NORMAN — The Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education and the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Oklahoma have been recognized as Apple Distinguished Programs for the 2013-2015 academic years.
The Apple Distinguished Program designation is reserved for programs that meet criteria for innovation, leadership and educational excellence and demonstrate Apple’s vision of exemplary learning environments.
“The incorporation of technology in the classroom changed how students learn and has taught them a new way to engage their own with students when they enter the teaching profession,” said Rainbolt College Dean Gregg Garn. “It’s also influenced the way faculty interact with students. Faculty members have integrated iPads into their teaching and lesson plans, allowing for more time in the classroom and laboratory for discussion, student engagement and hands-on experiences.”
The Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education embarked on a one-to-one iPad initiative where students enrolled in the undergraduate teacher education program each received an iPad at the beginning of their first semester in the college. Upon successful completion of the degree program, the students keep the device and the digital content they created to use in their teaching careers.
Faculty also received iPads and learned to incorporate the device into their teaching and lesson plans to further enhance what they are already doing.
In addition, faculty are conducting two research projects over the next few semesters, gauging the impact of the device on students as learners and as future educators.
“We are honored to be named an Apple Distinguished Program for the third year in a row,” said Gaylord College Dean Joe Foote. “Our partnership with Apple has given us access to some of their most innovative thinkers and has inspired us to even more creative uses of technology.”
Mac computers and software are available for all students to use in two open labs and classrooms featuring more than 400 Macintosh computers. Labs are refreshed frequently, ensuring top-of-the-line workstations are always available.
Gaylord College is a leader on the OU campus in developing and publishing learning resources in iTunes U. In 2013, faculty members published four custom iBooks for use in the classroom in the Mass Communication Law, Advertising Copy and Layout, Advanced Copy and Layout and British Media Study Abroad courses. A centennial history of the journalism college was also published to the iBooks bookstore.
The college conducts an annual five-week grant workshop teaching new media practices to students from Southeast Asia. The curriculum teaches the students the mechanics of newsgathering, reporting and producing multimedia presentations while incorporating social media skills, all on a suite of iPads.
From staff reports