Leavey to let grad students rent iPads


USC Graduate Professional Student Senate will announce the launch of a new program today that will allow graduate students to check out iPads from Leavey Library  starting in spring 2012.

The program is expected to help graduate students remain competitive in the job market, Jaclyn Selby, GPSS director of academic affairs, said in an email.

For graduate students to remain competitive in this job market, it’s helpful for them to be able to have access to an iPad for even a short time to be able to explore new applications in their respective fields, or to test out new teaching methods in the classroom,” Selby said.

Selby said the iPads will benefit undergraduate students who have graduate students as teaching assistants.

“Having even a few of these iPads available for check-out could have some tremendous benefits to graduate students on campus, and indirectly to the undergraduates for whom they are TAs,” Selby said.

Some students, including Zach Cianci, a freshman majoring in business administration, are not convinced the iPads will be useful or worthwhile.

“It just doesn’t seem practical,” Cianci said. “Students would have to either have an iPad or an Apple laptop to transfer everything.”

Ekaansh Anand, a graduate student studying computer science, said she will probably not use the iPads, though she sees them as beneficial for graduate students.

“I probably wouldn’t use this unless I forgot my own laptop, but this is a privilege earned by graduate students,” Anand said.

No decision has yet been made regarding how long students will be able to check out iPads, nor regarding whether additional libraries will offer the service.

GPSS will host a digital graduate student multimedia tools workshop to inform students about technology available to graduate students today at 1 p.m. at the Forum in the Ronald Tutor Campus Center.

2 replies
  1. Hugh McHarg
    Hugh McHarg says:

    I’m the Executive Director of Communications and Public Programming for the USC Libraries, and I just thought I’d comment to clarify a couple points about this great pilot project with GPSS.

    This semester, the project is focused on the testing that’s underway with several students who are evaluating the usefulness of tablets and app-based research. Any eventual check-out program—and to be clear, the project is looking at checking out a modest number of tablets rather than renting them out for payment—is pending the successful completion of the current evaluation phase.

    I’d also like to note this project’s role in supporting the broader goal of helping students engage as productively as possible with library collections and services. From that perspective, today’s GPSS workshop on all the digital research tools available—not just tablets or any other specific technology—is also an important part of the story.

    Thanks very much.

    Hugh

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