FAU’s 2006-2013 Strategic Plan seeks to position the institution as a university of first choice. The Strategic Plan gives clear direction to the process of identifying specific actions the University must take to meet current and future challenges. The following seven strategic goals provide the framework and inspiration for the plan:
1. Providing Increased Access to Higher Education
2. Meeting Statewide Professional and Workforce Needs
3. Building World-Class Academic Programs and Research Capacity
4. Meeting Community Needs and Fulfilling Unique Institutional Respossibilities
5. Building a State-of-the-Art Information Technology Environment
6. Enhancing the Physical Environment
7. Increasing the University’s Visibility
This project meets goals 1, 4, 5, and 7 could be applied to the iPads for Education Project.
Goal 1: PROVIDING INCREASED ACCESS TO HIGHER EDUCATION
Objective 1-3. Develop evaluation systems to corroborate assessment of student achievement against expected core learning outcomes.
Using the mobile devices in the class will support the LiveText as the assessment mechanism for turning in the critical assignments by students (part of NCATE certification documentation and tracking of students’ assignments) that must be met for every course in order to obtain a degree. Students will also see how to use the devices to promote authentic assessment in their classrooms. Students would receive immediate feedback for all critical and other assignments so course goals are met thereby increasing the number of degrees granted to students at all levels.
Students will also have increased access to technology in classrooms outside of the computer labs. The iPads are light enough to allow mobility to the classroom with smaller carts than the laptop carts. The devices themselves are convenient for use throughout the extended class periods of up to 3 and 6 hours. The devices will allow for flexible classroom configurations that promote group work.
Goal 4: MEETING COMMUNITY NEEDS AND FULFILLING UNIQUE INSTITUTIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES
Objective 5-3. Promote community service activities that are clearly aligned with the University’s strategic priorities and support volunteerism.
Starting next year, several states are converting the textbook based curriculum to entirely electronic based curriculum. By the year 2015 several states are expecting K12 public schools to be purchasing electronic only curriculum. The iPads enable FAU instructors to model how to use those devices to maximize educational outcomes in the local schools within our seven-county service region. By teaching our students how to utilize the mobile devices for instruction or inservice professional development, our students will be more desirable since they will have the skills expected in local school districts and will in turn, advance economic development, encourage regional cooperation and sustainability, build partnerships in key areas of community need and enrich lives through lifelong learning.
The iPads also meet statewide professional and workforce needs because we would be encouraging the use of technology in our classrooms and as new student teachers graduate, they will in turn use their newly acquired skills to utilize with children in their new classrooms. FAU would be demonstrating its commitment to recruiting and preparing students in a vital profession such as education by applying this emerging trends such as computer technology in the our elementary and secondary classrooms, thus promoting FAU teachers in the labor force.
Goal 5: BUILDING A STATE-OF-THE-ART INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ENVIRONMENT
Objective 6-1. Increase the number of next-generation smart classrooms.
iPads would enhance the technology skills of faculty and students by making the a mobile devices available to all students who cannot use the computer lab which is being used by other classes. This project would enhance the availability of technology to our faculty for instructional purposes by making available devices that will be utilized in class. It will help Florida Atlantic University’s information technology meet the requirements of the faculty and students, responding to growth and offering expanded, faster and more reliable services in teaching, and service in the public schools.
Goal 7: INCREASING THE UNIVERSITY’S VISIBILITY
Objective 7-1. Establish reasonable measures for utilization of space on each campus based on programmatic needs and usage demand.
Finally, iPads would facilitate Florida Atlantic University’s visibility and strengthen its image locally, regionally, nationally and internationally by enhancing communication with internal and external audiences. When others learn about how the iPads are being utilized by a large group of faculty in typical classrooms, this will make our College a more desirable place to attend since we are promoting the use of technology in a portable, but highly effective manner. As our students complete field experiences in local districts and as teachers attend our classes, they will spread the news about our instructional uses of technology.