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. There's no noise. It's not clicking.” Marketing professor Tracy Suter said the iPads will take the place of a computer lab but in a more user-friendly way. Some of his courses involve conducting customer surveys for companies. Students can poll subjects using the iPad, which will automatically compile the information. "We've all recognized how much technology has enhanced what we do,” Suter said. "This is another way to do this. This is the next logical step.” At Oklahoma Christian University this fall, students can pay to upgrade their university-issued iPod Touch or iPhone devices for an iPad. OC also supplies each student with a free MacBook laptop. Luke Hartman, application integration specialist for OC, said the iPad can be handier for reading, surfing the Internet or connecting with other students and faculty, along with accessing applications showing laundry room status, area restaurants or campus news.