Dodge City Community College and Area Technical Center recently launched the iConq initiative, which will bring 21st century learning to students with the integration of Apple iPad technology into the classroom.
Dodge City Community College and Area Technical Center recently launched the iConq initiative, which will bring 21st century learning to students with the integration of Apple iPad technology into the classroom. This is the first semester for the initiative and faculty members are continuously working the technology into their classes.
DCCC Professor of Information Technology Paul Yaroslaski is also the iPad Instructional Support Specialist to help faculty with the iPad integration. He will provide training sessions with faculty and help faculty members find resources such as apps and programs they can use with the iPad in the classroom. He will remain a faculty member and continue teaching Information Technology classes at DCCC.
“My goal is to get the faculty comfortable using the iPad in a 21st century learning environment,” Yaroslaski said.
To help him achieve this goal, Yaroslaski is showing faculty members that the iPad is more than apps. He said just because a class doesn't have specific apps available doesn't mean a faculty member can't fully utilize the iPad in their classes.
“There is no plan to get rid of computer labs, but at the same time you've got a computer lab right here with your students,” Yaroslaski said.
For example, instructors can have students do Internet research right at their desks; or video speeches that can be shown on Apple TVs in the classroom without the student having to leave their desk. The technology advancement will greatly enhance the way instruction is delivered to students.
Yaroslaski said another goal is getting the faculty to share information with each other about what they are doing with the iPads. So he created an iPad User Group that meets every two weeks so that faculty can meet and share ideas and discoveries.
“It's just an open forum for people to talk about what they are doing, to ask questions and for other people to say: 'Oh yeah I had that problem too and now I'm doing this,'” he said.
One of the biggest challenges Yaroslaski said he faces is getting enough training for himself so he can bring new ideas to the faculty and help them with their issues. He has attended several training sessions and has visited other colleges using iPads.
“For me it's going to be getting the training I need, bring what I learn back to the faculty and show them ways to integrate the iPad into the learning environment they may not have thought of,” he said. “The DCCC faculty is great because they're helping each other all the time.”
Yaroslaski said the student reaction to the iConq initiative has been very positive and he is seeing extensive use of iPads on campus.
“They're using the iPad, and gaining an in-depth understanding of the technology. When they walk out our doors they are already a step ahead,” Yaroslaski said. “For me, teaching is about connecting with my students, exploring new ideas, and understanding our world just a little bit better, and the iPad has helped me accomplish that.”
Yaroslaski continued: “The iConq initiative reflects Dodge City Community College's commitment that our students get access to the cutting edge tools that will allow them to learn, to compete and to thrive in the 21st century.”