iCore Technology Initiative: General FAQs
Why is GC doing this?
Innovation. Technological innovation has shifted to the mobile space and its being driven by the iPad and smartphones. There are manifestations of this in every discipline, some extremely compelling, some immature, all evolving rapidly. Our iCore Technology Initiative signals our intent to participate in and even define how these technologies are used in academia–to explore their use as teaching, learning, professional and creative devices.
Who will get an iPad?
- Incoming first-year students will be equipped with the latest iPad technology.
- Faculty members teaching the Identity, Cultures & Communities class and leading First Year Learning Communities–both required classes in the new GC Core curriculum–will receive iPads.
- All continuing students will have access to iPads through our on-campus check-out program
- All faculty will have opportunity to participate in the broader iCore Technology Initiative, based on submitting an innovative usage proposal.
How will the iPad be used?
In year one, the iPads will be incorporated into the new GC Core general education program and used to deliver an array of tools and orientation materials. This represents a foundational commitment, but what ultimately happens will be determined by the professors and students of Goshen College.
In the new GC Core, the iPad will be used to provide learning resources for an interdisciplinary course on Identity, Culture & Community — the type of course that has no logical single textbook. We fully expect that as faculty and students learn with and about the iPad, its uses will expand greatly.
Do students get to keep their iPad?
The iPad belongs to the institution while you are a student, the apps and content belong to you. Any hardware upgrades will be driven by programmatic needs. The iPad you have at graduation will be yours to keep.
How do we reconcile this initiative with the social justice and environmental issues around manufacturing and distribution of iPads?
It is the dilemma of our day that many of the products we purchase and use on a daily basis are produced under conditions that are beneath what we would accept for ourselves — from tomatoes, to running shoes, to gadgets from every major manufacturer. We actually believe Apple is doing a better job than many other manufacturers in both pressuring its suppliers to improve working conditions and producing products in an environmentally responsible way. For example, Apple recently joined the Fair Labor Association and their audits of working conditions are already under way. One of the broader benefits of campus discussions around the iCore initiative might in fact be to stimulate a more thoughtful engagement of our current use of consumer electronics and our need to recycle diligently and in a socially responsible way.
Will students need a computer in addition to the iPad?
This is a personal choice. While it is very possible for students to meet their computing needs with an iPad and GC lab computers, many students will choose to bring a Mac or PC for software related to particular courses.
Why are you giving iPads to students and not laptops?
We believe tablets offer a unique set of benefits both in terms of content delivery and creation that laptops currently don’t afford. Textbooks become much more than just words on a page — they become interactive resources that offer not only text, sound, video and 3-d graphics, but also study aides. Similarly, student work can easily extend beyond the written word and take on new multimedia forms. iPads provide students with a wide variety of tools in a relatively compact and highly portable format.