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WSC to provide Apple iPads to all full-time faculty

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010
Posted by Roxane Molinari

WILLISTON, N.D. - Starting with the Fall 2010 semester, every full-time instructor at Williston State College will have an Apple iPad for use in their classroom.

"Our president has come up with professional development funds that have allowed him to purchase iPads for all annual full-time instructors," said Wanda Meyer, Vice President for Instruction at WSC. "The plan is to have a short training before classes start this fall so that the faculty will feel comfortable with it and can use it inside their classrooms."

According to Aric Thorstad, the iPads will be good for the faculty as they are good for scheduling, taking notes, checking email, keeping attendance, for which there is an app. "The teachers can just check the students off as they come in and it generates a report for you," he said. "There is a lot of unexplored potential here. There are hundreds of apps out there to use."

He explained that the iPads can be used from a remote location to log into a computer located on the campus, which can save a trip back to the office to get information needed if working at home or out of town. "As long as you can wirelessly connect to a network, you can log onto a remote computer," he added.

Teachers will find them easy to transport as they are lighter weight than even a laptop computer. According to the website, www.apple.com/ipad, "The screen is 9.7 inches, measured diagonally. So overall, it's slightly smaller than a magazine. At just 1.5 pounds and 0.5 inch thin, you can use it anywhere."

"This will be another tool for teachers to use in the classroom," Thorstad said. "The things it does, it does very very well."

They have the Kindle reader built in so instructors will be able to load ebooks on them and reference them during class.

"We want to provide our faculty with updated technology so they can provide a learning environment that is more up to date, which is what our new generation, who are very tech savvy, is looking for," Meyer said.

"This will be a new and interesting tool for them to use," Thorstad said. "How it will be utilized is up to the instructors."

"Technology has brought us to a point where our lives can be made much easier," said WSC President Raymond Nadolny. "Our faculty are doing the work in the classroom and the college is making a commitment to faculty - and our students. I'm pleased we are in a position to make this happen."