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OU Rolls Out New iPads to Future Teachers

Aspiring teachers in the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education will receive iPads to help revolutionize the way they learn and teach.

Aspiring teachers in The University of Oklahoma Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education soon will have a new tool that is expected to help revolutionize the way they learn today and teach in the future.

Beginning next week, OU will issue a new fourth-generation iPad with Retina display to 575 students enrolled in the college’s undergraduate teacher education program in spring 2013. Students will use the devices to enhance productivity, create lesson plans, demonstrate work and more as faculty integrate the devices into their classes.

 The pilot project is part of OU’s One University digital initiative, which integrates technology and creates digital content to enhance the learning experience.

 “We are excited to have the opportunity to create greater access to learning for our students,” said OU President David L. Boren.  “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."

OU undergraduate teaching education faculty received iPads earlier this fall and are incorporating them into their spring teaching and lesson plans, focusing on how the devices are being used in K-12 education. 

“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 Theresa 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.” 

Through the One University digital initiative, OU is broadly implementing technology through videos and dynamic online course materials formatted specifically for the iPad that are continuously being made available on iTunes U. The university also is developing a new iPad app to offer additional services to students.

For more information about One University, visit bit.ly/oneuniversity.