iPads in the Classroom

In the Spring 2014 semester, on a Tuesday morning at 11 am, the first iPad Cart arrived in a classroom at Hostos Community College. It was truly a momentous occasion. We got to see students delighted and ready to embrace the familiar iPad in their classes. All the effort put in place for this initiative was certainly worthwhile.

From 2010 to 2019, the EdTech office at Hostos Community College offered a two-phase iPad initiative to faculty. In the first phase, faculty members received the new technology in order to explore apps in their fields of teaching. During the second phase of the initiative, the faculty members took those experiences with the iPad apps and brought them into their classrooms. The initiative enabled faculty to:

  • Identify apps available in their fields and reflect on possible ways to leverage these apps for students’ learning
  • Work in teams to enhance the transition from thinking about mobile apps abstractly to using them in the classroom
  • Research the advantages and disadvantages of iPads and mobile learning in general

The first phase of the initiative was successful in that 72 unique faculty members participated in the program over the three years that the initiative was offered. In the second phase of the program (starting in 2013), Hostos Community College bought 2 multimedia carts with 30 iPads each through Tech Fee to be used in the same way as the Computers on Wheels (COWs) are currently used. Faculty use the reservation system to reserve the carts. The iPads on Wheels (iPOWs) are delivered to classrooms and then picked up at the end of the class. The iPads are pre-loaded with apps previously requested by faculty. Faculty who participated in the first phase of the iPad initiative were given preference to reserve and use the iPads in their classrooms. Ten faculty members who went through the first phase integrated iPad apps into their curricula and brought iPOWs into their classrooms. Initial results from a qualitative student assessment indicated that the students were more engaged in their learning, participated more in the classroom, and were able to better learn complex concepts. An unexpected benefit was the strengthening of the community of innovators on campus. Providing a new and exciting technology for faculty to explore became a catalyst for technology adoption and productivity improvement. Additional faculty came to EdTech asking for iPads and other services because they had heard of the iPad initiative. It also became a model for working with the college’s administration to make informed decisions about acquiring appropriate mobile learning resources.

Academic Year 2015-2016 Results

Thirty-one (31) course sections integrated iPads into their class materials; 16 sections participated in the Fall 2015 semester and 15 participated in the Spring 2016 semester. These sections were taught by a total of 12 unique faculty members. Of these professors, 8 participated during both semesters. Sections utilizing iPads came from the following courses: ANTH 101, BIO 230, BUS 203, DD 107, DD 113, EDU 101, EDU 101H, FYS 101, OT 104, PSY 110, PSY 140, SOC 101, and VPA 121.

Anecdotal data from faculty collected:
“The students find the exercises and the use of the iPads helpful because they have a clearer understanding of the assignments. They are more open to the critique and constructive criticism of their peers, and they have an opportunity to work on the assignment individually before sharing with their team members.”

Current Student Survey

Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 Survey Results – Click Here to See PDF

Previous Student Surveys

Spring 2014 Survey Results – Click here to see

Fall 2014 Survey ResultsClick here to see PDF

Spring 2015 Survey ResultsCLICK HERE TO SEE PDF



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