Yousuf Khan Explains How The Ipad Is Changing The Classroom

When going to a technical college one would expect to be not only learning new technologies, but to also be using and implementing new technologies.    Hult International Business School has just made a change that has greatly increased their student’s technological interaction.   Hult has begun implementing the use of the Ipad as a replacement for classroom text books.    The Ipad is given out to all students as a part of their tuition while attending Hult.  Thus far the new implementation has seemed to be a great success as students learn to implement new technologies in their education, skills that soon will serve them in the business world.

There are of course many schools and businesses that have taken a hard look at changing over to a paperless model of data sharing and data processing to streamline business and education and to decrease high costs in wasted space and materials.   Yousuf Khan CIO of Hult was kind enough to interview with us and to share the impacts this new change has made in the classroom and at the university level.

What made you and the university, decide it was time to make a change the way you were teaching your students?

As Hult International Business School experienced a consistent increase in applications and subsequent student growth, we anticipated that the volume of data and information being exchanged in a teaching environment would only increase. As such, our aim was to understand how technology could help alleviate some of the logistical, as well as, pedagogical challenges — with a focus on providing a great experience for our students. As an institution, we have always been focused on innovation and thus a change in our technology strategy coupled with our curriculum change, gave us an opportunity to try something very different.

What was your university using before it began to implement the iPad as one of your primary education delivery tools?

Similar to other higher education institutions, we used a very typical set of tools which are standard in the learning environment. These ranged from a learning management system, online access to research libraries, and an exuberant amount of printed course packs.

How has using the iPad changed the students education?  What kind of changes have you seen in your students since implementing this rather large change?

I would refer to the Get Connected video, which sums up both the student and faculty reactions to using the iPad. To summarize, we are currently looking to use more digital textbooks, response ware for better classroom engagement, digital version of course packs for students — to access and search more readily.

Get Connected from Hult_biz on Vimeo.

Do you find it to be more cost effective using the iPad and why?

We believe that it is a win-win for both students and the school. We are able to provide students with a more engaging experience in the classroom and throughout their time at Hult. The students benefit in multiple ways.  For instance, students benefit by saving money on purchasing entire college textbooks because they are able to buy selected chapters of a book digitally. They benefit by having a lot of their content in one place on a mobile device with a robust screen, as well as, being able to access and learn from the digital material in a very different way from the traditional content.

Of my knowledge there hasn’t been a lot of organizations that have implemented a tablet such as this on such a large scale.  From your experience with this technology in the classroom, how much do you feel a business would gain from the same move?

Businesses would benefit greatly but they have to do so by focusing on specific business processes that can be made more efficient using mobile tablet technology rather than just a smartphone. With our strategy, we feel strongly that incrementally, tablets can begin to deliver a lot of efficiencies in any business. By giving our students iPads we are implicitly equipping them with the tools and thinking that will prepare them to think as innovators in the companies that they join.

Have you ran into any downsides or hurdles from the switch over to the iPad that other schools or businesses should keep in mind when making a change such as this?

We expected and experienced typical change management and technology adoption issues. The main difference in applying this strategy in the education sector rather than in a general industry environment is the level of control and of course the type of data being accessed, in other words the level of security. The iPads we give to our students are theirs to keep, we provide training, recommend apps, give them support to use the tablet, and encourage them. If there are issues they reside in both the content, (e.g. a publisher not making a textbook available in digital format) or in the use of a specific software, which is not available on the iPad platform. It is important to point out that the iPad has not totally replaced the laptop in the student environment and in a majority of cases, our students use both. In businesses, the challenge usually revolves around nervous IT managers worried about security and loss of commercially sensitive data. This is understandable but I believe the biggest worry is being able to support the iPad, which many IT departments are not ready for.

Being that Hult seems to be at the forefront of implementing education technology for their students, do you have your eye on the next thing you may implement and if so what are some of the  possibilities?

Plenty of very exciting developments and considerations are being discussed. However, as this is our second year of deployment, we are focusing on the lessons acquired from our first year and thus focusing more on content, training and increasing adoption with our faculty as this population grows and looks for more functionality from the iPad to improve their teaching methods.