Student Perspectives: Using the iPad in class

by   |  08.30.11  |  College Decisions, Current Students, Mobile Learning

Recently, Dr. Ian Shepherd, Associate Professor in Management Sciences, was honored with a Blackboard Catalyst Award. You can read more about it here. We are thrilled for Dr. Shepherd and grateful for his dedication to innovative teaching in the classroom. We thought you might like to hear a bit more from a few of the students who were in his class and hear about their experience using the ipad in class. 

Here were the questions we asked Molly, Leanne and Kayli (who all happened to earn an “A” in the class): 

1) How did you use the ipad? Was it in place of a textbook? Did you use it everyday? 

“Yes, I used my iPad mostly for the access to the textbook. I used it every class and whenever I was doing homework for the class. So, I was using it 4-5 days a week. It was vital to bring your iPad to class because Dr. Shepherd incorporated it into every class.”

“Outside of class, I mostly used it for Facebook and for looking up information quickly like weather and news. Our textbooks were on the ipad instead of textbook. The nice thing about that was that we could search for terms or phrases in the textbook. I used the ipad most days; it was easy to carry and was a lot faster to get started than a laptop.”

“We used the ipads to download our textbooks. We used an application called Inkling that allowed us to download our textbook and access it just like any other application on an ipad. I also used the ipad for checking class assignments on  blackboard, working on group assignments during class (such as graphs, reviews, etc.), and following notes in class. I used the ipad ever class day, and other days that I needed it to work on an assignment (a few times a week).

2) Did you each have your own? 

“Yes, we all got our own iPad which we downloaded the textbook on. We downloaded excel and used it daily as well.” 

3) Do you feel using the ipad enhanced what you learned inside the classroom? 

“I definitely think that the ipad was a beneficial tool for the class… the ipad helped because it allowed us to be more interactive.”

“Using the iPad in class kept us engaged in class..!”

“I do feel like the ipad enhanced the learning process for me because it allowed the class to be more interactive. We were each capable of entering our own information in to graphs and spreadsheets during class instead of just watching Dr. Shepherd compute the information himself. We were also able to follow along with his lectures by using notes.”

4) What did you like best about using the ipad?

“The best thing about using the ipad was that it was easy and fast to use.”

“I absolutely loved having the textbook online. It was so nice not to have to carry a huge book all around with you.” 

“I liked that I could follow along with the notes and keep track of my own notes without having multiple pieces of paper and spirals to keep up with when it was time to study. I also enjoyed the ability to quickly find information in the textbook using the search feature.”

5) What didn’t you like about the ipad?

“I thought it was harder to type on the ipad.” 

“I can type pretty quickly on a keyboard, but I was really slow on the ipad. Also, I did not like the version Apple’s version of
Excel that we had to use.”

“I didn’t like using excel on the iPad. It’s not the same as on the computer and took longer to perform the same tasks.
I did not like that it was harder to take notes and online tests on the ipad than on a normal laptop simply due to its physical structure.”

6) If you don’t currently own an ipad, would you purchase one to use in your future classes?

“If more of our textbooks were on the ipad, I would for sure!!”

“I would buy an iPad if all my classes had online textbooks. You can do your homework anywhere at anytime when you have your textbooks right there at your fingertips.”

“I would not purchase one right now because I already own an iphone and a laptop that can perform many of the ipad’s functions, and I do not want to spend the extra money. If it was more affordable and offered more features that I could not already access with other devices, then I would absolutely purchase one.”