May 15, 2014

CTE training areas will be first to implement the technology

By Barbara Baker

NJC Student using an iPad

Caitlyn Mulligan of Conway, NH, a student at Northeastern Junior College, takes a look at the kind of iPad that will be used on campus starting this fall. She is going home for the summer, but will return to Sterling next year to study nursing. Four career technical programs will implement the iPad technology on campus starting this fall. Nursing is expected to start using it sometime next year as well. There are some really very innovative iPad applications which can be used for state-of-the-art instruction in the medical field.

Northeastern Junior College announced earlier this spring that it will be advancing technology on campus by incorporating the popular education-driven iPad technology into its curriculum beginning this fall semester. Specifically, for the Fall 2014 semester, four Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs on campus will pilot this initiative – Automotive Technology, Diesel Technology, Wind Technology, and Cosmetology. Only students enrolled in these four specific  programs will be required to have an iPad Air for use in their classes.
 
Northeastern plans to monitor the success of the iPad technology in these programs as it strives to finalize its plans to become a comprehensive iPad college by the Fall 2015 Semester. “We will identify things that work well and will put plans in place to replicate them college wide,” said Stanton Gartin, Vice President of Academics. “We will likely discover things that didn’t go as we had hoped and we will make changes and modifications as needed before a wider scale implementation takes place.”

Each fulltime faculty member at Northeastern, as well as some regular adjunct faculty, have received an iPad and are being offered training opportunities to learn how to use them and how to incorporate iPad technology into their classes.  The college hopes that faculty will find ways to utilize the iPads in most of their courses during the upcoming transition year.  Making this move to streamline this teaching technology college-wide will be an ongoing effort. Through departmental meetings and academic discussions, Gartin feels that the faculty are committed to making this initiative successful for students.

“We expect some of our general student population, those who aren’t in one of the four pilot programs, will decide to get on board early and purchase an iPad, even though it won’t be required of them until fall 2015,” Gartin points out. “We think they will see the benefit of utilizing this technology both years they attend NJC and beyond,” he adds. The college is researching ways to allow students to utilize their financial aid to purchase their iPads. There are a number of variables that would come into play regarding this process, primarily whether a student qualifies for financial aid as well as the amount of financial aid they can be awarded.

For students and families considering taking early advantage of this new technology at Northeastern by choosing to purchase an iPad, Gartin said the college recommends the following: an iPad Air with 16 or 32 GB of memory and Wi-fi capabilities.  IPads with more memory and cellular capabilities are available, but would not be required.