STILLWATER — Several Oklahoma colleges are embracing the iPad as a way to engage students and enhance curriculum. At Oklahoma State University, up to 125 students enrolling in one of five courses this fall will get a free iPad as a part of a pilot program. The courses haven't been announced but will be in the School of Media and Strategic Communication and Spears School of Business, and at least one course may be offered at the Tulsa campus.
Students will get to keep the iPads, which OSU is buying for $474 apiece through its operating funds budget. "We are going to integrate the iPad into every aspect of the courses,” public relations professor Bill Handy said. "Apple has a long history of integration into academics anyway.” He said he'll prerecord all his lectures so that students can hear them before class, where they'll tackle projects or even take exams using the iPads. "We can post and share content with each other,” Handy said. "You might have a classroom where people are typing as an impetus for conversation.” He said students may even save money on the course by downloading electronic textbooks to their iPad and by reducing printing costs. "It really becomes a no-brainer to start looking at multimedia to enhance the classroom,” Handy said. "And it's not as intrusive as taking a laptop into a class.