- Research what advantages and disadvantages iPads offer to teaching and learning
- Identify what apps are available in their field, and how using them in the classroom will impact the teaching curriculum
- Reflect about the impact of mobile learning on student learning
This initiative was designed to be faculty driven; where faculty members worked in teams, participated in group discussions, and received some funding to purchase apps. Noteworthy, the tendency throughout the two cohorts was to find free apps for the most part.
The outcomes from this initiative are remarkable, especially because some of these were not planned:
- From the individual point of view, this initiative was a catalyst for technology adoption and productivity improvement.
- From the academic point of view, it provided a space to reflect about current teaching approach and an opportunity to enhance pedagogy and increase student engagement.
- From the institutional point of view, it is helping Administration to make an informed decision with respect to acquiring the appropriate mobile learning resources.
Structure of the Initiative
Hostos launched its iPad Pilot Initiative in the fall 2012 semester. A total of 20 new iPads has been acquired by EdTech to be distributed to faculty members who applied and were selected to participate in this exciting new initiative. Faculty members work in teams of two or three, and the main objective is that they keep the device for four months and try different Apps that could work best in their field of expertise. Instructors participating in the pilot would be researching the advantages and disadvantages iPad devices and apps provide to them; and at the same time comparing how these differ from other devices.
At the end of the pilot, every team presents a final report indicating its findings and a precise way of how the iPad can potentially be used in the classroom. This is the most important part since Hostos already provides its faculty members with desktops, laptops computers, smart classrooms, and other technologies.
Participants are required to attend a mandatory training at the beginning of the semester. On this day, they would receive the iPads and sign a contract to borrow the equipment from EdTech for the duration of the pilot. Additionally, they need to participate on a follow up meeting to report their progress, and a final meeting to present the final report.