Exploring Learning with the iPad: ACU Connected and the Future of Digital Texts
Abstract: The Horizon Report identifies the expectation to “work, learn, and study whenever and wherever” one wishes as a key trend. For three years, Abilene Christian University (ACU) has deployed mobile devices to students in a campus-wide initiative attempting to harness the potential of these devices to enhance educational experiences. With release of Apple’s iPad, another promising future seems to be upon us; one in which students carry their course texts and personal media in a sort of digital backpack that is light, enjoyable, and always connected to the world of information and friends. However, the integration of technology into academic programs has not always improved educational outcomes, with appropriate deployment and use a prerequisite for improved engagement and learning. These papers report on several in-progress studies of iPad use, with early results showing that this attractive platform for learning faces both challenges and interesting questions for research and assessment.