Why is Goshen College doing this?
Innovation. Technological innovation has shifted to the mobile space and it’s 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 gets an iPad?
- Incoming first-year students and transfers can choose to receive the latest iPad technology.
- Faculty members teaching classes in the Core curriculum will receive iPads.
- Students enrolled in our Continuing Studies Programs will have access to iPads through our lease/purchase program.
- All faculty will have opportunity to participate in the broader iCore Technology Initiative, based on submitting a usage proposal.
How are the iPads being used?
In the GC Core, the iPad is used to provide learning resources for an interdisciplinary course on Identity, Culture & Community — the type of course that has no logical single textbook. We are actively working with several other faculty members to take course fully electronic so that students can realize the savings of eResources more and more.
Do students get to keep their iPads?
The iPad belongs to the institution while you are a student. At graduation the iPad will be be yours to keep.
What about the social justice and environmental issues around the 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 laptop in addition to the iPad?
At this point in the development of tablet computing, we still encourage students to bring a laptop or desktop computer. While it is very possible for students to meet their computing needs with an iPad and GC lab computers, the convenience of having your own computer induces many students to bring a computer of their own choosing to complement their iPad.
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 3D 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.
Why are you giving iPads to students and not Android tablets?
Planning for the iCore initiative began in 2011 when the iPad was the only viable choice for an educational one-to-one program. While Google has narrowed the lead in system software and hardware, Apple retains its lead in tablet-specific applications, security, hardware support and simplicity, making it still the appropriate choice for a one-to-one program, even though there may be instances where an Android tablet would be an excellent choice.
Preparing To Receive Your iPad
Information on how to choose to receive an iPad, as well as what to do to prepare to receive your iPad can be found here.