iPad making its way to Kent State

Frank Yonkof

The iPad has yet to catch on at Kent State, where laptops and netbooks still reign supreme, despite fast-paced sales and a growing fan base nationwide.

“It’s still pretty cutting edge in a lot of ways,” said Robert Walker, a computer science professor. “We’re only on the first generation.”

The iPad first debuted in April and quickly sold 3 million copies within the first 80 days on the market.

Some students are waiting until the next generation is released before jumping aboard the iPad bandwagon. For now, Walker said the iPad is good for organization.

“I’m teaching a lot of classes this semester,” said Pam Hickey, who teaches basic physical education classes such as yoga, karate and self-defense. “I have over 200 students, and it’s just mind boggling to keep that sorted and to recognize faces.”

To keep herself organized, Hickey bought an app that tracks attendance and grades. She even took a photo of each student at the beginning of the semester to help remember names.

Video: Yoga professor uses iPad in class

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“It’s a movement class, so it’s very helpful to go in and find a YouTube link,” Hickey said. “I can put videos on here and say ‘here’s what I wanted you to do.’”

A common misconception is that the current generation of iPads is meant to replace the laptop, said Greyson Jones, a freshman social geography major and Apple Store employee.

“If you just buy the iPad expecting it to be a fully functional computer,” Jones said, “the second you turn it on it’s going to ask you to sync it up with a computer with iTunes.”

In the five months the iPad has been on the shelf, a Wall Street Journal report stated laptop sales have fallen by as much as 50 percent at Best Buy. Walker said that many instructors in the computer science department don’t even own one yet.

“To be honest, this is the first time I’ve bought something new like this.” Walker said. “For once, is it worth seeing how game changing this could be? And I’m pretty convinced that it is.”

“I think it will catch on,” said Walker, who has an iPad sitting on his desk next to a MacBook and desktop computer. “I think there’s still a question of ‘what’s it good for and do I really want to spend $500 on that?'”

Beyond basic organization, Hickey also uses the iPad in class. And since physical education classrooms aren’t equipped with projectors, she finds herself displaying videos on the tablet.

Contact Frank Yonkof at [email protected].

Professor Pamela Hickey uses her iPad to show instructional videos to alumnus Isaac Lacy and junior geology major Hanna Kreierhoff in her self defense class.

Professor Pamela Hickey uses her iPad to show instructional videos to alumnus Isaac Lacy and junior geology major Hanna Kreierhoff in her self defense class.

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