Lynn University expands innovative iPad program
Published Nov. 20, 2013
Lynn University has measured its iPad initiative since its launch and the results and feedback have been so positive that the school will accelerate the innovative initiative and distribute iPads to all day underclassmen as well as expand the program to include M.B.A students.
School administrators have already started working with faculty to make sure courses take advantage of the iPad mini and the Apple ecosystem. Both efforts are planned for fall 2014.
“The faculty members are energized and excited about the new teaching and learning environment,” Chris Boniforti, chief information officer, said. “We continue to get great input from students who say they are more engaged and having fun in their classes – we love that feedback.”
Lynn plans to expand to the M.B.A program, in part, due to the fact that the university’s new LEED-certified International Business Center, home of its College of Business and Management, will feature design elements focused on collaborative work spaces and integrating technology into the learning experience. This learning environment works well with the Apple ecosystem that focuses on collaborative learning and flipping the classroom.
“I have been working on the technology and classroom designs of this building with our architects and other Lynn staff for over a year,” Boniforti said. “It will provide fertile ground for expanding the initiative to the graduate level since it seamlessly brings together advanced concepts about learning and the use of space and technology—a perfect facility for our first expansion of the iPad initiative to the graduate level.”
As with the underclassmen version of the effort, curriculum and course design are key to ensuring the Apple ecosystem properly enhances the student’s experience. To help with this process, Lynn recently hired two instructional designers to help retool curriculum to integrate with Apple’s tablet technology.
“Our custom-tailored curriculum provides fuel for the effort,” Gregg Cox, vice president for academic affairs said. “Lynn’s is the only tablet-based learning initiative we know of that started with curriculum first, and this is key to ensuring the devices enhance learning and the students’ experience.”
More about being an Apple Distinguished School
The successful implementation of the initiative helped Lynn secure recognition as an Apple Distinguished School for the 2014-2015 academic year. The Apple Distinguished School designation is reserved for schools that meet criteria for innovation, leadership and educational excellence, and demonstrate Apple’s vision of exemplary learning environments.
“We’re committed to the program because we know it’s going to be great for our students,” Lynn University President Kevin M. Ross said. “Our professors are dedicated to student success and great teaching. They are going to use these tools and wow us.”
The application itself was an iBook which highlighted the various aspects of Lynn’s innovating integration of technology into the classroom and the student’s learning experience.
The iBook application and a PDF of the case study based on the application are available for download.
More about Lynn’s iPad Initiative
One of the most extensive tablet-based learning efforts in all of American higher education rolled out on Aug. 25, 2013, when faculty and staff handed out more than 600 iPad minis to incoming students. The tablets use Apple technology to deliver the university’s nationally praised core curriculum and greatly enhance students’ learning experience through curriculum custom enhanced by faculty with multimedia content—replacing traditional textbooks with e-Books created by Lynn faculty and saving students hundreds of dollars on hard copy materials.
At the start of the program, only incoming freshmen and transfer students with less than 30 credit hours received the iPad minis. Since the launch, Lynn has distributed 722 iPads to the rest of the freshmen and to some upperclassmen taking one of the nine courses offered through iTunesU and iBooks.