Some Seton Hill University faculty members have reflected upon unexpected benefits of the iPad in the classroom.

“I frequently used the device in a playful way in concert with the projector. I'd often project curious images from the photo album and once even used a mood light of swirling colors, with a silly Night Light app on the large screen during lectures and discussions,” said Michael Arnzen, Ph.D., associate professor, English, and chair of the Division of Humanities. “Such uses might sound trivial, but it functioned as a sort of moving wallpaper background, giving the environment some liveliness and variety and to keep students attentive and curious while we talked.”

“For a poetry unit, we recorded our voices reciting poetry, and then shared and compared interpretations by email. For one audio assignment, I used my iPad to record and send my own spoken feedback,” said Dennis Jerz, associate professor, English.

“I also tried to take advantage of the sound functions of the device and this is something I think teachers often neglect. In one of my creative writing classes I played a pop song and we analyzed the structure of the arrangement and the lyrics, examining how it built up a story while also discussing how certain corny sounds in the song reflected genre fiction stereotypes,” said Arnzen.

Both Arnzen and Jerz appreciate the “show and tell” opportunity the iPad provides.

“I used to always do a show-and-tell with the course books at the beginning of the semester by carrying a bag of books to class and holding them up for all to see. I did that this year with the slideshow built into the iPad instead,” said Arnzen. “I plan to have students use this function for speeches in the future, even if it's just a randomly animated display of related imagery while they deliver their presentation.”