TUAW is reporting that my alma mater, Oklahoma State University, is starting a pilot program to evaluate how iPads can be used in the educational space. Handing out MacBooks, iPhones, and iPads isn’t a new concept, but this is one of the few instances where the use of the devices is being monitored to evaluate its academic value to the student.
…OSU is really interested in how their students will go about using them. The results should be intriguing, not only for the lucky college kids who get to use iPads all semester but also for Apple and for other schools that are formulating plans over how to share and use technology. It certainly seems like having an iPad at college would be helpful in the traditional ways (you could read textbooks or take notes on it), but it’s cool that OSU is thinking about new ways to use it as well, such as apps for tests or connections across local Wi-Fi for networked learning.
The program will start with a mere 125 students among a 20,000-plus student body. The iPad is thought of by many as a potential game-changer for education. So it will be interesting to see what the OSU experiment finds.