Typewriters, dial-up Internet and iPads. Technology continuously enhances the lives of everyone all over the world. These enhancements of technology have made homework assignments easier, research more accessible and even ability to stay connected with people through social media convenient. Finally, students are able to rapidly take notes without ever getting those hand-numbing cramps.
“I have organized notes and I never have to worry if I grabbed the wrong notebook,” student Julie Voris said. “I can also look things up on Blackboard right away which helps because I don’t have to worry about remembering to print things out.” For those exact reasons, students from St. Ambrose University are starting to trade in their notebooks and pens for iPads. Currently, the number of students who have iPads is still smaller, but the number of students wishing they had an iPad continuously grows every day.
Leaving for class in the morning can be somewhat stressful. Do I have my book? A pen? My homework? For those students who live on campus, forgetting something can be solved fairly easily because they can just run back to their dorm. But for those commuter students that live 20 minutes away they have to ensure they are always prepared for school.
“As a commuter sometimes I feel rushed to get to school or maybe forget stuff and with the iPad it’s like a one-thing-fits all type of technology and as long as I remember to grab that then I feel better about heading to class,” student Jessica Jacks said.
Ann Preston, professor and chair of the communication department thinks that the iPad can add some fun to the classroom.
“iPads are not only a tool but also a toy,” Preston said. “Notes are more fun to take. And they come with such great accessories.”
“The iPad has become the trapper keeper of 2010,” Preston said.
iPad users are starting to pop up more within the classrooms on the SAU campus. According to Preston, there is about one in each of her three classes.
“The great addition of iPads in the classroom especially for students within the communication world is access,” Preston said. “Books are great. I love books. But mass media happens every day. Those events are not going to be in books for students to learn from.” Besides research, students are able to gain access to other important links, such as Beeline and Blackboard.
“The iPads are great for students in the communication field to use because it gives them exposure to how the real world is going to be,” Preston said. “During a press conference, reporters use laptops to take notes and then put them right into their story.” Not only have these students used their iPads in the classroom but also in a professional setting. Last fall Voris was an intern for the Putnam Museum and Jacks for Trinity Regional Health System in Rock Island.
“During meetings I was able to record them for future reference,” Voris said. ”I also took pictures and used them for the Putnam’s Twitter and Facebook page because my iPad was able to upload instantly. Compared to using a digital camera, having to uploading the pictures and then posting them to the website.”
Jacks made the switch to an iPad after experiencing an event with Trinity.
“Specifically I made my decision after doing live social media updates at an event and realized how much I really needed an iPad,” Jacks said. “They’re smaller and do almost just as much as my computer.” Live tweeting happens well the event is happening. This aspect of social media is continuously growing; other areas that this has been seen in are election debates, reality television and any type of award show.
The trend of iPads is just starting to take effect. Soon the number of students who have traded in their notebooks for an iPad will be greater than those who haven’t.