You do the math - - according to The College Board, students will spend an average of $1,200 on printed textbooks each year while a tablet is nearly half that price. Recognizing the cost savings of e-textbooks, Southern Illinois University created the “Mobile Dawg” tablet initiative to equip each new incoming freshman with a Dell Latitude 10 Windows 8 tablet beginning next fall. This semester, several hundred students are using the tablets through a pilot program.
“This tablet initiative will enhance student success and help them become more engaged in the campus experience,” Chancellor Rita Cheng said. “Being the first comprehensive research university to launch a large-scale, campus-wide tablet initiative that focuses on student success lets our students know that we are working to revolutionize their SIU experience. We know our students and their families also will appreciate the financial benefits of e-textbooks.”
Classes using the new technology include sections of University College, along with courses from the colleges of Applied Sciences and Arts, Business, Liberal Arts, Mass Communication and Media Arts, and Science. The classes range from required first-year core courses to upper level courses to Honors classes.
David Crain, assistant provost and chief information officer, said: “The Dell Latitude tablet enables students to go way beyond reading course material. With Windows 8, students are able to easily conduct online research and connect to our campus apps, as well as write reports and use the same software that they do in our computer labs.”
Life on campus is also highly mobile and a Latitude 10 extends the opportunity for learning way beyond the lecture hall. As students move from the dorm, to the library to the chemistry lab, a tablet is much easier to carry around campus. Having all the resources for learning at their fingertips, students will be able to engage more deeply in the academic experience and campus life.