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Pamplin's executive MBA program adopts iPads for teaching and learning


   

Executive MBA National Cohort with their iPads Executive MBA students say iPads and other tools in the program enhance their learning experience and expand their tech skills.


BLACKSBURG, Va., Oct. 27, 2010 – Pamplin’s newest class of executive MBA students have adopted iPads in their learning program. 

“Executive MBAs need to be up-to-date on technology. What better way than by using such innovative products as the iPad?” says the program’s executive director Charles Jacobina says.

He expects that the students will use the iPad primarily as an eReader, as a tool for team collaboration and communication, and as a notepad for taking notes in class when used with a stylus. “The iPads are included in the tuition and are the students’ to keep.”

In addition to the student users, five Pamplin faculty members are using the device in their teaching, as a replacement for or complement to traditional textbooks, business cases, and other reading materials. The response from students and faculty so far has been very positive, Jacobina says. Finance associate professor Sattar Mansi says the iPad’s “size, functionality, and clarity” has allowed it to serve as a substitute for his laptop. “I am using it for e-mail, presentations, and reading various documents.” 

Student Dennis Tan, a project management consultant with NII Holdings, loves the iPad’s portability and uses it to take notes, do research, and save information. “Web browsing is easy, and apps add a good deal of practicality and expand the uses of the device.” He has loaded his iPad with class presentations for reviewing at his convenience. “Podcasts and iTunes University are a great complement to classes at campus.”

His classmate, Victoria McLean, a task manager and supervisor for SAIC, says the iPad lets her take podcasts, books, quizzes, and other educational tools with her wherever she goes. “Lugging heavy books around from the office, to the house, around the corner to the coffee shop, and to class when we’re only focusing on a few chapters at a time can become a nuisance.”

The iPad is “a fun way of staying ahead of the technology curve,” McLean says. “I really appreciate the high value that Virginia Tech places on staying technologically advanced. The tools available to the executive MBA students set them apart from similar programs in the Washington, D.C., area. iPads, MacBook Pros, fully outfitted conference spaces, etc., not only enhance the learning experience but allow students to expand their core technological capabilities.”

The latest class of executive MBA students, known as the National Cohort, comprises 19 new students who work fulltime in the metro Washington, D.C. area.

In addition to the executive MBA program, which is located at Virginia Tech's Northern Virginia Center - National Capital Region, the Pamplin College offers three other MBA programs, aimed at meeting the different needs of full-time and part-time students.

Read the full story in the fall issue of Pamplin magazine.

Virginia Tech’s nationally ranked Pamplin College of Business offers undergraduate and graduate programs in accounting and information systems, business information technology, economics, finance, hospitality and tourism management, management, and marketing. Pamplin emphasizes technology and analysis that improve business, entrepreneurship that leads to innovation and innovative companies, international opportunities for learning and research, and an inclusive, collaborative community. It is named in honor of two alumni: the late Robert B. Pamplin, retired chairman of Georgia-Pacific, and businessman, author, and philanthropist Robert B. Pamplin Jr.