Posted by: Alison Damast on November 19, 2010
Amazon’s Kindle may not yet be a success story on business school campuses, but there appears to still be hope for the Apple iPad. Last year, I wrote a story how seven universities, including two business schools, attempted to use the Amazon Kindle DX in the classroom. The device proved problematic and after a few months, most students stopped using the e-reader, complaining that it wasn’t user-friendly and hard to navigate in the classroom.
Now, some B-schools are turning their sights to the iPad. Georgia State University’s Robinson College of Business (Robinson Full-Time MBA Profile) is one of the first business schools aggressively pursuing using the iPad as a replacement for classroom textbooks. This fall, they rolled out a pilot where students in the college’s Executive MBA program were given iPads as a replacement for textbooks, the school said in a press release. The 1.5-pound iPad will replace the 20 pounds of textbooks that students typically are required to buy for class, the school said. By next fall, the school plans to distribute the devices to students in the school’s professional and global partner MBA programs, the one-year specialized master’s program, and the executive doctorate in business.
The school decided to bring the iPad into the classroom because of the hectic lives that many of their students lead, juggling family, school, work and travel, said Jane Mutchler, Robinson’s associate dean for academic planning and programs at the college.
“Its portability makes the iPad ideal for working professional,” Mutchler said. “In addition to having texts already loaded, it can be used to keep track of assignments, future tests, study dates and social events, and it has the same type of calendar and e-mail platform that is on the iPhone.”
Georgia State is one of just a handful of business schools that have started experimenting with the iPad in the classroom. IMD Business School (IMD Full-Time MBA Profile) in Switzerland used the iPad in an executive education program in May of 2009, and schools like the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business (Darden Full-Time MBA Profile) said they are looking to develop course material specifically for the iPad.
Readers, how are you using the iPad as a tool in the classroom? What do you think are the advantages of the iPad over the Kindle?