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Regis takes digital leap with iPadsJuly 23, 2012
WESTON, MA. Regis College President Antoinette M. Hays, PhD, RN, has announced that Regis is embracing digital technology to become an all iPad institution this fall. “I’m very excited that iPads have now arrived on campus; it’s not only about the tools, it’s about the pedagogical innovation,” she said. “Regis is becoming a leader in higher education in the kind of interactive and participatory teaching and learning that our digital world invites. We are building classrooms without walls as part of our global outreach,” noted President Hays.
Since early spring, more than a dozen faculty have been working with iPads to incorporate digital pedagogy into their curriculum design in preparation for the kick-off this autumn. That’s when all incoming full-time students and all full-time and half-time faculty members will receive iPads with apps tailored to the Regis learning community, and begin using them in course work, interactive class discussions, and in-class research. Freshman Year Seminar faculty have already enjoyed training sessions, and the college’s leadership team has been using the iPad in its strategic planning since last autumn.
“We can now speak to the evidence that educational outcomes are enhanced by digital pedagogy. Students learn better, professors advance knowledge better through a continuous interactive engagement,” said Malcolm Asadoorian, PhD, the academic dean of the Regis College School of Liberal Arts, Education, and Social Sciences. “The technology can help us advance some of our interdisciplinary objectives, too.”
Mathematics professors Sister Barbara Loud, CSJ, PhD, Santosh Mathew, PhD, and Cristina Squeff, PhD, have spent the summer building on their success with online math exercises to provide an enhanced understanding of mathematical concepts and prepare future teachers for the use of mobile technology in the math classroom.
Dean Penelope Glynn, PhD, RN, of the Regis College School of Nursing, Science and Health Professions noted that “ Informatics is now an integral part of quality health care through digital records and the digital connection of all aspects of a patient’s history and treatment in the medical home, so higher education is catching up to the interactivity of health care and business in our digital age. For the past year, Haitian nursing faculty pursuing higher degrees in our Haiti Project have already completed some aspects of their curriculum by means of the iPhone! With digital pedagogy, Regis is decidedly taking a leap forward into the future.”
Karen Crowley, PhD, Associate Professor of Nursing, will introduce her fall students in the Nurse Practioner program to the use of mobile technology in advancing evidence-based practice. She will provide students with electronic access to eLogs, electronic resources, virtual conferences, and virtual classes for clinical seminars. Catherine Frederico, Lecturer in Health and Fitness, has developed a plan to equip students with digital tools and resources for the Community Nutrition course and to use social media tools for marketing of nutrition materials.
“To support the iPad initiative and accommodate the growing number of Wi-Fi devices on campus,” Chief Information Officer Marla Botelho noted, “Regis is expanding the wireless network by installing campus-wide wireless service to over 621,000 square feet of campus building space, reflecting a 500% increase in the number of wireless access points on campus. The ubiquitous wireless projects will provide full wireless coverage across campus, including all classrooms and learning spaces,” she continued. “Exterior wireless service will also be provided to further enhance the classroom without walls.”
Supporting faculty in their exploration and use of mobile and other classroom technologies is critical to the success of pedagogical innovation to enhance student engagement and learning. Accordingly, Regis is offering a comprehensive slate of professional development opportunities for faculty, including training on the iPad and apps; faculty seminars, colloquia and discipline-specific workshops; and peer-to-peer faculty mentoring.
“In a close-knit learning community,” remarked President Hays, “Collaboration is our key to supporting, sharing and evaluating effective digital practices and technologies in teaching.”