By Edith Moctezuma
The allied health department will receive 40 iPad Airs this week as part of a pilot program to determine whether students perform better using the tablets.
The district provided a grant to study the interaction between iPad usage and students. The amount of the grant was unavailable.
The district chose this department because it is small, skill-focused, has good ideas on how to incorporate the iPads in their classes and because the department has completed other projects, Hal G. Buntley, medical assisting program coordinator, said.
Usha Venkat, director of information technology, said if the pilot is successful, the allied health department will continue to use the iPad Airs.
Venkat said these Wi-Fi, lightweight devices can easily access the Internet and can take students’ learning beyond the classroom.
She said the iPads will have preloaded programs, which will help students capture pictures and videos, make reports and do presentations.
Venkat said students will benefit from the camera and touch screen interface.
She also said it will help students become more comfortable with this type of technology and see how easy they can use it.
Venkat said faculty will benefit as well by receiving more feedback from students.
Students will be surveyed about how they embrace this new technology and how comfortable they are with it.
Buntley said students will be able to record and critique their performance in class, helping them with their psychomotive assignments.
Psychomotive assignments require combining physical and cognitive skills.
For example, students can use the iPad to record drawing blood and review their procedures. Buntley also said teachers will be able to demonstrate procedures and upload the videos to Canvas and ACES.
He said students will be able to access Office 365 with a subscription in the iPad Airs and use programs such as Microsoft Word or Excel.
Buntley said the iPads will have grading rubrics with assignments, which will save instructors time, space and paper.
Venkat also said the office of technology services will be in charge of the technical support, refreshing the iPads before another group of students will use them.
The office staff also will teach students how to use tools such as cloud storage.
Students who are not comfortable with the iPads can get help at OTS in Room 706 of Moody Learning Center or in the megalab on the fifth floor.
If the pilot is successful, Buntley said after doing more pilots, the college will get more iPads for other departments as well, and students might be able to check out an iPad for the semester and turn it back at the end of it.