University of Oklahoma rolls out iPads to aspiring teachers

Starting in a week,The University of Oklahoma will initiate a pilot project at the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education that will provide each one of its aspiring teachers with a fourth-gen iPad. The project is part of OU’s One University digital initiative, which aims to integrate technology to enhance the learning experience. The initiative is incorporating videos and online content being made specifically for the iPad and making it avaliabe on iTunes U, and the University is also developing an iPad app to offer additional services to students.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to create greater access to learning for our students,” said OU President David L. Boren in a blog post at OU’s website. “By providing iPads as supplemental education resources, our students will learn how to develop more powerful learning models, which they can then utilize in their own classrooms after graduating.”

“Since many K-12 schools have adopted iPad initiatives, it is imperative that future teachers learn and teach with the same tools,” said Gregg Garn, dean of the college. “OU will supply iPads at no cost to the student and, upon completion of the program, students will get to keep the device and the digital content they have created to use in their teaching careers.”

This initiative piggybacks onto a fall pilot that issued iPads to undergrad teaching faculty.

“If you really want a one-to-one technology initiative to be successful, you first have to empower the faculty to feel comfortable and knowledgeable about the technology that they are learning how to use,” said associate professor Teresa Cullen. “The goal is to have the faculty use the technology as a tool to incorporate the activities that they are already doing, such as lesson planning, and to extend to such activities as reviewing apps that would further enhance what they are teaching.”

The college also has selected 10 students to be a part of the “technology student team” that will assist faculty members in designing activities for their classes.

“This is an innovative model, based on 21st century skills that include collaboration between the faculty and the student,” said Cullen. “We are trying to design this collaboration to get the students engaged with the faculty so that they are learning together as future and current educators.”

For more information about One University, click here.