It’s a part of our everyday lives and we can’t escape it – visual and audio stimulation.

     It’s a part of our everyday lives and we can’t escape it – visual and audio stimulation. Through television, radio, Internet, e-mail, texting to books, magazines and newspapers our daily lives are being impacted.
One of the things we keep hearing over and over again is a 20-year-old’s optic nerve is 10 times larger than a 40-year-old’s optic nerve because, in America, our kids have grown up with constant stimulation and their bodies have adapted to that.
     Because of the ever-changing bombardment of stimulation educational institutions are finding it necessary to devise different ways to enhance face-to-face learning in the classroom. One of the most popular ways to achieve this is technological immersion in the classroom with the focus being on student engagement.
     Dodge City Community College announced in March it will launch an exciting new technology initiative that will enhance the learning experience for DCCC students. Beginning with the Fall 2012 semester, every DCCC student will be required to bring an Apple iPad to classes.
     The iPad initiative will immerse DCCC students in cutting-edge technology that will not only strengthen their educational experience, but help them discover their own learning style. Students’ learning styles vary and the iPad will be an excellent addition to their educational resources.
     The iPad initiative is about improving the learning experience in a face-to-face classroom. Students today are completely different from students 20 to 40 years ago and we have to look at different ways to engage those students. And we, at DCCC, are committed to prepare our students for the 21st Century.
     Industries are demanding people that are highly adaptable, self-learners that can teach themselves and can teach each other as a team. The demands of careers are changing and there is no longer time to send people back to school, they have to learn immediately. The interactive technology iPads offer will help students develop learning and teaching skills that will help them in their careers.
     The educational benefits the iPad offers makes it a resourceful asset in the classroom. There are more than 20,000 educational and learning apps available for the iPad, and more than 200,000 native iPad apps available on the App Store, which will help DCCC faculty members integrate the technology into the classroom. The technology will also allow faculty members to offer more enhanced customized instruction for DCCC students.
     Other highlights of iPad’s educational benefits are:
•Accessibility – iPads fit students’ lifestyles. Learners have access to the world 24/7 (subject to internet access).  The world is at the students’ fingertips.
• Creativity – Tens of thousands of educational APPS are available to expand the learning experience both inside and outside the classroom.
• Learning Styles – It will connect to different learning styles - cognitive (knowledge acquisition), kinesthetic (physical movement), affective (emotional, feeling) – through the rich array of media available.
• Brain-Based Research – It has been shown that technology is one of the 20 strategies (Marcia Tate) to use when teaching in a brain-based environment. The iPad is a tool that better suits the brain structure of current students.
• 21st Century Learners – DCCC needs to encourage more technological immersion for the student as well as foster a more collaborative and experiential learning environment.
• Low Maintenance - Students are able to run the helpdesk. They are able to troubleshoot and resolve computer issues so there are no additional IT staffing required. The entire campus will be a computer lab.
• Paperless Innovation – Eliminate paper, saving dollars and the environment.
• Instant On – The immediate connectivity is a time saver, and the iPad can stay charged for the entire school day.
     Students have the choice of purchasing an iPad at any store they would like. Students will also have the option of ordering iPads through the college. But one note, Apple does not offer educational discounts on iPads.
     If students choose to purchase an iPad through the college, the cost could be covered if there are sufficient funds available in the student’s financial aid package. DCCC also has a payment plan where the cost of the iPad would be split over two semesters. And there is a semester rental plan for part-time students.