Teaching and Learning with an iPad

Author: Jane Petersen

Here at UNK, every student and faculty has an opportunity to teach and learn with an iPad. Today's students are the most mobile, collaborative-learning students in the history of education.

The most effective classrooms today are students and instructors that are moving, collaborating, sharing and building knowledge together. The iPad has made a significant difference at UNK in teaching and learning. Faculty have embraced iPad-optimized classes and students are more engaged.

UNK continues to transform the educational experience by improving classroom technology along with mobile connectivity and Internet service across the campus

Because UNK is continuing to expand its offering of iPad courses, iPads will be required in some "iPad classes" as course tools -- just like textbooks. We are transitioning to student-purchased iPads instead of loaners as a way to increase all students’ use of iPads throughout their curricular and co-curricular activities.

Students can purchase their iPads directly from the UNK Online Technology Store. The UNK Technology Store in Otto Olsen 115 provides students with cost savings on all of their technology needs including iPad covers, keyboards, and cables.

iPad-Required and iPad-Recommended Courses
UNK students are encouraged to purchase their own iPad as an intensive mobile learning tool for their iPad-required or iPad-recommended course. We also understand that it may not be feasible for some of our students to purchase an iPad for their course. UNK has a limited number of iPads for students in iPad-required and iPad-recommended courses to check out for the semester.

Any UNK student in an iPad-required course who needs to borrow a UNK iPad must stop into the UNK Help Desk in Otto Olsen 115 one week before or two weeks after classes begin. Bring with you your NUID and $15 for the insurance. If you have any questions, please contact Jim Trambly at tramblyjf@unk.edu or Jane Petersen at petersenjl@unk.edu.

Start here with your new iPad.

FAQ for students and parents;

Do I need an iPad?

Some of your UNK courses will require an iPad. Either student-owned, or borrowed through various methods, including through UNK.

UNK is transitioning to student-purchased iPads as a way to increase all students’ use of iPads throughout their curricular and co-curricular activities, instead of offering them loaned course by course.

Can I use my iPhone instead of bringing an iPad to class?

Yes, if you prefer you can use your iPhone instead of an iPad. You may want to check with your instructor to be sure this is OK with them.

Be sure that your iPhone has been updated to iOS 8.3 or later. Note that the iBooks App and iTunesU App that many faculty use is optimized for iPhone 5, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus.

Why is my course requiring an iPad?

iPads have revolutionized the learning environment in classrooms from pre-kindergarten to advance-level collegiate courses. Students are using these devices in their personal and educational lives already. They will use them in the professional world.

How will I know if a class is an iPad required class for the upcoming semester?

iPad-required courses will be designated specifically in the schedule of classes and through your course registration in MyBLUE.

Why does UNK want to do this? Other colleges don’t?

University of Nebraska embraces the iPad as a learning tool--just like textbooks. The decision revolves around what is best for students’ education and what will enhance their success inside and outside the classroom. It’s difficult making a decision knowing it will affect students financially because we know the cost of attending college continues to grow.

The investment in training faculty, developing enhanced courses and enhancing campus connectivity is more than worth it. These devices are transforming education. They’re changing the way we teach and changing the way we’re able to prepare our students for the mobile environment in the world and in the workplace. Many other colleges are moving in the same direction because of these reasons.

We believe iPads are necessary to support students’ education and will be viewed just like texts: Buy them, borrow them, sell them, use them or choose a different course with a different requirement for materials.

For Fall 2014 and beyond, UNK is recommending that all students have an iPad.

Am I going to need an iPad in many of my UNK courses? How many?

With this growing use of mobile technology in courses, students are using iPads both for class and outside of the classroom as an important productivity and learning tool.

In the past semesters as many as 1,800 students needed an iPad for at least one course. That number will grow rapidly as more iPads courses are developed and more students bring iPads to campus. For some students in some programs and colleges, Education for example, having and learning with an iPad is an absolute must.

Why are some courses iPad courses and others aren’t?

Individual faculty need lots of time – as many as hundreds of hours – to develop or change a course for an iPad. They may need to convert hundreds of documents and materials to digital format. They may need to organize their materials in different ways. They may need to invest time in training, learning new pedagogies or methods for students to interact with the course material, the instructor and one another using these hand-held devices.

We’re pleased that so many faculty have taken the time to learn to use them. We see time as the primary barrier experienced in developing an iPad course. For some courses, an iPad may not be appropriate.

Is it possible I’ll never have an iPad class?

Certainly. But more classes are being added all the time, so it’s probably going to get more unlikely as time goes on.

Many UNK students find the iPad very beneficial to use for all of their courses. Students can customize their own learning, download books, and create collaborative content. For example, students take interactive notes using apps like Evernote, which allows the student to record auditory portions of lectures if needed, store photos of helpful notes written on blackboards in the classroom, and utilize other various tools.

UNK is also exploring productivity apps that will enhance students’ extracurricular environment, so it’s highly likely students will eventually be using iPads for their co-curricular needs as well: job-search, scheduling, social networking, productivity.

Do I need to bring it to every class?

Yes. There are so many positive experiences in looking up and following along with the instructor materials, sharing items with classmates, and other ways to use your iPad in class.

You may find it useful to bring your iPad to all your classes and take notes on apps like Evernote or AudioNote or store your notes in folders in Dropbox or Paper Desk. Even simply having your calendar with you at all times is so beneficial to busy students.

Why iPad? Why Mac/Apple?

Primarily because of the number and variety of apps available on the Apple platform. iPads are considered the standard in mobile/tablet education and will likely continue to be for the foreseeable future.

Everyone being on the same platform enables the instructor and students to have the same experience on their tablet and in delivery of their course material.

I can't afford an iPad. What options are there for me?

UNK has some iPads available to loan out to students in iPad-required courses. The iPads will be offered to students through a loaner program. Students in iPad-required courses will be informed that they either need to purchase an iPad or register to check out a UNK iPad through a survey emailed. If you do not receive the survey, please notify Jim Trambly at tramblyjf@unk.edu of Jane Petersen at petersenjl@unk.edu.

To Purchase your iPad: Go to the UNK Apple Store for Education.

To Borrow an iPad from UNK: Students in an iPad-required course must register for a UNK iPad by completing the survey emailed to them or by contacting their instructor. UNK has a limited number of iPads to loan out to students. Students will receive an email confirmation that their registration for a UNK iPad has been received. Those students may pick up their UNK iPad at the UNK Help Desk in Otto Olsen 115 beginning the first Monday of each semester. Students borrowing iPads will pay $15 for UNK iPad insurance. The UNK iPad must be returned at the end of each semester.

Where can I buy an iPad on campus?

You can purchase iPads through our UNK Apple Store for Education.

The UNK Technology Store in Otto Olsen 115 has computer and iPad accessories including iPad covers and keyboards.

I want to purchase my own iPad. Which iPad do you recommend?

The model you select depends on user experience and preference. It really comes down to which size of tablet you want to carry, how you plan to use it, and what you want to spend.

  • iPad Mini advantages: Less expensive, smaller
  • iPad Air advantages: Bigger, better for productivity including photo and video manipulation.

We recommend purchasing the 64gb iPad so you have plenty of room for the digital content created for you at UNK and so that you will have plenty of room for personal use too.

Can I get the cost of my iPad paid for under my Pell grant or my scholarships?

Surplus aids/awards may be used however you wish. So yes, if you have financial aid dollars left over after paying your student bill you may use cash to purchase an iPad.

Can I borrow an iPad?

Yes. UNK has a limited number of available iPads for students in iPad required courses. Similarly, your college may offer iPads on loan.

If you have a roommate, friend, relative or anyone that you can borrow an iPad from, that’s great. Just be aware of the issue of transferability of apps and other data and material you may need. It would be best to keep your iTunes materials in the cloud, in this case, instead of installed permanently on the device itself.

What do I do if my UNK iPad or personal iPad breaks?

Students with a borrowed UNK iPad are required to purchase the UNK insurance plan for $15 each semester to cover breakage. Students with a borrowed broken UNK iPad should bring their iPad immediately to the Help Desk in Otto Olsen 115.

Students who purchase a new iPad have the option to purchase Apple Care for $99.

UNK Online Courses

UNK online courses are offered electronically through the Internet allowing you to attend class anywhere there is a computer and Internet access -- at home, at school, or at the library. You also choose when you want to take the course - before work, after work, or after the kids are in bed or in school. Online courses are similar to traditional courses in that they are instructor-led where the instructor develops the curriculum, conducts the class, gives the assignments, answers questions, leads discussions, and assigns grades. You will be expected to begin the first week of class and work regularly throughout the semester. Online courses are highly interactive with faculty and students communicating through email, discussion forums, and chat groups.