FORT WAYNE, Ind.—Mobile electronic devices have become ingrained in our daily lives, so much so, that beginning later this month, a 60-member faculty cohort at Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) will be using iPads in their classrooms as part of a brand-new project at the campus, “Re-imagining IPFW’s Academic
Future: Project #mobileEDU.”
Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs William McKinney unveiled the project at a news conference. He told the gathering of administrators and faculty #mobileEDU is part of a
larger effort, the American Association of State Colleges and University’s (AASCU) Red Balloon Project, where schools are asked to re-imagine undergraduate education.
“We’re going to re-imagine our academic future by bringing technology right to the forefront of the classroom,” McKinney said. “We are challenging our faculty to use the iPad to better teach or engage their students in the classroom or through a research project. It’s all part of the Red Balloon Project’s premise that state dollars are being cut and won’t come back, at the same time the expectations for public universities are going up. So we have two choices: do more with less or do more differently. We choose to do things differently.”
Samantha Birk, associate director for instructional technology in the Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching, explained that all IPFW faculty were invited to apply to be a part of the iPad cohort. “We decided to use a cohort because it is an opportunity for the faculty to work together, exchange ideas, and provide support for the
group as each member explores topic areas or ideas as they relate to using their iPads.” Members of the cohort must attend a one-day workshop later this month where they will get their iPad, be trained on how to use it, and have their first cohort meeting. There will be four or five additional cohort meetings throughout the fall semester and preliminary reports are due after the first of the year, with final reports on how the iPads were used and their effectiveness due at the end of May 2012.
Funding for #mobileEDU came from an internal grant from IPFW’s Office of Research, Engagement, and Sponsored Programs.
For more information on the project, contact Birk at 260-481-6368 or mobileEDU@ipfw.edu.
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