“It was completely organic,” he said. “It’s not something we tried to do.”

Mary Ann Gawelek, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the Seton Hill faculty, said the campus-wide distribution of iPads was not without criticism.

“Many people said, ‘How could you do that without testing it?’” she said, adding that campus officials first discussed giving iPads only to incoming students before announcing a school-wide program. “We actually trusted that it was going to work.”

Gawelek said a recent Seton Hill survey validated the university’s decision to move ahead with the iPad rollout when many colleges were hesitant to embrace the market’s newest computer tablet.

Forty-four percent of students said using the iPad “significantly improved” their educational experience, while 52 percent said the tablet “increased their ability to communicate with peers and faculty.” Six in 10 students said the iPad helped “achieve learning objectives.”

Two-thirds of faculty respondents said they used the device for instruction at least weekly, “if not every class,” according to the Seton Hill survey.


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