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To iPad or Not to iPad

What a difference an iPad makes! For some students it is changing the way they take notes, study, and communicate with their professors. Others prefer good, old fashion pen and paper.

We talked to several freshman and transfer students who have had their school-supplied iPads for over two months.

Kyrsten Polanish, a freshman at Post, is one student that found use for the iPad. “I use it to take notes on the books I have to read for school,” she said. “But the thing is, is that it increases the chances of people not paying attention in class.” Lauren Geller, another freshman, said that it’s easy to check blackboard or her LIU account immediately.

For sophomore transfer student, Jessica Cusano, it is not. “I don’t bring it to school, but I use it at home,” Jessica said. “Most people bring the iPad to school to take notes and check their emails and such.” Though Jessica understands the benefit of having immediate internet access and email access, she doesn’t need something like that all the time. She also feels writing notes instead of typing them helps her learn better.

Amanda Coffey, a sophomore at Post, says it is impossible to tell if people are using the iPads productively. She believes, however, that experimentation is a good thing.

Art professor Ryan Seslow believes that the iPads are a great idea for the school. “I teach various courses in fine arts, and the iPad has been a great tool of energetic immediacy,” Professor Seslow said. “My students are constantly inspiring me by exposing me to new things through the use of this device.”

Other teachers don’t think that the iPad is useful in their classrooms, such as English Professor Wendy Ryden. “When I first heard about it, I thought it would be good because I wouldn’t have to worry about scheduling class in a computer lab,” Professor Ryden said.

“But when I actually tried one myself, it didn’t seem conducive to teaching writing at all, so I lost interest in using it in the class.”

Professor Ryden also acknowledges that she didn’t know too much about the iPad and was willing to look into the device more in an attempt to use it in the future.

The administration of C.W. Post came up with an idea. With the help of Apple, Post decided to provide iPads for the new transfer and freshman students of fall 2010. This was supposed to aid in taking notes, checking blackboard, and even organizing the student.

According to Deranged Shaman, a website that focuses squarely on technology and follows the buzz of the industry, Post is one out of only 11 schools that are a part of this experimental, free iPad program. The other universities include Chicago State University, Duke University, and the University of Maryland.


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