Change is one of those words that people like to throw around. Sometimes the word has a negative connotation, but more often, it evokes inspiration and hope of something better.
The funny thing about change as a concept, however, is that people like to talk about it more than they like to enact it. If we lived in an ideal world, change would be a perfecting brushstroke to the canvas that is the status quo. But the world is not perfect.
This fall semester, the administration took a daring step forward and decided that it is not enough that this university maintains adequacy. Sealing a deal with Apple that granted incoming students iPads, Long Island University placed itself in the vanguard of innovative education.
Many have praised the Apple iPad for its potential academic applications. Nick Bilton, adjunct professor at New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, points out that the tablet eliminates the need to carry several pounds of books, magazines and the weight of a laptop. And this is only one aspect of it. Bilton explains that it may enable students and professors to turn their textbooks into a radically interactive experience, with everything from shared notes to three-dimensional presentations.
C.W. Post Campus Provost Paul Forestell is just as enthusiastic:”We are developing a framework for communication among faculty members, staff and students that is keeping pace with where technology is taking us in the 21st century”
Others are less positive about the iPad pilot program. A C.W. Post student who calls himself “The Undersigned” started an online petition against the program. Thus far, the online crusade has received some 250 signatures from students who voice more or less well-founded complaints against the university. “Everybody has an issue with our campus [C.W. Post],” says The Undersigned, who goes on to rage about the unjust distribution of the iPads and demands to know where the money to pay for them came from. To view this petition visit http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/group.php?gid=129980413712265&ref=search.
The question of funding is easily answered. Each incoming class receives an allotted pot of money. This pot is strategically invested to improve the experience of the particular class. Some of the money is awarded to the students upon entrance. For instance, three years ago, each student of the incoming class received a total of $500 in book vouchers.
The unnamed critic is certainly right about one thing, C.W. Post is not a perfect school and there are many students who “have an issue” with the campus. What our malcontent petitioner conveniently overlooks is that the university’s administration constantly looks for new ways to enhance the school and that the iPads are a means of achieving this.
Nevertheless, the problem is not really that the freshmen are receiving iPads but that the rest of the students are not. Incoming students can enjoy the administration’s othe investments, such as some significant nip and tuck to both the television studio and the radio station, and not to mention a brand new off-campus shuttle. But this leaves the upperclassmen and alumni with thoughts of deception and betrayal.
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