PUBLIC POLICY TECHNOLOGY CENTER
Student Affairs Applications for the iPad
BY BECCA OBERGEFELL
In July 2010, when I joined the Office of Student Life at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, the office was in the midst of change and growth. Departmental restructuring meant a name change to the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership, the addition of a staff member, and responsibility for leadership education programming. Summer meet- ing discussions focused on a new office space, a redesigned learning-outcomes assessment grid, and fall program plan- ning. Additionally, during the summer, four iPads were introduced into the work of student affairs administrators.
As I jotted down notes about assessment software, professional development opportunities, social media plans, and
general office information, I began considering ways to do
all of these things on the iPad. The challenge was to sell the
idea to student affairs leadership. Staff members already used
laptops and iPods, so what value did another device add to
An initial proposal included integrating the iPad for assessment, note taking, social media management, presentations, a
resource library, and student leader training and development.
Although the iPad can be used for browsing the web and
checking e-mail, those tasks were not addressed as they can
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be accomplished in other ways. Nearly six months after proposing the iPad integration into the student affairs operation,
the new technology has helped achieve efficiencies as well as
➤ Assessment. Integrating Studentvoice software on the
iPad allows student affairs to expand the use of the software
within the office to both iPads and iPods. The software can
help process student surveys following events, administer
student government association polls, and measure classroom
learning with rubrics.
➤ Note;taking.;Staff agendas are e-mailed before meetings,
and files can be opened on iPads using the Evernote application (app). Documents can be edited, filed in an electronic
notebook, tagged with keywords, or e-mailed to colleagues.
Audio can be recorded and integrated into notes using the
built-in microphone. Colleagues on travel can connect with
staff meetings, and staff members attending conferences can
share conference content with co-workers who remain in
➤ Social;media;management. Applications like
Hootsuite and Tweetdeck allow staff to manage Twitter and
Facebook accounts and to monitor engagement statistics
associated with the programs. These streams provide instant
feedback during programs and events, allowing staff to track
student satisfaction and quickly address issues. The Wordpress
application enables staff to write and edit content, insert
media, and reply to comments on the office blog.
iPads were used to promote the Office of Student
Involvement and Leadership Facebook page during Welcome
Week. Students subscribed to the page using the iPad and
received a free t-shirt or reusable mug. Later in the semester,
iPads were used to help students sign up for a Twitter account
and learn to maximize their use of this social media site.
➤ Presentations.;During conference presentations, iPads
helped presenters monitor audience feedback via Twitter,
access web resources, and engage participants. iPads were
distributed to audience members to share notes and takeaways
via Twitter, creating a searchable public notebook. Staff
members are considering using the iPad to create or project
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