Hood College: Freshman orientation and an iPad

As part of a pilot program, Hood College will provide an iPad 2 to each incoming freshman—about 311 students.

Without an iPad, Karly Reigel, an incoming freshman at Hood College in Frederick, Md., might have been studying elementary and special education elsewhere.

“I had already liked Hood, and when I heard they were giving away iPads I was like, ‘I’m definitely coming here,'” Reigel said.

The Reading, Pa., native joined 106 other first-year students on campus June 13 at the first of the college’s three summer orientations.

The orientation sessions allow incoming freshmen to sign up for classes, get a photo ID, and meet classmates.

As part of a pilot program, Hood will provide an iPad 2 to each incoming freshman—about 311 students—according to college President Ron Volpe.

Volpe personally handed out the first iPad of the day to Taylor Anderson of Rindge, N.H. Anderson said he decided to attend Hood to study management before he knew he would receive an iPad.

“It feels pretty sweet,” he said of receiving the first iPad. “I can’t wait to use it and utilize it for schoolwork.”

Hood students’ iPads will feature an iHood application, designed by computer science student Nathan Jacobson. The application allows students quick access to a campus map, the college website and news site, the Frederick weather forecast, the campus calendar and directory, and the college’s YouTube site.

The program will be evaluated in late fall to determine if the college should continue to distribute iPads to freshmen, Volpe said. A gift from the estate of Hood alumna Peggy Whitehead provided the funding.

Like Reigel, Middletown High School graduate Gretchen Whitesell said the iPad factored into her decision to attend Hood.

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