Beginning from the fall semester in 2010, some American universities is going to adopt iPad in teaching activities. Insiders said that it is not only a try to promote educational business with high technology, but may also change the traditional teaching and learning method fundamentally. iPad is a touch-screen tablet PC with 9.7 inch screen and 680 gram. It is easy to be taken. It is one of the e-book that made by iPad company with the function of searching internet, sending and receiving e-mail, reading e-book and playing video or audio, etc.
Since iPad have been appeared on the market, college is also thinking what this small-screen but large-function facility can do for students. It is reported that some universities will adopt iPad in teaching activities. The list includes: American Oklahoma State University, Seton Hall University in Pennsylvania, Reed College, George Fox University, North Carolina State University, etc.
Most of the school which is going to carry out experimental plan will provide a free iPad tablet PC for each student. University of Maryland is also plan to buy a batch of them, put the two-year course of “digital culture and creation” into practice with 60 students to arouse students potential of exploiting new technology adequately. Green, the principal of information college item in American Scientific Research Institution, showed great affirmative attitude to the item. He said it is the process of exploring new teaching method; it is a sharing experiment between college and student, textbook publishing industry and e-book manufacturer.
Handy, one of the professors in Oklahoma State University, is in charge of the experimental work. He said their college choosing iPad to assist teaching activities is not to catch the vogue of high technology, but to evaluate whether iPad is good for teaching and learning or not, whether iPad can improve students learning, how iPad blends into students daily life. At the same time, it is going to verify whether iPad can save the cost of textbook, whether students can blend into commercial society well after graduate. Of course, they are also testing the limitation of iPad in teaching. According their plan, Handy said, they will blend iPad into the whole teaching and learning. Such as, student can buy digital textbook and put the whole book into iPad. It can save about $100 cost, but also it is easy to search internet anytime.
In addition, student can convert video to iPad about their course or the presentation files before their class. Handy said it is easy to load e-book or ipad video without heavy schoolbag. What is more important, students can keep closed contact with their classmates and teachers through IM Platform whether in the class or not.
Of course, there are some persons in the American academic field calling in question about the experimental plan. In the 2010 spring semester, Princeton University and George Washington University network got some wrong because of students plentifully using iPad. Whats more, students may play any kinds of game or entertainment when using their iPad which will affect their school work. Experts predict that iPad and other kinds of e-book will play an important role in future education. Such as online teaching. In addition, the influence of teaching method will be more obvious, it will fundamentally change the traditional teaching method and structure of textbook.