State University will have another item to check off their list of 'must-haves' for class. The iPad Initiative will incorporate the tablets into course material for the students First Year Experience classes.

"Honestly, they're using them in K-12 and when they come here, they're already expecting to have something they can use," Executive Director of University College, Jill Simons told Region 8 News, to keep up with technology, they started the iPad Initiative.

The First Year Experience class, commonly referred to on campus as "Making Connections" will, instead of using a textbook, use an iPad for course material.

Simons told Region 8 News that the Making Connections handbook that students had, until this point, purchased for class, would now be an app on the iPad.

"They'll be able to touch on the author of that chapter and the author will be able to speak directly to the students," Simons explained.

She said that by making learning more interactive, they hope to get students more engaged in class.

"We've found that in the classroom, if they have a device in which they can be more involved in the learning in the way that they're used to, it makes them so much more in tune."

Simons said though the students will be responsible for having an iPad for the class, buying isn't the only option. Simons told Region 8 News students will have the option to rent an iPad from the school's IT store.

"For a very reasonable rate, much less than a lot of our books for the students to purchase," Simons explained.

Simons said in the long run, the iPad Initiative could be helpful throughout a student's college career

"Being able to have some digital options for students will probably be to their advantage financially."

Simons said right now, there's not a set price for renting an iPad for a semester, however, she compared the price to the purchase of a low-priced textbook.

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