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Ipad: Good or Bad

By: Samantha Bishal

Provost Forestell is "the face" of our new Ipads. Courtesy/Dan Degerman

The C.W. Post Center for Student Information in Hillwood Commons began distributing iPads at 9 a.m. on Thursday September 23.  Freshmen and transfer students lined up to receive their new computing devices with a collection of mixed reviews.

The iPad project, which was initially announced this summer, is aimed to give students access to resources and services anywhere from in their classrooms to any Wi-Fi hotspot. Long Island University has been updating its wireless infrastructure, which has included a high-speed, fiber-optic network, new online programs, and industry leading Web learning software.

Even though the iPad is just one example of a technological enhancement that is supposed to offer convenience and portability, freshman and public relations major Caroline Tabibian has yet to find a use for her iPad when she has a Macbook that offers similar services. “I was kind of mad when they announced we were getting iPads,” Tabibian said.  “I wouldn’t have bought my laptop.”

New students without the accessibility to their own laptops may find it easier to connect with classmates, professors and other staff on campus; take notes in class without lugging a laptop; organize daily assignments and activities; access information at a more accelerated pace and buy textbooks.  “From now on I can download textbooks, instead of buying them and spending money,” freshman and Childhood Education major Kelly Ahearn said.

Professors are allegedly using this new development in education to move more coursework online and into classrooms. “With a few easy swipes on an iPad screen, it would be possible to get students to do things that would be hard for them to otherwise do,” Dr. Arvind Borde, a senior professor of mathematics said. “They can study mathematical behavior graphically by plotting (with ease) two-dimensional and three-dimensional graphs. They can do calculations. They can explore the uses of mathematics via the Internet.”

However, it seems as though not all professors are complying with the new iPad trend.  “I don’t think it’s really going to benefit me that much with school,” freshman Talia Nitka said.  “None of my teachers give assignments on it or say that we are going to need it for anything.”  Even accounting major Nina Reily is having trouble finding use for her new iPad.  “I can’t see myself using it that much in class.”

C.W. Post Provost Dr. Paul Forestell believes the iPad project will be an enhancement to education.  “The wireless device will allow students and faculty to more efficiently and effectively collaborate on the process of learning,” Forestell said.   Only time will tell if this new development will be as effective as administrators and professors believe it to be.

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