The Apple iPad is carving out a new niche of its own, offering the same kind of functionality as an e-book reader, but tacking on those apps, media players, and web browsing capabilities too. It seems that at least one school is recognizing its educational potential, and instead of heading to the bookstore at the beginning of each semester, the students of Seton Hill University will be able to purchase their learning material and have it sent directly to their iPads. That’s forward-thinking and could represent the future of university textbooks.
Seton Hill University is located in Greensburg, Pennsylvania and, to my knowledge, is the first school to provide every enrolled student (starting in fall 2010) with an Apple iPad. Naturally, the cost of the device is “included” with the regular tuition costs, but it should lower the cost of textbooks in the long run.
In addition to reading textbooks, the iPad will also be used for note-taking and file-sharing, though I wouldn’t be surprised if more than a few students end up playing games and sending instant messages in class too.
This isn’t the first time that Seton Hill has pulled such a move. Currently, students are provided with a MacBook when they enroll in the school, so does this mean that they will now get a MacBook and an iPad?