The students enrolled in the Project Management class at the University of Notre Dame are carrying one less heavy book this semester. They'll still have to read the usual textbook, Project Management in Practice, but only after the electronic version has been downloaded to their new iPads. The university has loaned the iPads to the entire class, and in return the students will provide feedback on the usefulness of the devices, inside and outside the classroom, with regard to their studies. Professor Corey Angst is leading the class in this experiment in new technology, and he's writing about the experience on his blog. He hopes that students will use some of the recommended apps to help them study, and even come up with some of their own. The college produced a video, below, to describe the expectations for this new venture.
I look forward to reading more about the students' reactions and wonder if the enthusiasm for the device as a study tool will remain once the novelty wears off. I imagine iPads will introduce some truly innovative ways for the students to study and learn. I also imagine it's very tempting to close out an e-book and log onto Facebook. Still, Angst said he's only noticed a few students using the iPad for something other than class-related activites during class time, thus far. It seems to me that the iPad has the potential both to enhance the experience of dedicated students and to entice less-enthusiastic students to spend a few moments clicking through the pages of the e-book, if only to try out the new technology. The experienment is an interesting one, and the paperless class might even be the norm someday. I'm interested to hear your reactions. Is this something you'd embrace as a student today? Do you think the iPad would have been a help to your studies had it been available during your college years?