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The use of iPad as an active part of learning

The advantages of having a common device among students and academic staff
 
The use of technology, in the form of devices or various services, has become an integral part of both teaching and learning. However the use of technology requires a “common ground”, when it comes to technological devices and technical literacy.
 
In 2012, Lovisenberg Diaconal University College (LDUC) decided to introduce iPads with keyboards, for all undergraduate students and academic staff.   At the same time it was decided to change to a new Learning Management System (Canvas) which was more iPad friendly than the previous employed LMS.  With the start of the academic year, every student receives an iPad (with data plan included) and a keyboard.  The iPad is preloaded with apps, such as Canvas, various eBooks and other useful utilities. Then the students are given a short introduction on how to use the iPad, followed by a more comprehensive course in the use of iPad and Canvas. This is an important step in ensuring a good foundation in technical literacy for all students.  Nowadays we tend to take technical literacy for granted, but our experience says that this varies greatly among students. 
 
Having a common device, for both students and academic staff creates a unique ground for user support. Students can help each other and academic staff can also help students with their iPads. Additionally educational technologists provide continuous support to both students and academic staff.
 
The introduction of iPad to students and academic staff has given us a larger playground for active learning initiatives.  Lecturers can now run online surveys and quizzes, use various digital services, such as Nearpod, where students can actively take part in the class with the use of their iPad. Students can create roll-play scenarios and film each other in the Clinical Simulation and Skills Lab and submit the videos as assignments.  The iPads can also be used to take notes during lectures and students can also highlight and mark up text in digital textbooks.  Lecturers can test services first on their own iPad knowing that it will also work on those that students have. The uses of various apps provides an array of possibilities. Now nursing students in clinical practice are able to submit all their coursework through Canvas on their own device wherever they have their clinical practice and lecturercan also mark the assignments and give feedback through their own devices.
 
Each year we welcome new students who have greater digital literacy than the previous so the challenge is making the best use of the digital tools that we have currently available but also focusing on how these tools can enable learning and future potential.
Jaro Zlamal and Brian Marum
Jaro is an Assistant Professor and Brian, an Educational Technologist at Lovisenberg Diaconal University CollegeUniversity Email: Jaroslav.Zlamal@ldh.no

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