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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU workshop focuses on use of iPads in the classroom

New Mexico State University's College of Education is setting the standard for how technology is used in higher education after an iPad2 workshop for faculty in July.

Counseling and educational psychology assistant professor Ivelisse Torres Fernandez works on an iPad2 during New Mexico State University's workshop on the use of iPads and other electronic devices as teaching aids in the classroom. (NMSU photo by Harrison Brooks)

Students are familiar with the uses of multiple types of technology, so the purpose of the seminar was to help faculty be aware of the most up-to-date technology so that they may integrate it into courses.

Nearly 30 faculty members from both the College of Education and the College of Engineering participated, which was much more than expected by College of Education Dean Michael Morehead, who kicked off the four-day event with a presentation about technology in education.

"Technology will reshape the way we educate, both nationally and internationally, so education colleges need to be the place where new technology is modeled and integrated, in terms of pedagogy," Morehead said.

The goal is to have one program in the college be entirely virtual - no paper or books. Another goal is to have NMSU's College of Education be seen as a place where people in technology industries can come and partner with the faculty.

The workshop covered topics such as iPad2 basics, the status of technology in education and the status of Apple technology in education. Participants received exposure to a variety of iPad apps, including productivity, social, educational, educational games, music and strange and awesome apps, and gained experience designing lessons. Strategic planning activities to support technology growth in the colleges also were discussed.

"We want to foster an environment where technology is integrated in our college on a comprehensive basis and faculty and students have access to the most up-to-date technological advances," Morehead said.

Julia Parra, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction, coordinated the workshop, with support from Karin Wiburg, associate dean of research, and the NMSU Learning Games Lab's Barbara Chamberlin, Milos Savic, Michelle Garza and Karen Trujillo. Apple representative Glen Banks also presented a session.

At the end of the workshop, participants presented their ideas for utilizing the concepts learned throughout the four days.

"Workshops like these are important to support faculty in the development of personal and professional technology skills. The iPad, considered a "disruptive technology," is an incredibly engaging device and the opportunity for faculty to be immersed in a learning experience together was quite exciting," Parra said.