Home Seton Hill University to Give Students iPads, Art

Seton Hill University to Give Students iPads, Art

Seton Hill, a liberal arts university in Pennsylvania, is giving its full-time undergrads and faculty iPads and more under its Griffin Technology Advantage Program. The tablets are all being outfitted with Art Authority, an app that brings centuries of great art to the iPad.

Art history students at the university will be using free copies of Art Authority as an integral part of their classes, according to its developer, Alan Oppenheimer. The benefit for we-Envision, the company that makes it, is the detailed, real-world input the students will provide, which will form the basis for further iterations.

we-Envision, a small, energetic Oregon developer co-op, hopes to see Art Authority as a resource in many universities as tablets become more integrated into higher learning.

A “public domain and web art browser,” Art Authority gives access to over 40,000 works of art, from Byzantine to Basquiat. It also connects to art history coverage, including Wikipedia entries. It provides the ability to save pictures of art for later use and a multiplicity of viewing options.

According to Seton Hill’s Kary Coleman Hazen, the university is using the app to test educational use of the iPad.

“The app is a key part of a pilot program aimed at understanding how the iPad and the app can aid, extend and transform the traditional learning environment.”

Art Authority will be used specifically for two 200-level art history courses, Italian Renaissance Art and Twentieth Century Art. The courses began with fall semester, August 23.

Tech Advantage

Tech Advantage Program doesn’t stop at the iPad. It also includes making all its text books available on the iBookstore and providing each student a 13-inch MacBook Pro. The Macbook will be upgraded after two years and the students are free to take them, and their iPads, with them when they graduate.

The school invested half a million dollars in retooling their network, upgrading switches from 100mb to 1gb, adding VOIP, campus-wide wireless and an integrated security and management system. Its Internet connection is a high-capacity tier-one service provided by Level 3. Their wireless is a a/b/g/n network with speeds up to 300 Mbps.

All this doesn’t come for free. Participants must pay a $500 per semester “All in MAC” technology fee.

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