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Dr. Seann P. Mulcahy, assistant professor of chemistry, confers
with a student using an iPad in his Organic Chemistry class.

​Instruction with iPads Launched as Pilot Program

Faculty members at Providence College are participating in a new program that incorporates Apple iPads into classrooms.

As a trial this spring semester, the Academic Media Services and the Information Technology departments outfitted five classrooms with an Apple TV, a small black box which wirelessly connects an iPad to a projector. The classrooms differ in setup and purpose in order to test the iPads in as many environments as possible.

Faculty are borrowing iPads from the Instructional Technology Development Program and the Center for Teaching Excellence if they don’t already have their own.

There are currently 13 professors using the iPads, which allow them to move around the classroom freely. They represent the following disciplines: theology, accountancy, global studies, engineering/physics/systems, chemistry and biochemistry, foreign language studies, and history.

Siobhan Ross Humphries, coordinator of the Instructional Technology Development Program, is excited about the pilot program.

“A few professors came to us wanting to try this,” she said. “The idea came from the faculty.”

The iPads also allow students to access recordings of the professor’s notes after class, Ross Humphries said. “You can do something in class, and then watch it after.”

“There’s a lot less sitting and just taking notes in class. Students can be more involved now,” she added.

The initiative to integrate iPads into classrooms is new in higher education, which puts PC on the forefront of a fresh idea, said Ross Humphries.

Faculty will be meeting soon to discuss how they have been using the iPads and their apps. If the students and professors involved with the initiative like using the iPads and Apple TVs, the number of classrooms equipped will be expanded next semester, Ross Humphries said.

“So far there have been no technological errors at all,” she said. “I think this is going to go really well.”

--Nick Tavares ’16
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