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mLearning: Students FAQ for iPads

(formerly Mobile Learning Fellows Program)

Students FAQ for iPads

Are all students required to have an iPad? No, students are not required to have an iPad. Walters State has seen greater student success in classes for students who have access to an iPad on a 24/7 basis.  Having your own personal iPad will provide the opportunity for you to tailor the iPad’s features to your own preferences while on campus or at home.  IPads also allow access to apps that will allow the integration of course materials in a way that cannot be achieved through a computer. 

If I can only purchase one piece of equipment should it be a laptop or an iPad?  In today’s 21st century learning environments, students will need access to a computer or laptop.  Walters State’s goal is for each student to thrive in our learning environment.  The iPad is a strong companion tool for students in today’s mobile learning environment. 

May I use any type of tablet or does it need to be an iPad?  Due to accessibility features that support our students with disabilities, and in order to provide consistency within the classrooms, Walters State has chosen to use Apple iPads. 

What are the specific advantages to using the iPad? Walters State has seen significant increases in learning outcomes, including test scores and course grades with the use of the iPad during class. Student outcomes have been even greater when the students had access to the devices and thus course content beyond class time.  Walters State continues to prefer the iPad due to the extensive selection of applications available to students and instructors. 

I already have an iPad. Will I be able to use that one? Possibly. If you have an iPad2, or later generation iPad, or iPad mini, you can use it for the 2014-2015 academic year.  For students who will be continuing their education at Walters State or continuing at a four year institution beyond the 2014-15 Academic Year, you may want to consider ensuring that you have an iPad 3 or later generation. 

How will I know if my iPad is an iPad2, or later generation iPad? These iPads will have a front facing camera. 

Can I use my iPhone instead of purchasing an iPad? Although we strive to incorporate all devices into our learning environments, the iPhone does not offer all the capabilities as does the iPad, including a smaller screen and differing components within applications. 

Where should I purchase an iPad? This is a personal choice for each student. There are educational discounts for students through this site 

Do I need to purchase a case or cover for my iPad? Walters State does suggest purchasing either a case or cover to help protect your iPad from accidental damage. 

Will all of my instructors have an iPad? All faculty members at Walters State both full-time and part-time have the opportunity to put in place plans for how iPads will be integrated into their courses and can obtain iPads for use.  About 94% of them have done so.  

Will I be able to use my iPad in every course?  Students will find there are uses for the iPads beyond what faculty members use in the classroom such as savings on e-text vs. hardcopy; apps that integrate course materials into one common place; and apps that allow content to be downloaded while on campus so that it is accessible off-campus - even without internet access, just to name a few.  

Will I save money using electronic textbooks on an iPad? Yes. There is often a significant cost saving benefit in using electronic textbooks versus purchasing printed textbooks.  

Will I be able to connect to the Internet on campus using my iPad? Yes. Students may use the WiFi connection called AirNet. To log on to AirNet, students use their eLearn username and password. 

Will I be required to have Internet access at home to use my iPad to complete coursework? No. Students can download most course materials to their iPads to view off campus through an app called Binder that works with our course management system eLearn without having access to the Internet. 

Will Walters State provide tech support for my iPad? The IET HelpDesk offers these resources and can assist students with setting up StarMail and accessing AirNet on their devices. Outside of these resources, students are encouraged to visit Apple’s support pages or contact AppleCare

How will I know if my course is using an iPad the classroom? Consult your course’s syllabus or you may talk with your instructor at your first class meeting. 

Which majors will I need an iPad for? Through surveys of faculty members, Walters State has determined a significant enough use throughout general education courses to encourage students to gain access to use of an iPad on a 24/7 basis.  Majors within pre-teacher education, the natural sciences, pre-health professional, and public safety will use an iPad extensively. Students in other majors can learn more about the use of iPads within their major course work by calling the academic division for their major.  Those numbers are listed below.

Behavioral + Social Sciences 423-585-2633

Business 423-585-6972

Health Programs 423-585-6981

Humanities 423-585-2633

Mathematics 423-585-6864

Natural Science 423-585-6865

Public Safety 423-585-2671

Technical Education 423-585-2644

Does Walters State provide iPads for students? The R. Jack Fishman Library has a limited number of iPads that are available for check-out for one week. Walters State also has a number of iPad carts filled with iPads available to faculty members to reserve for use within classes for activities and assessment.

What are some popular free apps on Walters State iPad carts that students would benefit on having on their own iPadsWalters State, Binder, EduCreations, ShowMe, GoClass, Response, Dropbox, iBooks, iTunes U, Skitch, Gmail, and Drive.