Hood College: Freshman orientation and an iPad

“I just thought it was awesome,” she said. “I always wanted one.”

More than 2,000 prospective students applied to Hood College this year, but in the next few years Volpe said the freshman classes will continue to number about 300 students.

“That gives us optimal enrollment,” Volpe said.

Students will receive iPads at the three summer orientation sessions rather than when they arrive for classes in August, not only so they can learn how to use them but also so they can complete their first assignment, Provost Katherine Conway-Turner said.

The assignment is to read “A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hosseini and blog about it throughout the summer, both of which they’ll be able to do on the iPad, she said.

Hosseini is scheduled to visit the college in October to discuss the book.

During orientation, students will sign a contract taking responsibility for the iPad, with different options to insure it. If an iPad breaks during the summer, Hood will not provide a replacement.

Once all students return to campus in August, the freshmen won’t be the only students with iPads. The library will have 20 available for checkout, and a cart of iPads will be available for students if their professor decides to use them in class.

“The key here is this is still a pilot test,” Volpe said. “We’re going to do a lot of assessment after the first semester to see, do we take the next step and get them for everyone?”

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