Going Digital: iPads for Incoming Freshmen

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By Beya Likhari > Freshman > UMBC

On Saturday April 3, 2010, Apple Inc did the unthinkable yet again by releasing its version of Amazon’s Kindle, better known as the iPad. Starting at $499, this interface allows users to purchase books from the iTunes store and also provides them with an intimate Internet experience. In a tablet shaped form, just over 1.5 pounds, this device has received a lot of attention from the world and after one month, reported sales were 2 million.



This leads us to the next big question: Will the iPad soon replace paper books? The answer is yet to be determined. Until then, however, The University of Maryland, College Park’s Office of Information Technology has introduced iPads to supplement the Digital Cultures and Creativity Living and Learning Program within the Honors College. All of the 75 students enrolled will be receiving an Apple iPad in the fall of 2010. As stated in the news release by Director of Communications Phyllis Dickerson Johnson, “The device will be fully integrated into the program’s curriculum, where it will serve as the basis for content delivery and instruction. Students will also have the opportunity to learn to develop their own applications for the iPad.”
This is not College Park’s first attempt at promoting the usage of Apple’s iPad, however. On April 1, 2010, The University of Maryland and the International Children’s library launched a children’s reading and library application engineered specifically for the iPad free of cost to those who download it from the App store.
As stated in the release, users have “access to the world’s largest freely available collection of multi-lingual, online children’s books with titles in more than 54 languages representing 64 countries”. The search engine for this application was created by researchers at the University of Maryland’s Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory (HCIL).
The fact that Apple is capable of targeting children from age six all the way up to college students is a truly remarkable feat and the steps taken by UMD are further propelling these technological advancements into the realms of the unknown. Will you buy the Apple iPad to use for school?



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