Under a new pilot program, two classes at the University of Notre Dame will require students to lease iPads instead of buying textbooks.

The iPads will be leased for a fee of $70 per semester through the campus bookstore, but a custom iBook textbook and other course materials will be provided free of charge. Out of the classroom, students will use Google Drive for collaboration and Google Plus for discussion.

“Introduction to the First Amendment: Freedom of Expression in the Digital Age” and “Introduction to Web-Based Interactivity, and Data-Driven Design” will be the two courses participating in the program.

“The goal is to experiment with a born-mobile pedagogy that includes a teaching and learning style with assignments, collaboration opportunities, software tools and strategies built for the unique experience and attributes of mobile devices such as the iPad,” Elliot Visconsi, associate professor of English and concurrent associate professor of law says.

“Mobile is one thing, but touch and gestural input is another realm of interaction design altogether,” Andre Murnieks, assistant professor of art says. “Every design student has access and complete control over the device, and this has made a significant impact on my classes.”

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen iPads replace textbooks for trial periods and it’s not likely to be the last. Previously, Notre Dame students criticized the iPad when used in a management class, saying its surface wasn’t good for note-taking and it didn’t allow for text mark up.

The new program seems to keep the iPads in digitally-focused classes, the only place it may be welcomed over traditional textbooks.

Article Source: Today@ND | Image Source: Nate Bolt