About a month ago, we ran a couple stories about the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce at the University of Kentucky (UK) here in Lexington, launching an initiative to put iPads in the hands of students and faculty, with support for an 18-month trial from Apple. The idea is that this will help future diplomats be better versed in current technology.
As current tech is the focus, it only makes sense that the iPad 2 gets into the mix. Ambassador Carey Cavanaugh, who is the Director of the school, who tells WebProNews, “The iPad 2 offers a bundle of capabilities that enhance its performance as an educational device.”
“The two that stand out most are video mirroring and the new dual cameras,” he says. “At the Patterson School, we have already been using iPads for presentations, but with the iPad2 improvements (and a $39 cable) all of our rooms with HD televisions are transformed into conference centers.”
“Last month we used iPads and Altec Lansing’s Octiv Stage in a 24-hour crisis simulation we held concerning a nuclear accident in North Korea,” he explains. ” In the scenario, students were divided into six teams (corresponding with the official Six Party Talks — US, China, Russia, Japan, South Korea, North Korea) and had to handle the political fallout that resulted from the radioactive fallout that occurred when a North Korean weapons development site malfunctioned. The use of the two devices (iPad and Octiv Stage) was helpful in communicating, reading pdfs or maps as a group, and watching video reports regarding the crisis.”
“The University of Kentucky’s School of Journalism was a partner in this effort producing some excellent accounts of diplomatic and dangerous developments,” Cavanaugh tells us. “What was lacking and desired, however, was an ability to video chat within and between team delegations. That function will now be simple with FaceTime and iPad 2’s new cameras. The cameras, and the ability to do HD video recording, also open up an ability to have our students capture and convey some of their experiences serving in internships around the world to their fellow classmates.”
Apple is providing support throughout the 18-month trial period, and will assist with program development and strategy, train students, faculty and staff, and help get them access to developers when necessary.
“We are already weighing how best to organize this,” says Cavanaugh. “With students bound for Cambodia, Macedonia, Uganda and Latin America (they may be able to test whether the iPad’s operating and non-operating temperature ranges are valid). I also believe these new capabilities will facilitate study groups in some interesting ways. While the Patterson School does not support distance education and always prefers that students meet directly, we often have a few who are at a disadvantage in preparing for their final comprehensive examinations because they are away at US internships or jobs (in locations like Washington, DC or New York). The iPad2 will now put them in the room.”
“I also believe the announced enhancements to AirPlay in iOS 4.3 will be helpful in the classroom,” he adds. “Finally, no one could ever complain about thinner, lighter, and faster — at the same cost.”