iPad Air requirement for elementary education majors
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Starting in the fall, every Emporia State elementary education student who has completed 30 credit hours and is not entering Block 3 (student teaching) will be required to get an iPad Air WiFi, 32 GB tablet. According to the FAQ document at Emporia.edu , this new implementation has been issued by Hornet Connected Learning, which is a “tablet-based learning initiative to prepare Emporia State elementary education students to teach effectively with evolving technology.”
The iPad will cost approximately $700 to $800 in addition to the year’s tuition, and can be paid for at full price in one semester or split between the fall and spring semesters. The Emporia State Budget and Tuition Committee has approved the inclusion of this fee, but is still waiting for approval by the Kansas Board of Regents, according to Elizabeth Dobler, professor of elementary education.
Paige Hardiman, senior elementary education major, said the requirement is very unfortunate for people that just got new technology. She just received a Windows surface for Christmas, and will not be able to use this for next year.
The reason for using an iPad, instead of other tablets or laptops, is because instruction time will not be lost to adapting lessons to a variety of generations and brands of tablets. The FAQ on ESU’s website stated that it is statistically more likely that graduates will enter classrooms already using iPads, so it was the best option.
“We have two methods classes in Block Two, so we don’t technically need the e-books and everything because we’re just going to have a couple classes, and a lot of our schools will provide iPads or technology or whatever they have at that particular school,” Hardiman said. “I’m not huge on technology, but if I’m now going to be learning with them, then I will use it more in my classroom.”
Along with changes for students, professors in elementary education, mathematics, art, music, physical education and instructional design and technology are now preparing to adapt this to their subject matter.
“Since January and through the summer, twenty-four faculty members in the elementary education program are participating in intense training provided by Apple,” Dobler said. “All of these faculty members will have received an iPad Air and a MacBook Air and are learning ways to create content and digital textbook materials to use in their courses.”
The iPads will be available through Hornet Connected Learning on Launch Days in August 2014, or on the first day of classes in the fall semester.
“I think I understand why they want to do it, and I think that it’s true that technology is becoming a huge part of everyone’s lives especially for future generations, as well,” said Sage Thompson, junior elementary education major. “However, I don’t think the way they’re going about this is appropriate. I think letting us know with two months of school left wasn’t a very good idea because none of us knew this was going to happen, literally, for the next school year.”