At Highlands College, our students, faculty, and staff strive to pursue excellence in every aspect of life. We do this through honoring those around us, being intentional with every detail, and stewarding the resources and opportunities God has gifted us to form an innovative learning environment for our students to receive hands-on education and real-world experience.
One resource that we provide all our traditional students with is an iPad. As part of our Academic Instruction pillar, we seek to create an innovative learning environment for our students to thrive in. This is reflected throughout the design of our newly renovated campus. Students and faculty have access to our high-tech learning studios and practice spaces that are intentionally equipped with the latest audio and video technology to support active, experiential learning. Students can utilize this technology to film themselves giving a message, connect with ministry and leadership speakers via video chat using interactive touchscreens, and screen cast digital content to present to their class. To continue to enhance this learning experience, each student receives an iPad upon their arrival.
Why provide iPads to Highlands College students?
Before the Spring 2023 semester, Dr. Matthew Benson, the Highlands College Academic Dean, and his team discussed beta testing the use of iPads in the classroom. Last Spring, students in Dr. Benson’s Public Speaking course were enrolled in an iPad beta test with established guidelines and goals to determine if iPads were a beneficial educational tool for our students. As a result of the beta test, Highlands College made the intentional decision to provide an iPad to all traditional students.
Dr. Benson and his team recognized that the cost of an iPad per student is comparable to the current cost of printed textbooks and reading materials. On top of that, iPads provide a wide range of tools and software that students can use to stay engaged in class and to assist them for vocational ministry. More than that, it is a resource that students can use long after they graduate to study, prepare, and deliver messages.
“Advances in technology provide opportunities to change the way we do many things, including how we learn,” Dr. Benson said. “iPads are much easier to use than laptops, and the multi-touch display encourages a more hands-on approach. The true strength of the iPad as a tool for education is its flexibility and portability. iPads will also significantly decrease the need for printed documents in the classroom.”
Each iPad is owned by the college and is included in the Student Experience fee until four semesters are completed. After completing four semesters, students then own their iPad and can use it beyond their time at Highlands College.
“Using iPads in our Learning Studios will enhance learning,” Dr. Benson said. “The iPad and integrated course curriculum have the potential to boost student engagement and improve digital literacy. Students can access course textbooks and any additional learning resources from the publisher on the iPad. Plus, students learn how to give presentations with digital presenter notes using the iPad.”
Developing is a part of Highlands College’s DNA, and we are continuously devoted to seeking out inventive ways to support our students in making an eternal impact.