A program has put Apple iPads in the hands of 25 Masters of Business Administration students at UIW.
The program’s goal is to evaluate the iPad’s usefulness in the classroom setting and its place as a research and mobile productivity tool for the MBA students, who are studying international business.
Dr. Pat LeMay Burr, Distinguished Chair in International Business, leads the class, and says each day both teacher and students learn new uses for the computers. “There are hundreds of thousands of iPad applications,” she said. “I’ve been spending three or four hours daily testing new applications.”
Applications used most often by students include the Globe Application, which allows students access to data on a country-by-country basis, and the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Fact Book. “I use that weekly,” Burr added. QuickOffice and DropBox are class favorites.
Students also identify and install applications that work best for their needs, and part of their project includes creating a report on what applications they’ve found most useful over the eight-week course.
Students also take the iPads into the field; one such project took the class to H-E-B’s Central Market, where they worked with an H-E-B global sourcing expert to examine the international origins of the varied products sold there. This project is also in line with the heightened importance of mobility in the workplace for MBA graduates.
While Burr is no newcomer to technology in the classroom – as dean of business administration, she helped author the UIW Laptop program several years ago – she said the iPad stands out as a learning tool.
“It’s the most fun I’ve had on a technology product in a long time,” she said.