Here at NOVA Solutions, we love to hear about the successful implementation of iPads in the classroom, no matter the age group, class size, or number of iPads (if you’re interested in hearing more success stories, check back with us every week; we cover new stories every week!). The latest success story to come to our attention is that of University of California: Irvine’s School of Medicine: every incoming freshman medical student is suited up with, not only a lab coat but also, a preloaded iPad for the students to use in their studies.
The 16GB, Wifi-enabled iPads are given to the students with all of the textbooks, syllabi, work-sheets, and any-other-content-they-might-need-to-succeed in their quest to become doctors. In an excerpt from the University’s news release, the new iPad initiative is explained:
As part of its new iMedEd Initiative, the medical school has developed a comprehensive, iPad-based curriculum, reinventing how medicine is taught in the 21st century and becoming the first in the nation to employ a completely digital, interactive learning environment for entering students.
“We are committed to using evolving technology to benefit the education of our medical students,” said Dr. Ralph V. Clayman, dean of the UCI School of Medicine. “It is our firm belief that a digitally based curriculum will be the wave of the future, and UCI seeks to be a leader in the innovative presentation of information to students.”
The iPads are used in and out of the classroom both with the support of their time-tested curriculum and the curriculum they’ve adapted to utilize the iPads to their greatest benefit. Students use the iPads to stay paperless, keep their physical class-load light, and to keep organized. Medical students, in general, have a lot of information to keep track of; from notes, notecards, and class information, the overwhelming amount of information that these students intake in a short period of time is astonishing. Students, with the help of their iPads, now have the ability to keep track of, not only this year’s information but also, previous years’ information. One need only do a quick search on their tablet to find anything they might need whether that be new information or a lesson they took notes on in their first days at the school.
The iPads have been more cost efficient and have shown increases in scores, as well. The average medical student can spend upwards of $1000 per year, on books alone. With the help of the iPads, the medical students at UC Irvine has nearly eliminated that cost by utilizing e-books that are accessible on their tablets. The college has even sited that within the last three years of iPad use, they’ve noticed a “23 percent increase in scores, on average, on the initial test for a medical license taken by the first class to get iPads.” With staggeringly amazing numbers like that, I wouldn’t be surprised if more schools turned to iPads to help them organize and motivate their students.