Mendoza School of Business

iPads Could Hinder Teaching, Professors Say

Published: March 13, 2011 / Author: Ben Wieder

When Paul Steinhaus, chief information officer at Chatham University, met with his colleagues last summer to discus getting iPads for incoming students, they knew the move could raise the profile of the small institution in Pittsburgh. Across the country, institutions had grabbed headlines for adopting Apple’s tablet computing device.

But Mr. Steinhaus and other administrators soon realized that the iPad, with the slow finger-typing it requires, actually makes written course work more difficult, and that the devices wouldn’t run all of the university’s applications. “I’d hate to charge students and have them only be able to use it for e-mail and Facebook,” says Mr. Steinhaus. Chatham charges a $700 annual technology fee, which now pays for standard laptops.

Even students have issues. When the University of Notre Dame tested iPads in a management class, students said the finger-based interface on its glassy surface was not good for taking class notes and didn’t allow them to mark up readings.

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Topics: Mendoza