Touro College’s School of Health Sciences distributed third-generation iPads to more than 200 students for the Fall 2012 semester, demonstrating Touro’s commitment to incorporate the best educational tools and latest technologies available for a powerful learning experience.
The School of Health Sciences (SHS), under the leadership of Dean Louis Primavera, PhD, collaborated with the academic computing department and Dean Issac Herskowitz, PhD, of the Graduate School of Technology, to conduct a semester-long pilot study last January to assess the educational value of the iPad.
“A survey of faculty and students was conducted before and after the semester,” said Dr. Jill Horbacewicz, chair and director of the physical therapy department. “The response was so positive that we decided to bring the iPad to all programs in the SHS.”
The infrastructure support needed for a school-wide launch was facilitated by Touro’s Office of Information Technology (OIT). “The iPad will become vital to our students’ educational experience, said Dean Primavera. “Touro is at the forefront of adopting mobile technology for educating its students.”
Rivka Molinsky, chair/director of the occupational therapy assistant department and chair of the SHS technology steering committee, was the lead faculty member who worked closely with Apple to realize this initiative. “Our students are being educated to become excellent allied health care practitioners, and will now be equipped with the latest technology used in hospitals and clinics,” she said.
The paperless iPad offers not only convenience but also allows students to connect with classmates and faculty; store and share files and assignments; access their student records; download digital books; do online research; and take notes in class, all through the use of cloud computing. This unprecedented flexibility was facilitated by the SHS steering committee, including the chairs of the SHS departments and leadership from the academic computing department.
Joshua Fingerman, a PT student, said the iPad–as well as apps purchased by the school–add value to his learning experience. “The anatomy app is equivalent to a 500-page textbook and it can even be used in the clinic to show patients what muscle has been injured.”
iPad deployment is being rolled out in two phases. Incoming students at the Manhattan, Bay Shore, and Brooklyn campuses received their devices the first week of September and students who were already enrolled will receive them at the beginning of the spring semester. The Apple team provided customized training for faculty and then worked with educators to identify those apps most relevant to the health sciences programs.
“I am able to consolidate all my notes and a lot of my textbooks in one place,” said Duane Grell, also a PT student, class of 2014. “There are also many helpful anatomy apps and programs that help whenever I need some images to complement what I’ve learned in class.”
This joint effort by the SHS, academic computing department, and OIT leadership demonstrates Touro’s significant commitment to providing students with the latest tools to learn and be able to compete in a continually changing and evolving workplace.