A trend has been taking place at several medical schools around the country in the past couple of years: Students are being required to own iPads. Some are even giving iPads to students. University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine has joined that trend by providing them to first- and second-year students, like an electronic welcome pack.
At Penn, according to the student newspaper The Daily Pennsylvanian, a program was developed to tailor material for faculty lectures:
Using a program called iBooks Author, professors can create multi-touch textbooks that can include pictures, videos, interactive diagrams and hyperlinks. Students can type notes on the margins and highlight content.
Yale University and Stanford University have initiated similar programs in previous years for first-year students. At the University of California at Irvine, a program was launched two years ago to fund the cost of iPads for first-year students through a scholarship fund. Then a company stepped in and covered the costs of the program until 2015. Brown’s Alpert Medical School and Georgetown Universities simply require that students get one.
Why? It’s part of an effort to save on paper and improve access to course materials. There’s also some academic evidence that its a valuable learning tool for students, according to studies cited by MedCrunch. And it’s an acknowledgement that companies are shifting to interactive medical textbooks.
[Flickr photo from Brown University's Alpert Medical School]