Technology always transforms society. In fact, information and communication technologies (ICTs) have drastically impacted the attitudes, expectations and behaviors of individuals, organizations and communities. One fine example of an ICT responsible for social transformation is the Apple iPad. In fact, the iPad has drastically changed the way students learn in places like Northwest Kansas Technical College.
Northwest Kansas Technical College has found the Apple iPad useful in their hands-on learning approach. Northwest Kansas Tech is a two-year school located in the farming community of Goodland in northwest Kansas. This school develops highly skilled workers for the technical industries important for the nation’s infrastructure by training its students on the same technology they will use in the workplace. Recently, the introduction of the iPad and select apps has opened up many new learning opportunities for the students. Even though hands-on training in technical education typically means putting hands on machines rather than digital devices, there were numerous benefits for the iPad in Northwest Kansas Tech. In fact, the school’s overall licensure exam passing rates have improved since the iPad was introduced in the classroom. The pass rate in developmental classes has increased to well over 75%, and the pass rates for board exams among respiratory therapy students has risen to 87%. These rates are the highest the school has ever recorded. Also due to the implementation, Northwest Kansas Tech is now graduating 90% of its students and placing about 90% of them in jobs all thanks to the iPad education.
Dr. Guy E. Mills, president of Northwest Kansas Technical College, says “The learning potential with iPad is just endless.” He is right; the iPad education has helped reinforce hands-on learning. Greg Unger, diesel technology instructor at the Northwest Kansas Technical College says, “iPad and AirPlay allow us to demonstrate a procedure just once, record it, and play it on the big screen for all the students to view and discuss. Another instructor, has used iPad to highlight lessons in a collaborative textbook app that respiratory therapy students can access in the classroom or from remote labs and clinical sites. Cosmetology students also use an iPad app that lets them comprehensively track and manage clients. Overall, the iPad inspires creativity and hands-on learning with features not available in any other educational tool. Powerful apps from the App Store like iTunes U and iBooks let students engage with content in interactive ways, find information in an instant, and access an entire library wherever they go.
iPads are being integrated into classrooms everywhere, not just at Northwest Kansas Technical school. Apple CEO Tim Cook said, “The adoption rate of iPad in education is something I’d never seen from any technology product in history.” However, it is not unsurprising that the iPad has become popular in the classroom. Apple textbooks provide engaging layouts, interactive images, 3D graphic and more. iPad apps are expanding the learning experience both inside and outside the classroom with educational apps from interactive lessons to study aids to productivity tools. iTunes U for the iPad makes it easy to customize courses for iPad and create an immersive learning experience for students. The iPad makes it easy to teach an entire class thanks to video mirroring, which easily shows web pages, photos, videos, and more on the big screen. Overall, iPads have drastically changed the traditional classroom education by providing a hands-on learning experience for students that instructs and entertains at the same time.