Class Trades Textbooks for iPads

The Charger Bulletin

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By KAREN GRAVA, Director of Media Relations

Twenty first-year honors students who filed into Pauline Schwartz’s general chemistry class last week got quite a surprise when the University gave iPads to each of them.

The students, mostly forensic science and engineering students, found that their textbook, class assignments and class participation grades will all come from the device. They get to keep the iPads provided they finish the second half of the course next semester and continue on to graduate from UNH.

Schwartz, professor of chemistry, came up with the concept because “these kids are using mobile devices and smartphones for everything, and we have to, too.” And even though it represented more work for her initially, she feels it is worth the effort.

“I think this will make it easier for me to teach and easier for them to learn,” she says.

Schwartz, who spent the summer preparing to use the iPad in her class, notes the device allows her to project the same slides with or without annotations that the students see. If she is not sure if they have understood a concept, she can quiz them right there – the students answer the multiple choice questions right on their iPads and she gets information immediately about the number of right and wrong answers entered. If too many get the answer wrong, she knows she must retrace her steps; if the students understand the concept, she can continue moving forward.

The device also warns her if a student begins checking email or surfing the web. The program also helps her keep track of students who participate in the class.

“With the iPad, you can do so much. I think it is a great way to teach; it pushes the curve a little more,” she says.

The iPads were paid for by the honors program, which is also seeking funding so it can supply students in other classes with the device, says Matthew Wranovix, a lecturer in history and director of the honors program.

Wranovix, Lynne Resnick, administrative coordinator of the honors program, James McCoy, vice president for enrollment management, Christie Boronico, associate vice president of retention, and Alan MacDougall, director of academic computing, all played roles in making the iPad giveaway happen.

The Honors Program, which has grown rapidly over the last four years, offers 16 courses to 302 students. About 50 students in the Class of 2016 joined the program this year.


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Class Trades Textbooks for iPads