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Publish Date: 06/03/13
Media Contact: Angela Koenig, 513-558-4625
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Sophomore Nursing Class at UC Goes Completely i-Tech This Fall

CINCINNATI—Sophomores at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Nursing will return to campus this fall with a new technology requirement: an Apple iPad mini.

These students will be the first nursing class at UC to exclusively use an iPad rather than textbooks.

"Our integration of iPad represents a shift—a real opportunity to not just impact education, but to transform the way we learn, interact and collaborate,” says Chris Edwards, assistant dean for information technology and communications, and director of the Center for Academic Technology and Education Resources (CATER) at the College of Nursing. Earlier this year, Edwards was named an Apple Distinguished Educator by Apple.

Edwards says the iPad changes the way content is delivered and created, and students can connect to apps that let them see content in ways not possible with traditional course material. For example, they can view animated hearts beating in 3-D and diagnose standardized patients via video. In addition, the college will use iBooks Author for the majority of lecture content delivery.

"This just scratches the surface of what is possible by using an iPad,” says Edwards.

The iPad curriculum also has the potential to enhance collaboration among students. For example, students will have the option to take and share notes directly in iBook or electronic textbooks.

The college’s iPad initiative started in 2011 when UC’s nurse educators were taught the skills they’d need to deliver nursing content to an already tech-savvy student body. The College of Nursing established the iPad Institute, a four-day, intensive training course for faculty on how to use the iPad, Apple TV and apps. Not only did faculty learn about the iPad’s functionality and the impact it could have on teaching, but they also generated implementation plans for using the iPad in their own teaching and course management.

Associate professor Christine Colella, DNP, who was among the first faculty trained at the iPad Institute, is already using the audio feature of an application called Murmur Pro to teach her Advanced Health Assessment and Differential Diagnosis classes. The application, she says, gives students the opportunity to hear over 23 different heartbeat sounds so they can discern which of the examples were indicative of an abnormal heart murmur.

"I think anything that engages the student makes for a better class,” says Colella, who also uses Musculoskeletal Pro 3, which displays 10 layers of superficial and deep muscle with a 360-degree rotation of anatomic systems.    

These types of applications, along with supporting technologies such as  AppleTV, iTunes, the App Store, iBooks and iTunes U, will allow the incoming sophomore class to engage in academics in ways that surpass the technology at most nursing schools, according to Matthew Rota, director of instructional design at the College of Nursing.

"This allows students to receive content before coming to class, so class time is spent maximizing the learning experience by facilitated discussion and reinforcement of concepts.”

An added benefit, he says, is that there’s no need to print anything, which is going to make the campus greener and save money and time.

UC nursing students can expect the cost of the iPad mini with AppleCare+ to be $530. The students purchase and own the device, which replaces all hard-bound textbooks normally required. Student fees that previously covered printing costs will be re-allocated to provide nursing-specific software and apps. Financial assistance is available based on need.

Fall semester classes at UC begin Monday, Aug. 26. The iPad initiative will eventually encompass use of iPad technology throughout all class levels at the College of Nursing.

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