Many students have noticed the new iPads installed in the Athletics Center, the Campus Center, Converse Hall, Facilities and Val, but few of them understand that it is part of a broader effort to connect students to the campus through more accessible technology.
The iPads, on top of their ability to provide quick answers to questions of people on campus, are designed to call attention to the new Amherst Mobile , created by the IT department this summer. This new site can be set up as an icon on any smartphone or tablet provides students with easy access to campus news, events, the PVTA Bus Schedule and much more. The mounted iPads have a limited version of Amherst Mobile that doesn’t allow students to login to their personal data or view to other apps.
“The installed iPads may be more helpful to College guests than to current students, while we hope that current students will find Amherst Mobile to be helpful,” said Gayle Barton, Chief Information Officer.
In the last year, the IT department has also added 30 new iPads to their inventory. These iPads will be available when requested by a professor for a class. Just this fall, iPads will be used in two first-year seminars, for activities ranging from digital reading and video capture to editing and presentation.
“iPads and other tablets … offer advantages such as a great screen for reading. Since the text we read is increasingly electronic, it is important that Amherst students become facile at reading, analyzing, and comprehending electronic text,” Barton said. “We wish we could buy one for everyone.”
The College expects that demand for iPads will continue to grow on campus. Already, students in the incoming class have registered over 25 iPads on the network.
Furthermore, the IT department has also recently made the College Course Catalog an electronic publication, which is downloadable from the course catalog page on the Registrar’s website. The catalog is also accessible on an iPad.