By Stephen Chupaska
What will e-readers do to the time-honored tradition of scribbling notes in the margins and underlining passages in print books?
Remains to be seen how quickly college students will adopt e-books on a mass scale. Thorny issues over who can use the books when students rent digital versions, how the growing movement of free, online textbooks will be incorporated into college curriculum, and figuring out how to share notes online are just a few important unknowns that are still being hammered out as college students think about using ebooks.
And though students still complain about using iPads (slow, cumbersome typing, for one thing), some English literature college professors are finding creative ways of using its multi-media uses.
Scott Cohen, an English professor at Stonehill Colllege, located about 30 miles southwest of Boston, is in his second year of implementing the iPad into his lessons.
“The iPad really helps move between different kinds of texts and material, visual, cinematic, written, audio, etcetera,” Cohen said. “Students love them, beyond just being a new shiny device.”
Last year, Cohen received a grant from the college’s Center for Teacher and Learning to purchase three iPads as part of a pilot program in his Storytelling in the Age of Information class.
Cohen incorporates the popular NPR public radio show This American Life in his classes, and using the iPad allows the class to move between audio clips and an annotated transcript of the story that can be projected on a screen.
Cohen said students can initiate these sequences and bookmark them, efficiently saving them for future reference or emailing them to each other.
The iPad allows Cohen and his students to capitalize on the “improvisational” nature of class, as they can call up passages more quickly or even play a clip from the radio show to counter a point Continue reading