Center for Academic Technology

Faculty Development

iPad Grant Program

Intended to encourage new and innovative instructional approaches, the Emerging Technologies Committee is pleased to announce its first Teaching Innovation Project: iPads in the Classroom faculty development opportunity for the 2010-2011 academic year.

This project awards 20 iPads to a faculty member with an innovative course design project. The purpose of the project is to study the impact of mobile computing in teaching and learning through carefully designed projects that integrate the technology into one or more components of a course. This activity will provide some initial findings about the impact of this technology on teaching and learning, potentially affirm or discount the viability of this specific technology in teaching and learning and establish sustainability benchmarks for potential multi-year implementations of this or similar technologies.

All full-time faculty were invited to apply for this grant, and upon review of their proposals for unique and specialized use of iPad technology as a learning tool, the following recipients of the inaugural Emerging Technologies iPad grant were announced. Each recipient is listed along with an abbreviated version of his or her proposed project description.  

  • Michelle Stigter, Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures:  The impetus to create an interactive, communicative classroom in which students think, communicate, breathe and occasionally even eat "auf Deutsch" has put an enormous burden on the instructor to continuously supplement the curriculum with realia. The iPad provides immediate and interactive access to such tools and brings the German speaking universe to students through use of maps, Flikr and city websites, video, apps to enhance German essentials - such as translation and vocabulary - allow cultural study of multiple German-speaking countries; not just the culture of Germany, but Austrian, Swiss, German-American, etc. The iPads will have a significant impact on teaching method and students will be drawn into functioning in German through a variety of listening, writing, and reading tasks in an authentic environment.
  • Marjorie Hennessy, Center for Urban Ecology: The iPads would be incorporated into the Fall 2010 Environmental Practicum course where students work with community partners, stakeholders, and experts; specifically slated to work with "Lights out Indy", a non-profit that collaborates with building managers in downtown Indy to resolve an urban ecological issue - window strikes and mortality of migratory birds in downtown areas due to night lighting.  The iPad technology will promote "network" material sharing and mobility while collecting data, interviews, surveys and other information needed to fulfill assignments. Lastly, the Center for Urban Ecology (CUE) is working to develop a series of smartphone apps, called "Indian Apps" through its Rain Barrel project. At the heart of IndianApps is a computer platform that links smart phones and handheld devices to citywide databases which can then be openly accessed and updated by the public for data compilation. iPads use by course participants may allow for a beta testing launch of this App.
  • Larry Lad, College Of Business:  Two sections of MG 490 - one with IPAD on without - with two assignments proposed:  a two week" state of the world" analysis and presentation, and one week for a kick off to the Institutions analysis and presentation project. The course will function as analysis between a control and test group to explore depth of inquiry outside of using PCs and library resources.  Initial question to address include: What will the iPad do to encourage more in depth analysis and exploration?  Will the use of a control group create competition between sections? Beyond the novelty of this tool, what new types of inquiry does it encourage? Students also will discover some unexpected or unplanned learning with the technology, and new ideas for teaching and growth from observing the students as they utilize the technology will likely be acquired.
  • Kate Morris, Psychology:  Many online demonstrations relay prejudice and discrimination and use of such demonstrations in class show students that they, themselves, can fall prey to prejudice. Students will complete a variety of online prejudice demonstrations and the beginning and end of the semester to see if being a student in the course affects students' responses. The iPad provides direct impact of the demonstrations as they occur and subsequent class discussion on affective and cognitive reactions to the demo.  Completion of demos at beginning and end points will gauge whether a semester course on prejudice actually reduces prejudicial attitudes across time.
  • James McGrath, Philosophy and Religion:  Explore the usefulness of iPads for interacting with classic texts as well as for integrating student reading with other types of academic and social interaction. Whether using iPads can allow students to feel connected in their reading experience, commenting in an interactive and communal fashion on the same texts, will depend on the existence or otherwise of apps that can facilitate this. Nevertheless, through the use of Blackboard and Facebook, space can be created that can allow students to move between texts and discussion of them. Ultimately, the only way to discover what will and will not work effectively (if at all) when all students in a class have iPads is to give them iPads and see what happens.
  • Andrea Gullickson, Music:  Ear training and sight singing assists students to develop skills that allow integrated knowledge of music theory with the art of making music. Incorporation of certain applications (Karajan Pro, Do Re Mi, Virtuoso) will provide a multi-sensory and small group approach to class exercises. Rather than solely aural identification of an interval, use of the iPad allows students to identify the interval and also see the piano keys associated with the interval - both enhancing the experience of visual learners and adding a useful tactile component.  The iPad will promote collaboration outside of class and allow students to experience coursework on a multi-sensory level with instant feedback - reducing anxiety of those with no previous experience with theory and/or aural training.

Transforming Teaching through Technology

Eight faculty from across the university community Were selected for the inaugural Transforming Teaching Through Technology faculty workshop held August 2-4, 2010. This program was jointly sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the Center for Academic Technology. Each participant submitted an application describing a pedagogical experience, problem or question they wished to explore. Over the summer, along with Center for Academic Technology staff and faculty colleagues, participants engaged in discussion about these topics, learned new technology skills and were ready to start the fall semester with a transformed course component.  Selected participants include:

  • Vivian Deno - History & Anthropology
  • Panos Linos - Computer Science & Software Engineering
  • Shelly Furuness - Middle and Secondary Education
  • Rocky Colavito - English/University Writing Programs
  • James F. McGrath - Philosophy & Religion
  • Elizabeth K. Mix - Art Program
  • Allison Harthcock - Media Arts
  • Priscilla Arling - Management Information Systems


These faculty members will be presenting the results of their work and the impact it had on their courses throughout this academic year in various venues.